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Sunday, February 16, 2014

All the Nuts aren’t with The Pancake’s Part 9

“I am not in the mood for tonight!” Lois screams as she slides a second cigarette out of her pack and lights it off the one she is about to put out.

“God damn it!” she scream’s feeling the pack in her hand. “I am down to my last two cigarettes.” “I was so late I didn’t get a chance to stop and pick up another one.”

“How will I make it through tonight?”

Lois digs through her change purse pulling out several singles.

“Damn it,” she mutters “Now I will have to use the machine here and pay two extra freaking dollars!” She sticks her cigarette in the ashtray, blows out a puff of smoke pushes her way out through the swinging door and onto the floor. Lois stops at the register punches “No Sale,” sharply with her finger and the drawer pops open with a “Ping!”

Digging with her fingers in the quarters she exchanges her singles for a handful of quarters. The machine at the front door only accepts quarters and the cost for a pack of cigarettes here is $4.50. “Highway Robbery!” Lois yells out loud while counting quarters to no one.

A customer stumbles to the register his check is in one hand and his other is holding onto a drunken girl in tight spandex pants. Her lipstick is smeared and the man has some of it on his lips and cheek. Making out drunk at Denny’s seems to be part of the date.

Lois completely ignores him and continues counting out quarters. The man clears his throat and shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot.

“Excuse me miss,” the man stammers holding his check in the air “Could I pay this here?”

Lois quickly shoots the man a look that stops him cold. His arm stays suspended in the air.

“I’m not on the floor yet!” Lois hisses through clenched teeth at him. Her voice begins to rise “Do I look like I’m on the floor yet?”  “Huh? Do I?” “Do I look like I’m on the floor yet?”

The man slowly lowers his arm then looks at his girlfriend and back at Lois.

“Well actually, you do look like your on the floor.” Says the man meekly.

Lois stops counting, she pauses briefly and then looks at the man. “I do not start work until 11pm, I still have 5 minutes before I have to be on this floor.” “When I get on the floor I will be happy to cash out your check, serve you a freaking Moons Over My Hammy or anything else you might need.

With that said, she returns to counting quarters.

The clock on the wall behind Lois reads 11:10 pm. The man puts out one finger and points behind her at the clock. Lois turns around slowly to look at the clock, then turns back to the man. A lone tear forms in the corner of her eye and rolls down her cheek.

Michelle who has returned to the floor to finish her side work slides up next to Lois. “Are you ok? “ Michelle asks a clearly shaken Lois.

Lois shakes her head ‘no’ and her lower lip begins to tremble.

I am standing at the wait stand in the middle of the restaurant watching this unfold. Michelle quickly scans the restaurant looking desperately for someone to help. Our eyes meet again. Michelle widens her eyes, which is clearly a plea for help from me.

As Michelle grabs a sobbing Lois by the elbow and takes her back into the kitchen, I slide in behind the register.

“How was everything? I ask, summoning up the most chipper voice I have.


To be continued…

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life/Down the Rabbit Hole". It cannot be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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