Re: Lunch Counter Lingo...

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Posted ByDavid M. Lynch on December 17, 2002 at 00:35:52:

In Reply to: Re: Lunch Counter Lingo... posted byDavid M. Lynch on December 17, 2002 at 00:20:30:

: : I recently heard the 1-15-39 show, where the gang is at the Drugstore across from the Studio. Hearing stuff like "Hit the Jackpot on Whole Wheat" and "One Tuna On Rye, No Brush, No Lather, No Rub In" was funny, and I thought it was just done to get laughs. But then I heard an episode of Fibber McGee & Molly (10-31-39) where they stop at a lunch counter and the person does similar stuff. Do these sort of Lunch Counter antics have any basis in reality, or were they just done for laughs on Radio shows?

(Hmm. My entire message got lost. Let's try this again... )

As in the "A Peculiar Ding" exchange, found below in the Bulletin Board listings, some things just get lost over time.

Diners, lunch rooms, and other similar restaurants did indeed have their own "code names" for different meals and sandwiches. I assume these code words varied from restaurant to restaurant. I vaguely recall a televised comedy routine from the mid-1960s that first made me aware of this. One particular sandwich was referred to as "Adam and Eve on a Bun," and the "Adam and Eve" reference was code for "no dressing."

This seems to be one of those odd-but-true things which comics and comedy writers latch onto, then embellish for their own needs. I've seen routines like the ones you mentioned, where the laughs were based on the thought progressions behind some really outlandish code names.

Personally, I've never seen this occur in real life, so I'm assuming it was a quirk of the food service business which fell out of favor sometime before the 1980s. Since I don't travel extensively, and don't frequent roadside diners, I can't be sure that nobody still does it, however.

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