Three Eggs with a side show

This one time when I was in my early twenties; I worked slinging eggs in a tiny diner. A local family-owned hole-in-the-wall.

With one door in and and one door out. It was old with lots of dark wood and a single dingy window. The walls were covered in old paneling and cheap pastel art. Booths lined the walls, and in the middle of the room were scattered four tops making a third row of business beside the counter. The counter was lined with old vinyl spinny counter stools, probably fourteen of them sat in front of a brown Formica countertop. The grill, fridge and prep station were on the other side. This is where we would display all of our own nonsense for the customers to watch. The kitchen was around the corner and you could hide in there and smoke alone if the cook wasn’t pissed off and tossing shit around. You had to step up into the bathrooms. If you couldn’t walk, weighed more than 150 lbs. or were in a wheelchair, you had to piss yourself.

This dump became my daily routine for a few years. Always the greedy one, I worked the entire diner waiting on both the counter and the tables, alone.

I worked for three brothers. They could have been the three bears except none of them was just right. Red was my favorite. He stayed out of my way. He was the oldest and what I now recognize as autistic in some form. He was also a sterotypically depressed short and overweight red headed Jew. He was definitely the sweetest of the three. They thought he was stupid. I knew he was the only one who had a clue.

{Plus he paid me and never ripped me off like the other two dummies}

The middle and tallest brother was an asshole. He was moody and unpredictable. He went to culinary school and once worked for the Four Seasons and was now stuck grilling eggs,  making pot roast and baked mac and cheese at his parents dumpy diner.

{Enough said}

The baby was just that. A big baby. He thought he ran the show. And mostly he did the PR. He had the ragtime talk and the face that the others did not. He was married with two lap dogs.

{I said lap dogs! Not lap tops}

The diner was on a main street and because I had worked on this street for so long, I already knew the locals. Locals is what we mostly served. College kids on the weekends; but during the week it was the regular cast of misfits in a city food joint. It’s quite interesting when I think back and realize how much of my life was dictated by who I met at that egg joint. Quite frankly it was a fluke I ever worked there. I first worked next door at the Florist and would go in daily for coffee and food.

I was a local! One day one of the brothers asked me to fill in. Imagine my amazement at my egg slinging capabilities and all that this diner could offer me. I could chat, pour coffee and toss food at people. And smoke. Yes, this was a happy time when you could read the paper, drink strong coffee and inhale deeply at the counter. It was divine at the time. Daily cash to spend nightly. What better way to diffuse a hangover than pacing, with an endless supply of coffee, carbonated beverages and indoor smoking?

The mother of this all male brood was a small grouchy woman. Not the type of woman you would want to talk to. Or, look at quite frankly. She was there the first week I started and then went south for the winter. After that when ever she came back (once a year maybe) I would quit until she left. The boys would have rather had me there than their mother anyway.

When I was there they didn’t worry. I took care of shit. It’s how I roll. Less work for them. I could drag my ass in at four and prep bacon, home fries, puddings and set up a grill. I could make two pots of coffee and unlock the door for the bug guy so he could flirt and flick ashes in his pocket.

{The pocket ash flick did not require him remove the cigarette from his mouth to flick-it, he merely opened his pocket}

The Bug Guy had a buddy, The Mad Arab who had a midget shadow boy that worked for him. The Midget Shadow Boy had a crush on me. Next to them was the Plumber with a Big Mouth and loose hands, his Egotistical Plumber Son and The Son’s Sidekick. The rest of the counter was rounded out daily with other misfits and lonely people. Myself included.

{Oddly enough, The Egotistical Plumber’s Son’s Sidekick and I many years later I would go through a strange thing that included the freakishly smallest penis ever}

I truly enjoyed the early morning camaraderie of the blue collar world. I loved my big curly long dark hair I wore in a high pony with my black apron snug around my body. It was a comfortable feeling, those long ties wrapped double around my waist daily. Daily. This small group of freaks were my ritual for so long. It’s good to have a ritual. I’m going to share about this one daily, so you get the whole picture.

I know I will enjoy telling it. Now for a smoke.

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