Study Guide

Diner Waitress and Cook Near the Twin Cities in Travels with Charley

By John Steinbeck

Diner Waitress and Cook Near the Twin Cities

These folks make a lot of fun of Steinbeck for getting lost in their area, claiming that they themselves couldn't manage to get turned around even if they tried: "You must be a stranger around here, getting lost in Minneapolis. I couldn't get lost blindfolded" (3.2.29). Um, yes, that sounds super-safe, sir.

Beyond the fact that these folks are smug and know-it-all-y, the only other major thing we learn here is that the waitress is a kind of strange-looking bird; Steinbeck can't pinpoint whether she's really young or really old: "The waitress was no Brunhild but a lean, dark-faced little thing, either a young and troubled girl or a very spry old woman, I couldn't tell which" (3.2.12). We imagine that would be pretty disconcerting.