Missing the Road?

March 5, 2007

I was checking out the new “Where are they now” section of the WWE website, and I was struck by a comment made by one of the Stars featured. I don’t remember who it was that said this, but they said that they missed the boys and they missed the road. While I certainly understand missing the boys, as I too miss a lot of the guys I used to spend my life with, but missing the road is a concept I just can’t get a handle on.

I guess that was one of the things that separated me from a lot of the other guys in this industry. A lot of guys enjoy the road and the life style that goes a long with being a pro-wrestler, but I always disliked it. For me life on the road was the dues I had to pay in order to do the job I loved so much. I had fun on the road, don’t get my wrong, but never being a partier, the road always seemed to be the hard work part of the job.

When I think of the road, I think of early mornings, airports, flight delays, rental cars, long drives, no sleep, and the unpacking and repacking of suitcases. I can’t imagine anyone actually missing that. The tiredness and constant dread of the road does fade over time, but the few times I’ve made appearances since leaving the road, it usually hits me again on my drive to the airport, and I find myself think, “What the hell am I doing, why did I agree to this booking?”

Apart from the boys, and the fun involved in working in front of a live crowd, I’ve come to the realization there is only one thing I miss about being on the road, pancakes! This was a rather strange realization but I was watching a movie or TV show, I don’t remember which, and I was reminded of some very special pancakes I used to eat on the road and it hit me just how much I miss them.

I was very repetitive on the road and I always ate at the same restaurants and order the same meals. I usually ate breakfast food for 2 out of my 3 meals, as I was a big egg white omelet fan and would always order eat egg white omelets with turkey. I would even order them the same way, something Christian and Don Callis used to enjoy making fun of me for and would often mimic me like a bad echo when I ordered. “I’d like 8 egg whites, made like an omelet, with turkey in, as dry as humanly possible…NO butter.” As a treat and to allow for some Carbs in my diet I would usually also order a side of pancakes, again…No butter.

It isn’t just pancakes I miss, I can after all get pancakes at home, it’s 2 very special kinds of pancakes, that I miss and the 2 restaurants that served them are not available here in Canada. The first should be obvious with my very public love affair with Cracker Barrel restaurants. Cracker Barrel has great pancakes, but even better than their regular ones, are the ones that are only available at certain times of the year. Occasionally Cracker Barrel would offer, Maine Blueberry Pancakes, and I’ve got to tell you they are one of the tastiest meals I’ve ever eaten. When the Maine Blueberry pancakes were on the menu I would order the full order every time we stopped. I doubt they were the healthiest meal I ate on the road, but hell what’s a few extra miles on the treadmill compared to pancake heaven.

The other great pancakes are served at Bob Evans restaurants, my other favourite dining spot on the road. Bob Evans serves Cinnamon Hotcake, which are on par with the Cracker Barrel Maine Blueberry pancakes and where a huge highlight to life on the road for me. I actually carried both a Cracker Barrel and Bob Evans restaurant guide map with me on the road so I could plot out our road trips in order to eat at one of these 2 restaurants for breakfast whenever possible.

There were even those very special towns (Pittsburgh, Dayton, Buffalo) where there was both a Bob Evans and a Cracker Barrel and the same hotel exit and we would have to make that oh so difficult call, Blueberry or Cinnamon pancakes, ah that was the life, and something worth missing.

Lance Storm