Yellow Blanket on a Dead Cow and Make It Cry

Yellow Blanket on a Dead Cow and Make It Cry! Let me explain, before you think I have gone over the edge….:)!

Every now and again, the Captain and I go to a small Diner here in the Cape and if we are sitting close enough to the kitchen, we can hear the communication between the wait staff and the cooks as food orders are “put in”.  It reminds me of a day gone by as these days, customer orders are almost all electronic…which sometimes isn’t necessarily a more efficient way…. and it certainly is less colorful as the Older Diner’s way of communicating.

No, I don’t mean the Diner person is old…I mean the Mom and Pop Diner is most likely non-existent these days. They have been replaced with widgets, gadgets, and all kinds of modern equipment to make your dining experience one you won’t forget.  More on that… further down this post. πŸ™

My Mother and Father bought a small cafe in an even smaller town shortly after I was married. I wasn’t there every day, but I came to know through my Mother, … “Diner Speak” …from her days as a waitress at the famous Mulbach Hotel and Cafe in Kansas City.  Mother was quite the adventurous young lady as she set off for the big city 400 miles away… right out of high school.  She wanted to see how the sights and sounds differed from the place where she was born… (Niles, Kansas), population at that time about 25 in the town and perhaps 25 farmers living all around the town. (But that is another post.)  I loved hearing Mom spout off “Diner Speak” and explaining to me the actual meaning.  

At first I thought the “Diner speak” was a shorter version of the actual food names ordered through the small window to the cook, but as she explained…it certainly was not faster to call out the order of Adam and Eve on a raft and wreck ’em” to calling out “two eggs scrambled on toast”!.  However, it was a way for the “family” of  wait staff and cooks to define themselves,…to be different in a community of niches.

Mom always justified the “Diner Speak” with terms like… “Well, Longshoreman speak a language of their own.”  emphasis on the word their.

I was always puzzled by the comparison because we were as landlocked as one could be…. situated in the middle of the United States with the closest water being the narrow Smokey Hill River! Perhaps these niches of a special language used to keep insiders in and outsiders out, have failed to survive in this day of political correctness.  I don’t know; but what I do know is I enjoy hearing the “Diner Speak” and below I have listed a few of the many food descriptions that my Mom taught me, as well as a few more.  

Below are a few of my favorites, and I am sure you know some of these and can add a few of your own.


Breakfast at the Diner!

 In the above pic you will see: Adam and Eve blindfolded with sneeze. Add 4 little pigs and SOS along side, coffee high and dry! I don’t think you need the translation…:)

And yes, that was my meal one morning at our little Diner! Hey, I did some cardio afterwards! Well, if I didn’t, I meant to.

Let’s proceed shall we?

Burn one, drag it through the garden and put a rose on it: Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion.


Two Cows, make them cry: Two hamburgers with onions

Firehouse it: Add chili

Hot Blonde in the sand: coffee with cream and sugar

Paint a bow wow red: Hot dog with ketchup

Sinkers: Doughnuts

Yellow Paint: Mustard

Red Paint: Ketchup

Sand: sugar

Put out the lights and cry: Liver and onions

Noah’s boy on dough: Ham sandwich

Put legs on it:  A take out item

Mouse Trap: Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Hold the grass or keep off the grass: A sandwich without lettuce

Looseners: Prunes

One on the City: a glass of water

Burn the British: English Muffin

A spot with a twist: cup of tea with lemon

Drag Wimpy through Wisconsin: Hamburger with cheese

Flop two, over hard: Two eggs with the yolks hard

Fry two and let the sun shine: Two eggs sunny side up or eggs which have not been flipped over.

Eve with a moldy lid: Apple pie with cheese

Blowout Patches with Axle Grease and Vermont: Pancakes with butter and syrup

Burn one with frog sticks: Hamburger and fries

Add Hail to the MD: put ice in the Dr. Pepper.

First Lady with Idaho Cakes in the alley: Ribs with Hash brown Patties on the side.

Stretch Atlanta and paint it red: Large coke with a cherry

Sweep the kitchen: Hash

Bossy in a bowl: Beef stew

All Hot, Tip Toe through Wisconsin: Baked Potato with cheese sprinkled on top

Battle Creek in a bowl: Corn Flakes in a bowl

Torpedo it: Add a banana 

Baled Hay: Shreaded Wheat

Dough well done with cow to cover: Buttered Toast

Biddy Board: French toast

Checkerboard: Waffle

Double Black Cow: Double thick shake

Cowboy with Spurs: Western Omelet with potatoes

Drown the Kids: Boiled Eggs

Foreign Entanglements: spaghetti

Guess Water: Soup

Mama on a Raft: Marmalade on toast

On the Hoof: rare meat

Squeeze: Orange juice

Ice and throw it in the mud: Ice cream with chocolate syrup.

