Monday, September 5, 2011

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...

psss...

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 comment:

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

    ReplyDelete

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