Since All the Laboring I Intend to Do Today Involves Eating

Short-order Cook

by Jim Daniels

An average joe comes in

and orders thirty cheeseburgers and thirty fries.

I wait for him to pay before I start cooking.

He pays.

He ain't no average joe.

The grill is just big enough for ten rows of three.

I slap the burgers down

throw two buckets of fries in the deep frier

and they pop pop spit spit...


The counter girls laugh.

I concentrate.

It is the crucial point—

they are ready for the cheese:

my fingers shake as I tear off slices

toss them on the burgers/fries done/dump/

refill buckets/burgers ready/flip into buns/

beat that melting cheese/wrap burgers in plastic/

into paper bags/fries done/dump/fill thirty bags/

bring them to the counter/wipe sweat on sleeve

and smile at the counter girls.

I puff my chest out and bellow:

"Thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries!"

They look at me funny.

I grab a handful of ice, toss it in my mouth

do a little dance and walk back to the grill.

Pressure, responsibility, success,

thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries.


  1. Thank you for your post. Have many fond memories of Chicago. As ever be well


Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

Popular posts from this blog

Saturday in CinCity. The CollegeGrrrl Guest Writer Edition.

Sunday in CinCity. The "Three Things I Know About Life...It Goes On" Edition

A Year with EB White