40 Hamburger Battle

“Flying on your motorcycle… watch the ground beneath you drop…You’d kill yourself for

recognition…kill yourself to never ever stop…you’re turning into something you love not

… don’t leave me high…don’t leave me dry…”

-Amanda Fucking Palmer covering the

popular hits of RadioHead on her magical ukulele.

 

Hamburger Battle

 

<<after Notnek’s “pep talk”, the Bucket o’ Blood crew goes back to work.  fork fasta’

slaves.  Hopskotch Sunday washes dishes and cooks the few orders for the few

customers who trickle in during the afternoon lull.  Finnegan, you are moving

quickly from the shed out back to the kitchen and the dining room inside, back and

forth.  you are preparing a list of food and food service items to order from that

Rickie Torch guy.  Angel is polishing glasses and making drinks behind the bar.  

Theta is taking the few customers their drinks and their food as Hopskotch puts it

up in the kitchen window.  Free Dave sits at the bar washing down pain meds with a

cape cod.  Notnek stares at Free Dave and everyone else in the B.o.B. with a smug

look made up of disappointment, disgust and dissatisfaction.  the Spirit of Reverend

Duff floats above the mop bucket and reflects on what was versus what is>>

 

<<everyone is quiet and pensive.  the Cook (you) and the Dishwasher and the

Bartender and the Waitress and the Boss and the Janitor and the Free Dave are all

in separate, yet collective, worlds colored by marijuana, homicide and individual

personalities.  it is not until you openy mock the night crew, that the Mostly High

Reverend Duff starts to speak to you.  you hear his voice clearly in your head,>>

 

“That reminds me.  The old kitchen manager Jaybee had advice about regarding one’s co-

workers of lesser skill: ‘It sure feels great winning Gold at the Special Olympics, doesn’t it

bud?’”, says Duff.  <<in the vacuum of time.>>  

 

Way to suck at life bud

 

<<there are two evening cooks, Russell and Krist.  Krist is a lanky, white male with

short cropped and balding red hair and a scraggly red beard.  he is a stoner-rock

musician and has worked off and on at the Bucket o’ Blood since the 1980’s.  washing

dishes here was his first job as a kid.  he does good work, you think, except for the

fact that Krist goes out back in-between every other order he cooks and takes puff

off of his marijuana one-hitter.  this man takes more pot smoke breaks than those

two guys in that one stoner movie.  

(you know the one)>>

 

<<Russel is a short moderately obese white male in his early thirties.  he has only

worked at the Bucket o’ Blood for three weeks.  he is seemingly not a very talented

or motivated individual; or if he is, he hides it very, very well.  before you hired him

you read his work history on his employment application; it was a short yet

impressively unimpressive read.  you do not enjoy working with Russell, however

enjoy watching Notnek groan everyeverytime that he watches Russell clock in.  it

actually brings the Boss pain to acknowledge that he is paying Russell to be in hisss

restaurant.>>

 

<<Hopskotch tags in the B-team cooks and signals you to meet him outside the

Bucket o’ Blood.  you take the cordless phone from behind the bar (as Notnek has

yet to replace the kitchen phone that was “mysteriously” destroyed) and place a call

to salesman extraordinaire, Rickie Torch.  as per usual, Rickie Torch attempts to

keep you on the phone twice as long as necessary in an attempt to up sale you on

things the restaurant does not need.  Rickie then follows up the failed attempt to

con you into spending more of the Boss’s money, by trying to ask you out on a date.  

you tell Rickie Torch to meet you at the corner of Heart Attack and Wine at sixty

three minutes past midnight and hang up the phone before he can reply.  you take

the phone back to the Bartender and walk back into the kitchen to go over the night

specials with Russell and Krist.  Krist writes down the specials as you tell them to

him.  Russell sighs and looks at you dejectedly after you finish detailing what needs

to be accomplished by him and Krist in between cooking food orders this evening>>

 

“What’s wrong Russell?”, you ask.  <<with concern in your voice>>

 

“Hrrrnn…nothing.  Sigh.  I just meant to quit today.  That’s all.  I’m tired, I don’t feel like

working… ya’ know?”, Russell says.

 

<<you nod reassuringly and put your hand on his shoulder>>

 

“Way to suck at life bud.  I’d fire your lazy ass but I had one co-worker die yesterday and another lose his hand today.  So I’m gonna need you to cowboy up and cook a few hamburgers tonight little buddy.”, you say.

