My family and I spent a few days at Beaver’s Bend State Park just north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma last week. The kids wanted pizza Saturday night, so we took them to Grateful Head Pizza in Hochatown. It was so crowded that we had to park in the overflow parking’s overflow section. This was going to be great, we thought.
There was a 45-minute wait to be seated at the grooviest place in town, so my wife and I ordered a couple of craft beers and a round of power aid for the kids. Twenty-six dollars down, and the beer was almost cold.
We got seated by a big window near the bar just under the estimated 45 minutes. Since we’d already busted our drink budget, we ordered five waters with lemon. We were still thirsty from hiking and getting thirstier because it was boiling hot in the restaurant.
After a couple of gulps, my throat felt tingly. Does anyone else’s water taste like…
Chlorine! My little boy answered. Oh, said my wife. This tastes like a swimming pool. And it did. Luckily, the kids still had their power aid. My wife and I agreed that we’d just drink water when we got back to the cabin. My teenage daughter, who is often in her own world, announced that her water tasted like chlorine about ten minutes later.
Meanwhile, we ordered our pizza and waited. We were close enough to the outside door to hear the live music. We were inside enough to hear the inside music. Both were loud and did not mix well together, especially with the TV and the loud dudes at the bar.
My little boy was concerned about the honey bees buzzing around the window behind us. As I swatted one that landed on my chest I assured everyone that honey bees did not want to sting us as long as we didn’t bother them.
The wait for the pizza was much longer than the wait to be seated. I was ready to leave long before it got to our table, but it finally arrived and was very good.
We just began enjoying our pizza when my little boy’s fears were justified. A honey bee stung him on the rump, and another landed on my daughter’s foot, which to her was as bad as getting stung. My wife gave me an angry look as she gathered the kids and headed out the door.
I requested the bill and a large to-go box since we hadn’t really started eating. The server asked if anything was wrong. I told him my little boy got stung by a bee and pointed out the bees buzzing behind me. He assured me that they would capture the bee, and then he brought me a large pizza box and larger bill.
We did not complain or ask to speak to a manager, as all the workers were preoccupied with the dozens of people still waiting to be seated, and because chlorinated water and honey bees seemed a normal part of their business.
I don’t wish we’d gone somewhere else. We’ll probably always remember this dining experience, whereas we’d forget most others. But memories or not, we won’t go back.