Whiskey Down with Skid Grease: Rye toast with butter

Brown Down: Wheat Toast

Give It Wings: To serve quickly

In case you haven’t figured out what Yellow Blanket on a Dead Cow and Make It Cry is:

Cheese Burger with onions!  But you had that all figured out didn’t you?

And as far as the electronic age being better or faster in the food ordering world…the Captain and I were eating out one evening and we waited and waited for our food. Finally, we asked the server (guess you can’t call them waitresses anymore) if there was a problem and she replied.

 “No, everything is ok. My IPad lost it’s “connect” and your order didn’t go through!”

“So is it connected now?” I ask with tummy rumbling.

“No, but I will go tell the cooks to start your order.”

At that point I wanted to yell out to the cooks in the kitchen….Yellow Blanket on a Dead Cow, Give It wings and Make It Cry!… cause I never like to cry alone!




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15 Responses to “Yellow Blanket on a Dead Cow and Make It Cry”

  1. Sandy says:

    LOL Okay, I grew up in a small town, but I didn’t know any of those. Of course, we didn’t have a restaurant in the family. Grin! Cute post, Kari.

    • Kari says:

      I couldn’t believe my Mom went off to the big city at such a young age….of course now it is no big deal! In fact my grand-daughter had been in KC for a couple years and just moved back to Salina. However, she went to KC right out of college (in Manhattan)…so she was partly there. LOL

  2. Marianne Stephens says:

    Funny…a “new” language to learn. Makes sense once you interpreted them. Love Burn the British and Loseners!

    • Kari says:

      Yes, Marianne….I love those two also! Of course I don’t know who serves prunes these days…but I know I don’t look at them the same anymore!

  3. Melissa Keir says:

    I love the lesson on language. I never worked or heard any diner speak. πŸ™‚ It’s very figurative and I love it!

  4. Nina Pierce says:

    I worked at a small diner in Maine, but they didn’t use that colorful language. I would have enjoyed it if they did. Sounds like fun!

  5. Sandy Loyd says:

    Loved the story. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Pete Kizeer says:

    Since I am one of those (few?) restaurant patrons who can’t remember what I ordered, I have probably been served a few “surprises” over the years, without knowing it. That said, I had no idea the language of delivering orders to the kitchen was quite so, um, colorful.

    I have a brother who is a chef, and in the (all too rare) occasions when I am blessed enough to sit down to one of his meals (he lives near the Other Washington), he does speak a little differently than a lay-person like me. He is, after all, a foodie and lives to eat (whereas I merely eat to live – terribly unsophisticated, I know).

    I do remember a hole-in-the-wall “cafe” or perhaps, “diner” in downtown KC (that would be MO) many years back. I think I ate “roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans” there about as much as anything. About all I really remember was how good it all tasted. Hmm, what’s in my refer?

    • Kari says:

      Thanks Pete for your comments…I guess I am the most unsophisticated as I have to confess…I live to eat! I don’t care what they call it as long as they call me to eat! πŸ™‚

      While I am on this subject….I believe I am also the most “jinxed” person when it comes to ordering in a restaurant. 9 times out of 10 my order does not come out of the kitchen the way I gave it to the server. Which goes to show, eating at home gives one the best delivered order! πŸ™‚

  7. Brenda ....only daughter says:

    Everyone should eat at the Waffle House if they have one where they live. Listen when they call your order out to the cook it’s amazing to try to figure out what people order. Grandmas diner was the best !!! I remember going on Sundays after church it was the best fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy and corn and a home made roll. Yummy makes me hungry now

  8. Brenda ....only daughter says:

    Everyone should eat at the Waffle House if they have one where they live. Listen when they call your order out to the cook it’s amazing to try to figure out what people order. Grandmas diner was the best !!! I remember going on Sundays after church it was the best fried chicken mashed potatoes and gravy and corn and a home made roll. Yummy makes me hungry now

    • Kari says:

      Good Morning my Only Daughter….I enjoy hearing the “Good Morning” called out by everyone as one enters the Waffle House as well as the other diner speak they use! Fried Chicken Dinners have always been my favorite from the days of the Brookville Hotel in Brookville, Kansas. Luv ya!

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