Machiko took a phone order, but couldn't listen correctly because of the construction...
| On a hot summer morning, Mrs. Kawauchi, who worked in a cosmetics store on a cypress street, went to a catering company next door.
“Good morning, Machiko. It’s gonna be hot today,” she said.
“I hope it gets cooler soon,” Machiko said.
“We’ll repair our roof sign this morning, and it takes about an hour. I’m afraid it may be a little noisy,” Mrs. Kawauchi said.
“That’s okay,” Machiko said.
Half an hour later, Machiko took a phone order.
“Thanks for Trampoline Raccoon’s Tablecloth. This is Machiko speaking. How can I help you?” she said.
“Hi, I would like to order lunch menu,” a man said.
“Sure. What would you like to order, sir?” she said.
“Two tuna rice ball and two chicken rice ball,” the man said when Machiko heard an electric drill making a shrill noise.
“Oh, sorry, sir,” she said, pressing a phone to her right ear, covering her left ear with her left hand. “Two tuna rice bowl and two chicken rice bowl. Is that it?” she said.
“Yes, that’s it,” the man said.
“Is this for take-out or for delivery?” she asked.
“Take-out, please. I’m Wang Wei. I’ll come for about 30 minutes,” the man said and hanged up the phone.
Machiko handed her memo she had jotted down Mr. Wang’s order to Tokiko.
“We have to cook four rice bowl in thirty minutes. Okay, I cook two chicken bowls, and you make two tuna bowls,” Tokiko said.
Tokiko took out chicken meat and eggs from a refrigerator and put disposable rice bowls on a kitchen countertop. Machiko prepared sliced raw tuna fish and began to chop green onions. Steam was rising from a pot, and there were beads of sweat on their foreheads.
Thirty minutes later, Mr. Wang with his two sons, Zihang and Xinyi, entered into Trampoline Raccoon’s Tablecloth. Two little boys carried two big knapsacks on their backs and romped around in the store, their faces shining with joy. It was a perfect day for a school outing.
“Good morning. I’m Wang Wai. I ordered four rice balls about half an hour ago,” Mr.Wang said.
“Thank you for coming, Mr.Wang…Please…please let me repeat your order to make sure everything is okay…Two tuna rice bowls and Two chicken rice bowls?” Tokiko asked him with a trembling voice.
“No. I’ve ordered two tuna rice balls and two chicken rice balls. My kids take them as picnic lunches,” he said when he heard a loud crashing sound from a kitchen. Mr. Wang looked at a woman standing by broken dishes over a counter. Tokiko saw her co-worker turn pale from being shocked.
Mr. Wang was at a loss of what to do because a school bus should be arriving in ten minutes, and there was little space for boy’s knapsacks except for two rice balls. Machiko was about to cry when Mrs. Kawauchi’s voice echoed through a store:
“Roof sign repair has finished, and I wish to give you this as a token of my appreciation.”
Mrs. Kawauchi showed two bear drawstring bag full of the doughnut to Machiko and Tokiko. Mr. Wang and Tokiko said almost at the same time:
“Just the right size!”
Mr. Wang hurried to cram tuna rice bowl and chicken rice bowl into each bear drawstring bag, and Zihang and Xinyi ran across a street to catch the school bus. Mr. Wang was already out of breath, but the boys were able to get on the bus. On the counter of Trampoline Raccoon’s Tablecloth, there were another two rice bowls for Machiko and Tokiko’s lunch.