by S.E. Luna
Sometimes good menu is not enough
|Heading out of town for a early drive one dreary, overcast Saturday morning, my husband and I decide that a good breakfast would be just the thing to get us on our way. We stop at a little diner on our route. It is 9:15 and the only people in the place are the waitress and cook.
We slide into a booth with a window overlooking the parking lot. The waitress stops by our table and gives us menus covered in plastic. She walks away to return five minutes later.
“Would you like to order now?” she asks. We order coffee and the waitress heads toward the direction of the kitchen.
We sit and talk about the places we will stop on our roadtrip. My throat and eyes begin to itch and water.
“They’ve got to do something about that smell. What do you think it is, mold or mildew?” I ask.
George looks around, then points to the ceiling. “Water damage,” he says. “Could be both.”
George is clearing his throat. We could really use that coffee. The waitress comes over to our table.
“I have to make fresh coffee,” she says and walks away.
It’s now 9:25.
“I think we should order something quick and get out of here.” I say. George smiles and nods his head in agreement.
At 9:30 the waitress finally brings us coffee and takes our double order for rye toast. We sit and talk, drinking our coffee. We hear the cook feverishly working in the kitchen, but figure he can’t be working on our order. At 9:40 the waitress comes over and refills our cups.
“Our order?” I ask.
“I’ll check,” she says, and heads to the kitchen.
We hear her say, “Where’s that toast order?”
Mumbling. We can hear them talking, but we can’t understand what is being said.
“It’s right here on the ticket,” she says biting off every word.
“What did you think it said?”
“Why would I give that order to you?”
She comes back toward our table, shaking her head and says, “I’m sorry, the cook misread the order.”
My curiosity piqued, I have to ask. “What did he think we ordered?”
“Root beer,” she says and walks away shaking her head.
At 10:00 the toast arrives. It’s good. Hot, with soft middle and crusty edges. Just the way I like it. At 10:05 the waitress comes by and places the little plastic tray with the bill on the table. There is still no one else in the place.
We finish our toast as fast as we can, pay our bill and head for the door. Outside, we gulp fresh air and clear our lungs.
If you are wondering about the bubble gum, it came with the bill.