23 As the Hangover Turns

As the Hangover Turns

 

<<tickets, which represent the orders of the customers out in the dining area, start

to print off the printer next to the microwave.  the microwave on the top shelf of

the serving line, located in front of your pretty face.>>

 

Thanks Bud.

 

<<do not mention it.  as the tickets print, the sound beckons Hopskotch to come

over from the dish pit to the salad line and assume his position.  he and Free Dave

(from Grill Land) listen to Ring Master Finnegan call out the first order of the day.  

you turn around and retrieve a pair of crabby patties to cook on the flat top grill.  

then you reach on the cooler behind Hopskotch for some chutney to serve along

side the crabby patties in a plastic ramekin.  there is hardly a spoonful of chutney

in the container.>>

 

“Shit.  Hey Hopskotch, could you run to the walk-in and grab the chutney back-up?”, you

ask.

 

“Sure thing.  Damn Free Dave, I thought your Beegals lovin’ ass stocked the line?”, says

Hopskotch.

 

<<Hopskotch leaves the line and walks back to the walk-in refrigerator, where all

the food back-ups and un-prepared produce and beer live.>>

 

“Dammit I did!  I was a bit drunk still, so I mighta missed some stuff…like everything

down there.”, slurs Free Dave.  <<to no one in particular>>

 

<<Free Dave stops poking the hamburgers on his grill and points to the salad line

and the bread rack and the sauce refrigerator>>

 

“And back the fuck off the Beegals dude.”, adds Free Dave.  <<in a butt-hurt and

condescending voice>>

 

“Damn Free Dave, I asked you to stock the line and tell me if we were out of anything.  

It’s not that fucking hard to make sauces is it?  Or just to let somebody else know that it

needs to be done?”, you say.  <<speaking angry-dad style at your co-worker/minion>>

 

<<Free Dave ignores you completely.  Hopskotch returns to the cooking line empty

handed and says,>>

 

“Well, we do not have a back-up of chutney made.  The night crew was supposed to make

sauces during last night’s down time.  Wait, didn’t you and Notnek run the show last

night after Boss got you out of jail Free Dave?”

 

“Blow me, Token Black Guy.”, says Free Dave.  

 

<<without taking his eyes off the hamburger he is burning>>

 

“Oh I’m gonna token black guy that ass Free!!”, Hopskotch yells.

 

<<Hopskotch does not in fact use his clenched fists to attack Free Dave in retaliation

for the racial slur; but instead walks out of the aforementioned kitchen/dining

room door and informs Angel, the Bartender, about the restaurant’s complete lack

of chutney.  Hopskotch then returns to the cooking line and goes back to making

various customer’s salads and sandwiches.  Finnegan, you shake your head and

start to call out meat items for Free Dave to grill and salad items for Hopskotch to

assemble.  In the middle of the second order you are calling out, Notnek barges into

the kitchen and bellows,>>

 

“Junior!!  Why, in the fuck are we out of chutney?!”

 

<<blue veins pulse in Notnek’s neck and the throbbing temples of his head.  rage

emanates from his Hawaiian print shirt>>

 

“Because, lucky you, you own a popular and moderately successful restaurant that folks

eat at everyday?”, you say indignantly.

 

<<an angry dad growl escapes through Notnek’s clenched teeth>>

 

“Don’t look at me Boss.  It was your boy Free Dave’s job to stock that end of the line this

morning, back around drunk thirty.”, you say.

 

<<you throw your co-worker under the bus and raise your hands in a “do-not-shoot-

me-officer” manner>>

 

“I don’t pay his drunk ass to run this kitchen, I pay your drunk ass!!  Make some gawd

damn chutney!!”, screams Notnek.

 

<<Boss stomps out of the kitchen with clenched fists.  the Waitresses scramble out

of his way>>

 

“I think that went well.”, says Free Dave.

 

“Hey Free Dave, I’m gonna go start some chutney.  When I get back you can take another

smoke break with my big black cock.”, says Hopskotch.

 

<<Hopskotch grabs a metal pot from over head with his right hand, grabs his

genitals with his left hand and nods his head at Free Dave.  your two co-workers

lock eyes in hostility before Hopskotch heads to the walk-in cooler for chutney

supplies>>

 

“I’m just gonna make these people food and talk to my vagina…”, you say to yourself.

