Thursday, April 26, 2012


my A to Z - every day of the challenge I will find a word by flinging my finger into my American Heritage Dictionary and then riff on it. The posts may be essays or poems or stories or memories. Who knows what will happen when we give Serendipity her wanton way?


The woman was sitting in a corner-booth. In front of her was the blue-plate special - today and every day that meant a tiny mound of tuna, one of a dubious looking potato-salad, and some very thin cucumber slices. A bun sat on a side-plate looking dry and lonely. Her cup of tea had the very slightest hint of Nude-Blush lipstick smeared on it.  I decided to take a chance.
"Could I join you? There aren't any tables left."
She looked somewhat exasperatingly at the counter-stools but I kept my eyes firmly on hers as if I didn't understand what she was inferring. She sighed and pointed with her fork to the seat across from her. I slid in and the waitress, a pulchritudinous piece of work by the name of Bette took her slow sensual time getting to me.
"Hey, Wellie, the usual?"
"You Bette-cha!"
Oh, I know - not funny but when you work at an office in one of these suburban strip-malls you had to fit in with the locals. They liked a little over-done humour - especially if you served it up, like the woman's blue-plate special, day after day.
"Got much work these days, Wellington?"
"Just enough to keep the remittance man from my door, doll." I slipped her a wink and she sidled up to the hash-slinger's window and ordered my lunch. What was it? Rib-eye steak and match-stick french-fries. Oh and a cold one - a Ten-Penny if you must know.
The woman looked over at me with one eyebrow raised. What was her problem? Probably didn't approve of guys chatting up the staff in her presence.
"Is your name Wellington?"
"You must be psychic." Sure, I know - not nice but jeesh just come out with it already.
Did I tell you what she looked like? Let's just say she didn't resemble the bun. She was a total looker but in a classy way - not like Bette all over-flowing her clothes but still, you could tell that under that twin-set with pearls was a shapely dame.
She recovered her aplomb and spoke again. Her voice was good - strong, not all breathy and sexy like Marilyn Monroe's but clear and sweet.
"The reason I asked is because I have an appointment with a Wellington MacDonald this afternoon. Is that you?"
"Sure is. And you must be Opal Sweeney. Why do you need the services of a private-dick or should I wait until 2:15?"
"Do you see what I'm eating?"
"Yep, the blue-plate special. And just as tasty as all get-out I bet. Why?"
"Until last week I was what a fellow like you might call 'well-heeled'. Now I'm eating the cheapest thing in a greasy-spoon waiting to meet with a detective who is doing so well he doesn't fear the remittance man. Not to point out the obvious - but that doesn't exactly suggest to me that you are top-drawer. And why am I here? Because my husband hood-winked me out of a sizable fortune. Now I want some help getting it back."
"Who's the chump that dumped a babe like you?"
"The mayor of this city."
And that my dears was how daddy met mummy


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Oh, I love it! You've done such a great job creating the diner atmosphere and the main characters. And that last line? Fabulous!

Liza said...

This one has an amazing voice. It's totally in character. I'm going to be sad when April is over. Reading your posts is great fun!

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks you two! You are my stalwart readers and you know what - it is a deep pleasure to amuse you!

OT Ebby said...

Oh, I want to know what happens next! Great post.