Workplace Barflies

This image, just like this post, does not cut the mustard.

This image, just like this post, does not cut the mustard.

There’s really no point to this post. Leave. Now. -Ed.

Feed. It’s what’s for dinner. Mmm. That sounds good. I’ll have that! Yeah, I’m a hundred and six years old, and I still make my own bread! (Prideful braggart.)

Well, what do you want to eat? Mmm. Do you have biscuit with a little bit of mustard on it? Mmm.

I don’t know about your family but in my family we have this tradition. Any time we assemble to break break together (or biscuit or whatever) there’s one thing we’ll do for sure: Discuss and speculate about the next meal a comin’.

It’s pretty much the exact opposite of being mindful and appreciative. Someone went to a lot of effort and bother to put this food before us. First, they had to have a vision and plan the damn thing, and that may be the hardest part of all. Then they went to a grocery store and spent money on stuff and brought it home. Then, using recipes and their own skills, prepared, assembled and cooked it all together while we sat on our lazy asses.

Yeah, I think they deserve more appreciation than us talking about the next meal we plan to shove in our face holes.

That said, where do you wanna go? To eat? That’s the conversation my wife and I had last night.

This is an excerpt of the transcript.

What do you want for dinner?

I don’t know. What do you want?

Oh shit. Snap. There went the space-time continuum.

Eventually we went for a drive. I did my best to toss out many suggestions. Finally, we drove past the initial place we discussed, took a left turn (left turn!), wavered a bit, then did a U-turn and ended back up at the original place.

As if there was any other possibility.

At this point we’re regulars. We walked in and spotted a familiar waiter. As always, he was workin’ the place alone. They say “seat yourself” but bitter experience has taught us to make eye contact and be acknowledged unless three-hour waits are something you enjoy. I tried in vain, but our timing was impeccable. He was trapped behind the bar and dealing with a friggin’ flash mob.

We decided to sit and wait it out in the hopes that, someday, I’d wave him down with road flares or something.

Meanwhile, I spotted our favorite waitress sitting at the counter. As regulars she has waited on us a lot and we feel we have a connection. She’s a typical Portland type. Tattoos, flannel lumberjack button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and she’s always sporting a stocking cap. Inside. Indoors. I describe her as the longshoreman waitress because, to me, that’s what she looks like. This is not meant to be insulting. We really like her.

So I was trying to catch her eye in the hopes that she would acknowledge our existence and wait on us. No dice. Eventually it dawned on me that she wasn’t there to work. She must have been off duty.


Work sucks. Everyone knows this. Why in the name of all that’s holy would an employee return to the scene of the crime and hang out? At your place of employment? No. Hell no!

I felt my opinion of her dropping a few notches. We settled in for the long wait of 42 minutes that it took for the flash mob to disperse.

I used to work from home. Once a week I was expected to swing by and pick up my paycheck. I wouldn’t do it. That’s the absolute power of my aversion to places of employment. I became a bit of a legend to the other employees. “That dude doesn’t even pick up his checks,” they’d say. Finally, every six weeks or so, dire circumstance would force me to make the trip like a groundhog afraid he might see his shadow. I tried like hell to calculate the odds to time things so I wouldn’t see the boss.

Popping in for 30 seconds while he wasn’t even there and absconding with the valuable pieces of paper? Sublime.

We recently watched Cheers on Netflix. It was there so what the hell. We got nothing better to do. Frequently the sitcom plot required one of the main characters who worked in the bar to come in and hang out on their day off. Without fail, every time this happened, I’d yell at the TV and bare my teeth. “Bullshit!” I know it’s fiction but still. Come on! Try to maintain some semblance of reality!

I actually got mad each time it happened. “No, no, no,” I moaned. “Get a life, Diane, Woody and Rebecca Howe.” Seriously. You’re supposed to be making me laugh. Not fueling my rage.

An hour later we were enjoying our kibble and the waitress got up, walked across the place, paused, looked around (I waved but she didn’t see me) then slinked away into the night. I wonder what I’ll say to her next time we meet.

See? I told you not to read this shit. WTF are you still doing here? Barfly. -Ed.

14 responses

  1. appreciation “that” us talking a
    walked in “a” spotted
    As regulars “she’s”
    Excellent visual details: “Tattoos, flannel lumberjack button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and she’s always sporting a stocking cap.”

    Nice work, quick pace, engaging, entertaining—as usual. The visual details are spot-on— along with your voice I’d say they’re a strength in your prose; in your revise address other senses, sprinkle in some auditory, olfactory sense details to round out and breathe more life into the scene. Also: “kibble” is a jaunty word, but I’mona need to know what kind of restaurant this is: did you get the Slamburger?

    Because I haven’t trolled in a long, long time, since I gave it up for Lent a couple years back. -Ed.


    1. Fixed! I do long to be edited so that was quite a thrill. Thanks!

      Yeah, it’s basically a slamburger place. A bar with a grill, but only because the law requires them to serve something edible with the libations.

      Now that you mention it, there was a key detail I left out of the story. My wife and I were sitting at our table when, suddenly, we both paused in unison and sniffed.

      “What the fuck is that?” I said.

      “I know. I smell it, too.”

      Thirty feet away at the bar was a gentleman who had just walked in. He looked like he had been gestated in a mound of dirt.

      “It can’t be him, can it? I mean, the dude is like 30 feet away!”

      Nuff said.


      1. Literally, and how often can one honestly say this?, laughing out loud. Key detail, money.


  2. Maybe the new color scheme is throwing me off.


    1. Alas, I had no choice. WordPress refused to address how recent improvements to their reblog function glitched out many of their themes. It looked like crap so I made a change.

      I’m selling the new red, white and blue as me wrapping myself in the flag.


      1. …because you are nothing if not patriotic.


  3. Thank you.
    My brain just melted.


    1. Humanity, you owe me one!


  4. I live to eat so every meal is an opportunity to gaze upon greener pastures. And wonder if the cow over on that side is grain feed and hormone-free.

    As always, Shouts, you rock the “huh?” post to perfection.
    It’s becoming a habit with you.


    1. The huh post. My specialty. That’s how you pump out 800+ words about absolutely nothing. I’m the Seinfeld of blogging. Only devoid of any actual talent.

      Cow. Moo. 40-ounce steak. Yee haw!!! To beef or not to beef, that is the question. Basically I got nothing right now, but I am proud of the grill marks on my hiney.


  5. Is that Jeff Daniels in the video? Wow.
    I hate that endless “Where do you want to go? I don’t know; where do YOU want to go?” loop. Ugh.
    Funny post!


    1. I think it might be Jeff Daniels, but probably not. If it was it would be better acted. For some reason, that damn Sizzler has stuck in my mind across the decades. We hates Sizzler for that.



      1. We hatesss it, my precioussss! 😉


  6. […] confusing (Heart Sisters), richer (Coffee), lovelier (Butterfly), and a whole lot weirder (Shouts). By far, Greg Adam York takes all, though: I don’t know how he’s surviving his life […]


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