The Patty Melt Incident
“What’s the difference between a truck load of dead babies and a truckload of bowling balls”, Max asks jokingly. “Dude how many times do I have to tell you that I hate dead baby jokes. No more. Seriously,” I respond. “Fine, how about this, do you know what an Alabama Hot Pocket is?” “Why do you always have to be such a pervert, I don’t wanna hear what you and your boyfriend do in dark alleys”, I retort.
It’s just another typical Thursday evening in the kitchen at work where the sizzling and popping of burgers frying and the burbling and gurgling sound of fries being drowned in the deep fryers fills the air. Laughter and music are the usual sounds that are bouncing off of the walls and escaping through the swinging doors as they flap back and forth. After four years of working together Max and I can anticipate each other’s moods and have a blast working together.
“What classes are you taking next semester,” he asks? “I can’t even remember, I’m so sick of school I could barf, I failed my English class last semester and my advisor says I need to retake it right away”. “Who’d you take it with?” She scrunches her large green eyes shut as she tries to remember, “I think it was Peets, damn he was annoying. Blah blah blah verbs and nouns, blah blah, I’m a douche.” “So you really liked him huh”, he says. “I don’t wanna close my eyes I don’t wanna fall asleep cuz I miss you babe and I don’t wanna miss a thing, even when I dream of you”, we both sing at top volume.
“Shit son, another ticket, do they think we are a restaurant and here to cook food for them or what.” Max snatches the ticket from the printer and reads it, “it’s just the J Cat, he wants a patty melt,” and hurls it to the ground, but since its paper it gently wafts like a feather in the breeze. We start ripping things up and tossing them to the ground, soon there is a growing pile of mashed sweet potato, shredded cheese, torn paper towels, drizzled ranch dressing, all co-mingling with a puddle of dill pickle juice that had been splashed on the floor. Dallas, the bartender, walks in and says, “Is the patty melt ready yet?” We scramble around searching for the ticket that had started the food fight that had lasted for the last fifteen minutes. “Shit, I forgot, but I’ll throw it on right now, it will be done in ten minutes.” “That’s cool,” Dallas mutters as he walks back to the bar. Max reassures me, “you know how the J Cat likes to drink, I’m sure he will slurp down two more vodka’s before it’s done anyway.” “Dude, he loves the vodka almost as much as he hates me.” So we throw the burger on the grill, and add a pile of chopped onions into a small puddle of liquid butter alternative, just the way the J Cat likes it, and after tossing two pieces of texas toast with both sides buttered on the grill we begin to wait. “You should take Mackie’s class for English; seriously homie she is so easy, like everybody that I know who has taken her class always gets an A.” “Max, you and all of your dorky friends are good at English so why should I believe you.” “Just trust me a moron could get a C in that class.” “So now I’m a moron,” she spats jokingly. “Dude, shut up, you know what I mean,” he says. “Steph,” the J Cat slurs angrily. “It’s almost done just give me two minutes,” she replies. “Why do you always have to play these fucking games,” he shouts angrily. “Umm I’m not playing a game; I’m just cooking your food.” “I’ve been waiting for over thirty minutes, why don’t you grow up,” he shouts. I am so bewildered that all I can do is look at him and Max stands staring with his mouth unhinged. “Seriously Steph stop being such a child and grow the fuck up, just throw the patty melt away, I don’t even want it anymore.” “I just told you that it will be done in like a minute”, I yell to his back as he storms out the door, back to the bar and my tears begin to fall. “What a dickhole”, Max breathes. By this time I’m crying and shaking from anger. He gives me a hug and says, “Don’t pay any attention to what an asshole he is.” “I know but just once I’d like my best friend to stick up for me.”