 

<<the Cook, the Dishwasher, the Free Dave, the Waitress’s (what were their names

again?) and the Notnek feed three hundred of their closest friends (what were their

names again?) during the lunch rush.  the day shift at the Bucket o’ Blood winds

down to a close.  one Waitress quits (with only minimal encouragement from

Notnek), another Waitress silently vows to re-enroll in college as soon as this shift

is over, and Theta and Angel sip mind numb rum from styrofoam cups as they

count their tips>>

 

<<Lawyer Bob, a fixture at the Bucket o’ Blood bar during lunch hour, asks Angel,>>  

“Hey Love, can I talk you out of another glass of gin?”

 

“Sure thing Bob.”, says Angel with a smile.

 

<<upon reflection Bob then asks Angel for,>>  “Some beer battered fried shrimp

thingies and Angel Honey, don’t you think it’s time to take off that 18 hour bra?”  I mean,

Freedom is the ‘Merican’ way.  Free the ta-ta’s.  You deserve it.”

 

<<Notnek and another customer nearby chuckles, and Angel responds to Lawyer

Bob with a middle finger and a glass of gin.  she then wipes off the bar before

heading back to the kitchenette order a seafood heart attack for the barfly lawyer.  

in a restaurant there is always more work to do before doing more work>>

 

<<Lawyer Bob looks over at another obese man at the bar, raises his high-ball glass

of gin and asks the man,>>  “Why are we killing ourselves by eating all this unhealthy

food everyday?”

 

<<the whiskey swilling, yet life savvy customer answers,>> “Because it beats the hell

outta eating lead for lunch!”

 

<<Lawyer Bob and obese Whiskey man laugh heartily at this joke.  Whiskey man

then adds,>> “I sure am glad that the food ain’t trying to eat us tho!”

 

<<Whiskey man then raises his hamburger and pretends that it is a mouth trying to

bit him in the neck.  the two barfly men play with their food at the bar and

occasionally stare at the Waitress’s and the Bartender’s rear ends as they work.  the

Waitress’s (hold on i have their names…no i lost them) clean tables and take dishes

back into the kitchen.  Angel walks back to the kitchen to check on the order of

Lawyer Bob’s cancer causing food>>

 

“Can I get those shrimp sticks please?”, asks Angel.

<<Angel stares through the cook line windows at the kitchen crew.  she sees the

cook side of the kitchen as a painting or a video.  there are three metal tables and

refrigerators and/or freezers that separate the Waitress’s air conditioned and

customer inhabited world from the Cook’s world of heat, fire, smoke and grease.  

everything on the Cook’s side of the line is covered in a layer of grease.  this is true

of the Cook and her insides.  Angel knows this from brief embraces in the well

stocked walk-in.  Finnegan, you are handsie.>>

 

I..uh..well i appreciate beauty.

 

<<indeed.  the Waitresses and their side of the line is also contaminated.  everything

there is covered in customer residue.  the customer residue is a mixture of sticky,

needy hands and of desire.  the desire to be fed and cared for.  this emanates from

all humans, but comes in overpowering quantities from customers.>>

 

You’re a philosopher.  How cute.  That’s actually kind of hot.  Even from the imaginary

fiend inside my head.

 

<<everyone is a critic Finnegan.  you know what else is hot?  melted animal fat

inside the kitchen grease.  the grease residue is the product of burning the blood of

the earth to heat up the muscles and fat of the animals of the earth to the

Department of Serving Humans’ regulation temperatures.  Angel thinks about this

as she watches everyone on the Cook side of the line ignore her food order.  

Hopskotch is washing the sink full of dishes.  Free Dave is moving grease around in

a circle with a broom.  you are wandering around writing down your produce order

for the afternoon>>

 

“Yo!  The lady who feeds your alcohol habit needs your service.”, Angel hollers.

 

<<she hollers at everyone, but mainly to you as she waives the bar ticket in her

hand>>

 

“Yes indeed Love.  One of us is on our way to fulfill your needs, in whatever manner you

desire.”, you say.  <<with a faux innocent smile on your pretty mouth>>

 

<<Angel, Hopskotch and Free Dave all have a laugh.  good times watching humans

enjoying yourselves.  the Dishwasher, the Cook and the Bartender look to Free

Dave, expecting him to take the frozen processed shrimp meat out of the freezer he

is standing directly in front of and put it into the fryer (which is on his other side)  

Free Dave does neither of these things.  he looks from the ice box on his right side

to the bubbling oil on his left side.  he shrugs his shoulders and puts his greasy

broom to rest against the freezer>>

 

“I’m goin ta smoke.”, says Free Dave

 

<<he says this with great emphasis on the “o” in smoke.  it almost sounds as if he is

declaring that he is going out to choke.  Free Dave takes off his apron and throws it

on Notnek’s desk as he helps himself to another of the Boss’ cigarettes on the way

out the Black Metal BackDoor of the Bucket o’ Blood>>

 

“The fuck?!”, says Angel.  <<she slams the bar ticket down on the food pick up table.  

the fabled dividing line between cook and waitstaff territory.  you turn toward

Hopskotch and say,>>

 

“Rock Paper Scissors?”

 

“Naww I’ve got it buddy.  You finish your order.  I need to spend some quality time

staring at Theta’s ass anyway.”, says Hopskotch.

 

<<Hopskotch rinses off his dish soaped hands and towels them off on his apron

during his walk down the line toward fridge, freezer and fryer>>

 

“Well good luck with that ass buddy.”, you say.

 

<<you force a smile on your human face and remember to write down frozen

chutney chilis on your produce order.  as you walk up to the front of the house, you

notice that Theta is indeed rotating her rear bumper in the general direction of the

kitchen.  men and women are really weird, you know that right Finnegan?>>

 

I know that’s right…

 

<<ha!  i see what you did there>>

 

<<after watching Hopskotch watch Theta shake her money-maker, you walk around

Theta and up to the middle of the bar, where Angel is drying high ball glasses with a

bar towel>>

 

“Need anything Love?”, you ask Angel.  <<tapping your order notepad>>   

 

“Other than a new life?”, says Angel.

 

“For the bar, food service items from our good buddy Torch.”, you say.

 

<<it is best to clarify your questions around these people i have noticed>>

 

“Let me check.”, Angel says.  <<she opens cabinets behind the bar>>

“I need a case of pineapple juice and a couple bottles of grenadine please.”

 

<<you write the times on your list and are turning to head back into the kitchen.  

two steps away from the bar you hear,>>

“Well how’s it going miss Finnegan?”

 

<<it is Lawyer Bob, at the end of the bar, drinking his lunch and looking for a buddy

to talk to.  you like Lawyer Bob and enjoy the conversations the two of you have,

even when he is mainly talking to your breasts>>

 

Yeah, it’s never awkward here at the Bucket o’ Blood.

 

<<indeed.  other than fried shrimp and mass quantities of expensive liquor, Lawyer

Bob has great taste in healthy food.  it was he who introduced you to the delicious

super grain, Quinoa>>

 

“When is the Bucket o’ Blood gonna start serving some healthy whole grain dishes

Finnegan?”, asks Lawyer Bob.

 

“Well I tried to talk to Notnek about it the other day, and he said; that while generally

these days, a woman’s place is not necessarily the kitchen, mine is.  So I had better ‘keen-

waa’ my ass back there.”, you say.

 

<<Notnek returns to the bar from parts elsewhere>>

 

“Did I really say that Junior?”, Notnek asks.

 

“Yup.”, you say.

 

“Huh, that was pretty good.  I’m getting quite a way with words.  Hanging out with you

annoying college kids must be rubbing off on me.  Speaking of rubbing off, get back in

the kitchen Junior.”, Notnek says.

 

<<Notnek turns to Lawyer Bob and laughs.  “Harr dee Harr Harr” is all you hear from

Notnek, Lawyer Bob and Angel, as you head back to your den of inequity>>

 

“I really hope something unpleasant happens to that guy.”, you mutter to yourself.

 

&&&drawing of the painting below&&&

 

<<you pass by Free Dave.  both of you are on your way back to the kitchen.  you

walk straight through the front room of the kitchen, past Hopskotch cooking on the

line to your left and the dish pit on your right.  you walking the back kitchen room

and out of the Black Metal BackDoor on your right.  you check the shed and the

coffin freezer for more missing supplies to order.  you think back to a painting that

you did of Lawyer Bob riding a rainbow puking unicorn standing next to Notnek

drinking beer in his undies.  you wonder whatever happened to that painting.  oh

wait, your memories (swimming in a sea of booze they be) show that you sold the

piece of art to a gypsy woman through an online auction a year or so back.  perhaps

your art child is out there on the road; much like your human child Baby Thor.  you

sit down in the shed and cry for all your missing pieces.  since your breathing seems

to be unaffected by your sobbing, you end your crying jag and smoke some cannabis

before calling in your food order to Rickie Torch, the food service extraordinaire>>

 

<<the phone calls with Torch always go something like this:>>

 

You:  Hello Torch?

 

Torch: What’s shakin’ Gorgeous?  I’ve got what you need, merely say the word and I’ll

give it to you!

 

You:  Jeeze man.  Is your night job drug sales or prostitute rental?

 

Torch:  What do you mean Pussy Cat?  I deal delicious food 24/7!
You:  Right then,  here’s what the restaurant needs by tomorrow, 4 cases of russet

potatoes, 2 cases of tomatoes, 1 bunch of carrots, 5 lbs of sliced red onions, 50 lbs of

whole yellow onions, 1 case of iceberg lettuce, 1 case of romaine lettuce, 1 case of

avocados, 1 case of napkins, 1 case of grenadine, 1 case of god-damn chutney, 1 block of

cheddar, 1 case of swiss, 2 cases of fryer oil,  and Notnek wants a case of the new super

cheap meat you conned him into trying…

 

Torch:  I’ll give you all that and every inch of sweet lovin’ I’ve got pretty little lady.  See

you in the morning, have a sexalent evening!

 

<<after finishing your food order and reminding Notnek to file sexual harassment

charges against Food Representative Torch (Notnek just laughs and sips his beer)

you head back to the kitchen and help with the lunch rush restock/re-clean work>>

 

<<you survey the scene:  Free Dave is cooking a hamburger on the grill.  Hopskotch

is assembling five different salads and two different sandwiches at the salad end of

the line.  the Waitresses are placing all of the lunch customers’ dirty dishes into a

bus tub for Hopskotch to wash.  as soon as they notice you walk into the kitchen:

both Free Dave and Hopskotch look first at you, and then at each other, and then at

the growing pile of dirty dishes, and then back at the food being prepared.  

everyone’s eyes bounce from one wordk load to the next.  Hopskotch continues to

work.  Free Dave flips the burger he has been cooking onto a hamburger bun on a

plate.  he then walks over to the salad line side and reaches infront of Hopskotch,

takes a scoop of sandwich sauce and spreads it on the top bun before closing the

hamburger sandwich.  Free Dave throws the sauce scoop back over Hopskotch’s

salad assembling hands.  Hopskotch looks up at his co-worker in disgust.  Free Dave

replaces a spatula on the grill and leaves the cooking line, making for the Black

Metal BackDoor of the Bucket o’ Blood>>

 

“Well Hop-a-Long n’ Junior, it’s been real and it’s been fun, but it’s beer thirty and this

boy is done.”, says Free Dave.

 

<<Free Dave pulls off his apron and throws to on the Boss’s chair and helps himself

to another of the Boss’s cigarettes>>

 

“Woah!  Hold on there little doggie.”, says Notnek.  

 

<<the Boss casually strolls into the kitchen from the front of the house>>

 

“Junior and Hop-a-Long can’t stay all day and play Free Dave, they’ve gotta come back

and run my restaurant tonight.  Turns out y’all’s idgit night cook buddies went out

partying after closing last night.  They can’t make it to work this afternoon on account of

them being in jail.”, says Notnek merrily.

 

<<Notnek walks all the way through the front kitchen, past you and Hopskotch and

comes to a stop.  he stands next to his minion, Free Dave.  Free Dave looks

somewhat frightened; with his back to the Black Metal BackDoor of the Bucket o’

Blood.  Notnek plucks the stolen cigarette out of Free Dave’s mouth and tosses it

into his own.  Notnek winks at you and Hopskotch (you are both still cooking and

cleaning whilst watching the angry dad torment Free Dave) and pats Free Dave on

the cheek.  Notnek moves past Free Dave to the Black Metal BackDoor in

preparation to ignore the sound of his three employees’ protest at extra working

hours.  Notnek stops mid exit-stride when he notices a cigarette lighter on the edge

of Free Dave’s hamburger plate.  Notnek snatches the lighter and lights the twice

stolen cigarette>>

 

“Guess I’ll be eating this tasty burger here…”, says Free Dave.

 

<<you walk with Hopskotch into the kitchen’s back room and take off your apron.  you take Hopskotch’s and hang it, with your’s upon the equipment rack behind Free Dave.  you and Hopskotch both stand and smile at your angry co-worker.  Hopskotch picks up Free Dave’s discarded apron off of Boss’s desk and holds it out to Free Dave>>

 

“Your dad said to put this back on and get back to work bud.”, you say.  <<with Finnegan

merriment floating through your words>>

 

“Dad?!  The only dad I’ve heard around here was your baby’s daddy calling to remind

you to eat a dick, Finnegan.”, says Free Dave.

 

<<he then takes a bite of his burger and walks backwards, sliding on the toes of his

shoes toward the cooking line>>

 

“Don’t disembowel the co-worker.  Can’t go home if I disembowel the co-worker.”, you

say.

 

<<with clenched fists and tears building in your eyes.  you and Hopskotch silently

walk to the from of the house and up to the bar to drink the Boss’s booze infront of

Free Dave’s angry working eyes>>

 

“Don’t let Free Dave punk you around with low hanging emotional fruit buddy.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.

<<he pats you on the back of your battered black leather jacket.  the two of you are

now walking away from the Bucket o’ Blood.  Notnek came back in from his post

“Mock the Employees” smoke break to chase you and Hopskotch away from his bar

and his Waitresses.  now your friend is trying to cheer you up, as the two of you

walk toward another bar.  you and Hopskotch plan to drink with a couple of your

friends before returning to the Bucket o’ Blood and cooking for 300 of Notnek’s

closest personal friends later this evening>>

 

A lot of the regulars actually are Boss’s friends.  They actually come eat and drink here

everyday.  It is scary.

 

<<kind of like you do?>>

 

Well at least I get paid to eat and drink here…

 

<<i think it is odd Finnegan; you spend a lot of time hanging out at bars before going

out to hang out at yet more bars.  you complain about having to go cook at the bar,

but then after you finish cooking at the bar you usually stay there and drink.  and

then many times you finish drinking at work and go out with Hopskotch or other

friends to other bars to hang out and drink… followed by drunken complaining

about you having to be at the bar the next day.  one would think since you spend so

much time there working, it would be the last place you would want to hang out in

your limited free time.  well Finnegan?>>

 

Yeah, I’ve got nothing.  You beat me with logic Virus.

 

<<you walk with Hopskotch and he winds down your pep talk as you and he near a

bar (surprise! not surprised) and restaurant called the Howdy Partner>>

 

“Yeah I know Free Dave was just trying to punk me, but he did it with more wit than I

thought him capable of.  It’s like he and Notnek have been working their minds out…

getting smarter or something.”, you say.

 

“Because it definitely isn’t all the booze you drink making you dumber…”, says

Hopskotch.

 

“Of course not.”, you say.

<<both of you are only partly kidding.  now let us take some time to meet some of

the other folks involved in your story, shall we?>>

 

&&&Finnegan putting up a hand to stop floating virus from talking image&&

 

Whoa!  Whoa!  Hold on a minute little doggie.

 

<<what? what is wrong buddy?>>

 

We’re moving a little fast here don’t you think?

 

<<it is called a logical plot progression Finnegan.  i am telling you a story>>

 

Well I feel that you are going through the events in my life with way too much brevity.

 

<<i apologize.  let me drone on and on about the rust and water stains on the

outside of the walk-in.  or the constant trash smell when you stand out back to

smoke a cigarette or some weed.  or how Free Dave did not shake his worthless

pecker quite enough after urinating and you could notice the dribble down the

front of his pants after he came back from pissing out behind the shed…>>

 

Ewww!! Shut up Vile-rASS!!

 

<<really?  are you a child Finnegan?>>

 

No, but now that you mention it; let me tell you a story…

 

&&&Finnegan holding book and Virus holding up two tentacles in a hands pleading manner image&&&

 

<<no!! wait, i am sorry.  please do not do it…>>

 

This is a children’s story that I used to read to Baby Thor every night before bed.

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