Every day I get to work and there’s dead guys all over the floor. I hate those fuckers, with their naked pink tails and stupid broken necks. Most days I don’t even want to come in. Dead guys, everywhere.
The kitchen I work at is in a busy corner of the city. It’s dirty but I don’t mind any, mostly because I’m a dirty boy myself. A dirty bird.
“Roland!” It’s the new waitress calling me. The little one; she’s cute. “Roland, you got my order up?” she stands with her hip out, glaring at me. I wonder what she would do if I lobbed one a them dead guys at her. Or handed her one on a plate to serve her retard customers.
“Coming.” I try not to say anything I think. Just take it all in. I think and I cook, and I am the dead-mouse boy. Gross.
When the ticket comes up that morning, it hits me I totally got to do this right now or I’ll never get the courage again. I need to take one of them dead boys and serve him.
The order is for a cheeseburger to go and I picture the littlest dead guy of the morning. I can off his tail and roll him up inside a bun. Cover him with cheese.
“What’s that new waitresses’ name?” I ask Peter the prep cook. Peter Piper, Petey Popsicles. Petey the prep cook. He doesn’t have to pick up dead mice every morning.
“Angela.” Petey the prep cook doesn’t even glance up at me as he says it, just chop chop chopping away.
“Angela!” I turn and call her name out the kitchen window. She’s standing by the counter, perfect ass aimed right in my direction. Petey Peeper I think to myself, and another name for Pete the prep cook is born. “Angela, is this hamburger to go?”
“They want cheese.” She flicks her eyes up at me. “Cheese and yeah, to go.”
I know I gotta act quickly, so I move real quick like towards the trash and trip over it. Trash spills everywhere but it’s just ‘round eleven o’clock, mess isn’t too bad.
“Chill out, dude.” Petey Peepers finally looks up from his prep cooking. “Clean that shit up, customers are looking. You high again, Roland?” I don’t say anything back to him, not out loud anyway. Grabbing the broom and brushing the trash back into the bin, I am able to grab that little dead guy. It’s easy enough to lob his tail off and stuff him up tight into a meat patty.
“Coming right up, Angela.” She looks at me and for a sec my ears feel kind of hot. Just real quick, up-at–the-tip-like. I play it smooth though, use my spatula to press the patty down but not too hard because I don’t want that dead guy’s guts leaking out.
“Just a few more minutes.” I sing it out to myself.
“Roland! What the fuck, bro.” Petey Pink-eyes whispers it. “Roland, you high dude or what?”
I just ignore him.
Takes a few minutes but when that burger is done I slide it onto the bun and grab one of the styrofoam to-go containers. Slicing up the romaine and a slice of big red tomato comes next. It looks beautiful today, that produce guy is on point today. Vegetables all fresh looking and shit.
“Order up.” I set the container in the server window. “Here’s your burger. You wanna catch a burger with me later?” I can’t help it, I giggle a little then. She just rolls her eyes and turns around.
“Eight ninety-five.” Angela tells the customer, this old dude. Dude has got some weird green hat on. “Out of twenty?” I snicker again.
“Roland! Chill out, dude!” Petey Popsicles over there is at it again and he’s pissing me off some. Just cause a guy snorts a little ski powder once or twice a shift, Petey here thinks there’s something wrong with me. There is something wrong with me. All these dead guys are driving me crazy.
I’m sweating my balls off when the call comes in. Juney answers on the third ring, her office is right off the kitchen and I’ve been listening, waiting for it to ring. My heart starts pounding and I just know it’s the old guy. Juney starts stammering and I just start laughing and then Petey starts hissing at me again and before Juney can come get me I walk through the kitchen and grab a soda on my way out. The orange kind, cause it mixes nice with that gas-kinda drip drip drip from the coke.
“See ya, Angie.” I grab her ass as I go because I can.
Those fucking dead guys, man. They’ll drive you out of a kitchen every time.
Header photograph: By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States (the “big 5 oz” Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons