Not exactly a creature of habit, for a while I found myself eating breakfast at a neighborhood spot. The spot is a quick five minute walk, and I usually hit it between 7 & 9 am. I grab a paper at the deli and head around the corner to Jimbo’s. The last time I was there (I have since changed to Subway’s) I was annoyed by two women sitting at the counter. The place was nearly empty, and they talked like foremen in the middle of a busy construction site. They were ordering when I came in, and one of them was giving the cook grief about how she wanted her eggs cooked. “I want my eggs over well done, don’t make them too runny cause I don’t like my eggs runny.” I wondered why she was giving him shit before he even cooked them. I tried to tune them out and focus on my breakfast and Daily News (Best comics section in NY). One of the women swiveled around on her stool, paused, and swung back to her overly loud conversation.

Now I hear them ask to have their cell phones charged. When their requests were denied, I said to myself…”Here we go.” One of the women with a dead cell phone immediately demanded to talk to the manager. None of the cooks claimed the position so the woman told the guy at the register, “You the manager, I seen you back there managin’!” Apparently, she was under the impression that because she was “spending her money” for breakfast, she had the right to plug her phone in as well. Ah, but electricity was not on the menu. I hoped he wouldn’t charge her phone because now I’m rooting for anybody but them. I toyed with the idea of pulling out my phone and not offering her to use it. I think that’s what she was going to ask me earlier. I thought better of it because I felt she would have stabbed me. After finally convincing the cook to let her use the phone, she called somebody and asked what they wanted her to bring them. Still talking as loud as she pleased, she got the order and left. I replayed in my head the awful situation I side stepped:

“Scuse me mista, my phone died, you can let me use your phone?


“What? Why you can’t let me use your phone for a minute, damn!?”

“Because I don’t want to. You’re loud and rude and I don’t feel like extending you any kind of courtesy.”

“Oh, so it’s like that? You punk bitch! I oughta snatch your fuckin’ phone!”

“You don’t want to do that.”

“Oh, so I don’t? You think I don’t?? You REALLY think I don’t?!”

“No, you really don’t. I’m an undercover cop trying to eat my breakfast in peace, now lower your voice, and we won’t have to take this any further.”

“You ain’t no fuckin’ cop!”

“You’re right, I’m the manager.”


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