Old Home Café: The Next Generation

By Edward Floden, based on characters and situations created by William D. Fries, Jr.

Episode XII: The End of the Beginning

(Originally published in The Legend-News of 2003 March 3.)

The details of the events which transpired between 6:00 and 6:10 A.M. that morning in the Old Home Café would fill a novel, which you will be able to pre-order from Amazon.com as soon as it's written. For now you’ll need to content yourself with this summary.

Larry turned out to be a fair cook, at least where eggs, bacon, packages and the occasional country ham was concerned. Well, maybe his omelettes where a bit on the runny side, but they weren’t bad enough to give you salmonella.

Jerry had a good memory, something that is especially important if you’re part of the wait staff. Give him an order for half a dozen coffees with varying amounts of cream, sugar and non-dairy creamer and he’d get them all correct. He even attempted to add some atmosphere to the Café, shouting orders across the room, but Larry’s reply of “What?” to “Adam and Eve on a raft, whiskey down!” quickly ended that idea.

Crowd control, courtesy of Jerry Too, was excellent. Despite his taciturn attitude, no customer — potential or real — expressed a complaint about their treatment. He politely held back the growing crowd out front, and when a seat or booth opened up he would escort the next in line to their place.

Sergeant Hudson was impressed. Although the parking situation didn’t really improve for another hour, he observed enough organization inside the Café to allow him to return outside, where he attempted to keep the traffic at the intersection of Main and 1st from looking like the Chicago Loop at midday.

Oh, yeah: Avis. Remember Avis? About an hour ago, she was jogging past the Café as Jon opened up for the day. Well, Avis got home, took a shower, checked her e-mail (cursing the lack of a high-speed Internet connection), and continued to search for a job.

Next: Lunchtime.

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