Coffee is the Best Medicine...
September 11, 2005
...The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop
(A serial. You may start reading at any point in the story.
Why not start with this episode?)
I pulled back away from the inspector, taken aback by his words. He was in love with Rose and serious about it.
Considering the situation, I pondered how, as long as he felt that way, the shop was guaranteed a good rating, whether it deserved it or not. Guilt lurked over my shoulder; if I were an honest person, I would report the Inspector for not penalizing such a dirty restaurant. But I wanted the coffee shop to stay in business more than personal integrity.
Thinking about it for most of the week, finally on Friday, I spied Rose taking a smoking break in the back. I slipped there to speak with her.
"Rose? Could I talk to you for a minute?"
"Look, I'll clean the restroom. Now quit bugging me about it!"
"No, not that! This is something more important."
"I didn't think you considered anything more important than a clean restroom." Rose grinned at me with her elfish smile.
"No. It's about the Inspector."
"Is he out of pancakes again? I'd better go fill him up." She rose to make a dash for the kitchen. I stopped her.
"No, Rose! He likes you."
"I should think so. I make the best pancakes in all of Pittsburgh."
"Yes, yes! You do, Rose. The best. But he likes you more than that."
"More than that? Humph! It must be my home fries. They're pretty good, too."
I reached over and turned her face toward me. "Rose, he loves you."
"He loves you. And it seems to me if you want to keep your rating, you'd better make sure he keeps loving you, if you know what I mean."
"Oh my Gawd!" She stared at me, aghast, then continued. "You know, the last inspector was happy just getting free food. Now this guy wants love, too!"
"Rose," I said. "I think he is a basic guy, meaning all you have to do to keep him happy is keep his belly filled with your pancakes. I don't think he'll leave that chair except to go home and sleep."
"Oh, I see." Rose stroked her chin in contemplation. "It'll be just like the old inspector, really."
"Right! He'll never get past your pancakes. So he likely won't bother you romantically at all. I just wanted you to know the whole story."
"Thanks, JO. You're a good friend," Rose said.
Suddenly, voices yelling out in the shop startled the bejesus out of Rose and me. We dashed out in time to see a prim, straight-faced woman standing over the Inspector. With clipboard in position, she pointed her pen at him and bellowed, "YOU'RE FIRED! You haven't been to a single restaurant in your territory all week. Turn in your clipboard today."
To be Continued
Copyright 2005 JO Janoski
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