 

<<Russell sighs again.  he looks even sadder and turns away to get a back up tub of

salad mix from the walk-in cooler>>

 

“Try not to cry on the sandwiches tonight Russell!”, you say.

 

<<hollering these words to the lack of ambition masquerading as a cook, you turn to

share you moment of humor with Krist, but he’s already out back getting high.  you

do your best Reverend Duff impersonation.  you lift your shoulders, let a out a

lengthy sigh as you lower them and mutter,>>  “Some peoples’ children.”

 

<<Duff is still advising you from the grave.  this makes you smile, until you see the

ticket printer has three freshly printed customer food orders hanging from it and

there is not a night cook insight to do the cooking.  you walk to the Black Metal Back

Door of the Bucket o’ Blood , open it and holler,>>

 

“This food ain’t gonna cook itself!”

 

<<you turn and walk back through the kitchen and into the dining area of the

restaurant to clock out and tell the Boss and the Bartender goodbye.  the restaurant

has a few more customers in it since you last poked your head out here.  you punch

in your employee I.D. number into the computer.  you turn to Notnek and say,>>

“I’m outta here boss.  Enjoy the evening.”  <<Notnek looks from your face to the two

lost looking cooks back in the kitchen and back to your face again>>

 

“Junior, are you really gonna make me watch this lack of talent show in the kitchen all

night?”, asks Notnek.

 

<<the answer he is fishing for from you is something like, “oh no boss, i would be

happy to stay seven more hours and cook for your drunk friends.  heck, i would

even do it for free!”  but the answer he actually receives from you is,>>

 

“Of course not Boss.  Close your eyes and cry anytime you like”, you say.

 

<<you blow the Angel behind the bar a kiss and walk out the front door of the

Bucket o’ Blood with your battered black leather jacket slung over your right

shoulder>>

 

“What took you so long buddy?  I had time to play a couple rounds of hackey sack with a

couple stoner chicks that were wandering by the B.o.B.”, says Hopskotch.

 

<<in greeting as you walk toward him in the Bucket o’ Blood parking lot.  Hopskotch

is wearing blue jeans with holes in the knees, a spouse beater undershirt and a

flannel tied around his waist.  the sunlight reflects off of his muscular arms and is

blinding to your kitchen weary eyes.  you realize how exhausted all the kitchen

managing and binge drinking has made you when you watch Hopskotch jump from

one foot to the other, kicking the hackey sack up into the sky.  his dreadlocks scatter

through the air like a murder of crow scared of oncoming traffic.  you and

Hopskotch should go on a anti-alcohol motivational speaking tour.  to put it bluntly,

Finnegan, you look like dog shit in comparison to your nubile stoner friend>>

 

Ok, ok I get it.  I am not an imbecile… I know I am a wreck.  A hot mess.  Thanks bud.

 

<<Finnegan, i am a virus.  i do not think you are all that hot.  just a great place to

replicate and learn.  i do want to offer you some life advice while we hang out

together.  and if you cannot quit drinking yourself to death, then atleast you could

take your act on the road and warn other humans not to do like you done>>     

 

You really think I could make a difference Virus?

 

<<naaaawwww Finnegan, i am just fucking with you.  i am going to destroy all of

humanity and make the world in my image.  you imbeciles had your chance.  step

aside and watch how a professional does it>>

 

Imbeciles?  Is that Spanish for human or something?

 

<<ok, back to the narrative…wait, imbecile?  meh.  Notnek is in the restaurant

watching two other imbeciles try and cook food.  Hopskotch Sunday is playing kick

the sack in the parking lot and you are hung over holding a leather jacket over your

shoulder.  you look up at Hopskotch and explain why you took so long to join him>>

 

“Ahhh, you know, I was practicing being an asshole.  I had to make Russell and Krist

actually work and I took a moment to tell Boss to eat a dick.  You know, the usual.”, you

say.  <<and slip into your leather jacket>>

 

“It is hard work being a pimp.”, says Hopskotch.  <<he knees the sack of hack in your

direction>>

 

<<the two of you kick the bean bag back and forth for several minutes and then

start to wander down the alleyway in the direction of the Howdy Partner.  you and

Hopskotch have a food service slacker playdate with Star and Dasha>>

 

<<imbecile…wait…is that Spanglish for human?>>

 

It sure is you foolish internal puppet master….bater.

 

<<i am going to go make ‘Merica’ grate again.  cheese.  later loser.>>

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