By Aron White
Running an all-you-can-eat buffet gets a bit dull sometimes except for the day Brian's dream girl comes walking in through the front door. Never mind that she doesn't know he even exists. Never mind that a gun-toting, nylon stocking-hooded robber is about to hold him up for all his cash.
I'll Take My Gun to Go: A Buffet Boy Story
Copyright 2011 by Aron White
Published by Morning Paradise Press
“You got any string beans? Hey, buddy! Any string beans in this place?”
The increasing volume of the scratchy voice snapped me from my thoughts as I glanced down at a gray-haired, hunched over grandma-lady standing before me, silver walking cane in one hand, plastic plate stuffed with food in the other.
“We uh, let me see,” I responded before walking around the side of the nearest buffet counter to see the empty silver tray sitting beneath the heated lights. Pulling out the tray, I brought it back towards the grandma-lady and nodded towards the dumbwaiter in the nearby wall.
“Sorry about that, ma’am. We’ll have another tray ready in a moment.”
Grandma-lady’s nose wrinkled upwards with indignation, something not easy to discern considering she was covered head to toe with sagging skin and I mentally prepared for some sort of verbal thrashing.
“You know, Old Country Buffet never runs out of food. Everything’s fresh and available when I want it. I never have to wait.”
“Then why don’t you go to Old Country Buffet instead of coming here, you old bi…” Oh, how I wanted to say that out loud, but the customer service part of me knew better and instead I smiled while apologizing.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. We’ll have more string beans available shortly. If you like, I can stop by your table and let you know when they’re ready.”
Grandma-lady eyed me as if I were plotting to snatch one of her social security checks and walked away, heading back towards the dining room with her silver cane tapping against the tiled floor.
“Be sure you do, buddy,” she grumbled.
Did an eighty-year-old woman just call me buddy? My hands rolled into fists and I knew it was bad to want to pound a senior citizen into the ground, but oh how much better I would have felt if one could. That stupid, “the customer is always right," garbage. Why couldn’t this be France where the customer’s always wrong and I could swear at them in a way that would have sounded crude yet classy in the same breath? Guess it wasn’t my lucky day.
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