Veronica took the old brass coin and flipped it at Rudolfo. It bounced off his purple vest and landed on Lane 10 of the Bowl-Away bowling alley with a loud plonk.
No red Hair!
No red hair Allowed!
“Hey! That’s my lucky coin!”
“You were SUPPOSED to catch it.”
Rudolfo slipped out of his shoes and shuffled down the bowling lane to where the coin lay in the gutter.
“You dented it,” he whined as he closely examined his favorite trinket.
“Aw, I’m sorry, Rudy.”
Veronica tried to hug her little brother as he sat down to put on his shoes, but he shrugged her off.
“I don’t really want to go out with either of those guys, anyway,” she said. “But just for the heck of it, which side landed up?”
“I’m not sayin’.”
“Well then, I guess I’ll have to just choose one on my own without the help of your silly coin. So…I guess I should go with Mike. He’s really cute. But Randy is so much fun. But Mike is such a gentleman. Randy is a really good kisser, though. But I kind of already told Mike I’d go with him. But Randy has his own car. Mike has to use his dad’s truck and it smells like manure. But Mike really is sweeter…
“Stop! I can’t stand this back and forth. Why can’t you just choose?”
“Ok. Tell me which side landed up and I’ll know who my date should be.”
Rudy let out a heavy sigh. Should he tell her it landed in favor of Randy, the rich kid he hates? Or should he lie and send her on a date with Mike, whose family is probably the only one in town poorer than theirs? Rudy knew his sister was the prettiest girl in school. Even boys in his class looked at her longingly. Her porcelain skin and fire colored hair were only topped by her clear green eyes. Every girl he knew, even Ronnie’s best friends, envied her looks. Their mom said her looks would get her into trouble if she wasn’t careful, and Rudy knew she wasn’t.
“Mike. It fell heads up,” he said.
Ronnie looked at him a little too long. He could feel her gaze even though he was staring at the coin rolling through his fingers. They’d sworn never to lie to one another. They’d taken a blood oath.
“Truth?” She demanded.
Now it was serious.
GO HULGAR GO!
Jack! You’re reading my book! How do you like it?
From your reply to Jack, I thought, at first, that Veronica and Rudolfo were characters in another new book. Sigh.
I like the old brass coin bouncing off the purple vest, and landing on a bowling alley lane. What will happen next — will Ruldofo try to pick it up and roll it towards the pins? Then Veronica might reach to stop him, and knock it into the gutter, where it might clatter and climb precariously, up and down the walls of the trough, finally flipping up and out to bounce across the last lane, to plonk down again in front of the juke box machine, where a child might pick it up and wonder if it would fit in the coin slot.
Casually she pulls back her long red hair, and throws it over one shoulder.
TOTALLY…TOTALLY OFF TOP
But I thought If Ann is sitting cross-eyed, staring at her computer and pouring over Candel Descriptions or the perils of Martha and John….this might be a welcome diversion
My First Job
Today, we had our 4th monthly meeting of The Class of ’71 lunch. I sat across from Wendy, who was not only my classmate, but she was also my next door neighbor during high school. I ask her if she remembered a pivotal day in our lives….the day that we went with an upperclassman, LaRae, to answer a “Help Wanted” ad for Waitresses at the Toll Road Glasshouse Restaurant in Elkhart. If we were lucky enough to land the jobs, we were sure to get rich quick over our summer break.
Wendy’s mom drove us to the open interview and we all got hired on the spot. Obviously, we were the finest specimens of young women waitresses that these people had ever interviewed……or they were desperate. Either way, we were instructed to show up for work the next day in our One-Size-Fits-All, mustard colored uniforms, which were provided by the Toll Road. However, they did not supply the $45,00 white nurse’s shoes that were required attire.
I was ecstatic at the prospects of being gainfully employed for the summer. And I was convinced that my mother would be equally excited about my first job. When I told her about the need to go shopping for nurse’s shoes in preparation for my first day as a member of the working class, she said, “I am not paying 45 dollars for a pair of shoes that you will probably wear only one day.” That was not the reaction that I expected, but I finally convinced her that I was serious about making a success out of my waitress career. We got the shoes.
Wendy, LaRae and I showed up the next day for the beginning of our new adventure. There were three U shaped counters in this particular glasshouse that were separate from the dinning room. These were usually populated by truck drivers or other single diners who were short on time. Each one of us were assigned a counter. There was only one “Please Be Patient With Me, I Am A Trainee” button for the three of us to share, so we figured out a rotation schedule so that each of us would have the button in half hour shifts.
LaRae was assigned to the first Bay in the restaurant, Wendy had the second and I took my place at the third. LaRae’s bay got the most customers as it should have been. Afterall, she was an upperclassman and therefore could handle the pressure. Wendy was rather busy also. Thankfully, my bay was rather slow, which was a blessing as I was not exactly a quick study on all the details of fine dining. I struggled to deliver the two cups of coffee and one English Muffin that I managed to sell in the first two hours. Realizing my goal of making tons of money on tips seemed to grow very dim by my third hour. So I was not surprised when the Supervisor called me into her office just before the noon rush.
The Boss ask me if I thought that I could carry a serving tray with one hand at shoulder height. She gave me a tray to try, and I passed. My hand/eye coordination had always been above average. Much to my surprise, the Boss promoted me to the dining room for the noon meal. I was so honored, thrilled and terrified all at the same time; to think that she would place rookie me in such an exalted position of responsibility.
All went well in the dining room, until a family of four ordered our “Special Dessert”….Sky High Lemon Meringue Pie. I managed to cut the four pieces, but they shifted in route and by the time I reached their table, my face was covered in Meringue. The Boss called me into her office.
I was unceremoniously demoted back to the Bay.
Late in the afternoon, a very well dressed business man sat down at my bay. He even had an attache case. After looking over our menu, he ask me for my recommendation. Having just finished eating my lunch made by our chef, I said….
“Sir, I recommend that you get back in your car, go into town and eat at a real restaurant.”
He turned out to be an undercover diner, employed by the Toll Road to check quality control in the Glass Houses.
I had my final meeting with my Boss in her office moments after that. I was told my paycheck would be sent to me once I had turned in my mustard One-Size-Fits-All uniform. She escorted me out the back door….never to return again. I started walking home in my 45 dollar nurse’s shoes, totally dejected.
What a whirlwind of a career, Hired, Promoted, Demoted and Fired all on my first day.
I did, however, learn a most valuable lesson that would prove to serve me well in my advertising career…..
Think twice before telling your customer the TRUTH !!
P.S. Wendy did not remember any of this when I told her today, just proving, your view of a thing depends entirely on where you are standing.
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle