C.M. HalsteadC.M. Halstead

by C.M. Halstead

The woman enters the diner, a predacious manner about her. Scanning the room, she seeks the object of her desire. Not finding anyone to seat her in an instant, she makes a move for a booth.
A waitress exits the kitchen, “Hello!” she greets the woman.
The woman halfway to her chosen booth glances at the waitress and points at it while taking the last few steps and plopping herself down.
The waitress obliges.
“Hello.” The waitress says, handing the woman a menu, “Welcome, can I get you something to drink?”
“Just water.” The woman says, never looking up. She opens the menu and leans into it, scanning robotically she peruses the options, as the waitress saunters away.
A busker comes by and drops off the water; she is unfazed and continues scanning the single flip menu, encased in its protective covering it protests each flip, clinging to her suction cup fingers every time. Insistent in its incessant persistence, Fffft, Fffft, Fffft. Not once is it flipped without the sound, Fffft, Fffft. . .Fffft.
The waitress reappears.
“Are you ready to order?” she asks
“Yes. I’d like to order a side of broccoli, I need a pound and a half of it, so better make it four orders. And it needs to be deep fried, but not too deep fried, only two minutes, you don’t want to overcook it. I also want, what are your steamed veggies today?”
“Carrots, squash and cauliflower.” The waitress says.
“Ok, I’ll take three, no better make it four, orders of that as well. I need a pound and a half of vegetables. But don’t deep fry the carrots, squash and cauliflower.”
“Bring all of it together, make sure it is a pound and a half, I need a pound and a half of vegetables, but don’t overcook the broccoli, deep fry it, but only for two minutes. You don’t want to overcook it.” The woman says. Matter-a-fact and as if she has done this before, she gives her order to a T, knowing it will be carried out.
A few minutes later the waitress walks by, two plates heavy in her hands, one piled high with deep-fried broccoli, the other with steamed vegetables. There has to be about five pounds of cooked vegetables headed the woman’s way!
The woman sits up, leans back and makes room for the waitress to put the heavy plates down in front of her.
“That looks about right.” she says.
“Anything else?” the waitress asks.
A slight nod of the woman’s head. She is already engrossed in her vegetables. She turns her head to look at the piled plate of broccoli from every angle. She repeats the process with the pile of steamed veggies.
Leaning in she takes a big sniff of her treasure, the smell of deep fried broccoli fills the diner, its essence creeps into everywhere, yet she still has to lean in, in order to breathe deep into it. Everyone else’s noses turn up in disgust, the smell of deep fried green turns their stomachs hungry for meat. It is all you can eat rib night after all.
Satisfied, the visual and olfactory inspections over, the woman picks up a fork. Stabbing the broccoli like a determined frogger, the split fork pronging the object of desire as if life depends on it.
Long before the stench leaves the air, the woman has completed her mission, devouring the vegetables on her plate. When the waitress returns to her table exactly two minutes after dropping off the veggies, she is surprised to see them all gone.
“Wow, you were hungry!” Amazed at how quickly this customer consumed one and a half pounds of fiber, the part of waitress’s brain that remembers high school math calculates to itself the average consumption rate and is impressed.
The woman is becoming more and more efficient every day.

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C.M. Halstead
About C.M. Halstead
C.M. Halstead is product of 40 plus years of travel and exploration; a childhood as an Air Force brat and service in the Marine Corps changed him forever. He managed 84 people, negotiated multi-million dollar contracts, drove Jeeps professionally — usually at crazy angles and locals. An astute believer in adventure, he is now doing the craziest thing ever, pursuing his passion full out and becoming an accomplished author. Ready or not, here he comes! Are you ready to join in as he takes you on one wild ride after another? Free your mind to worlds that may or may not be reality and let your imagination be ignited by C.M. Halstead.

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The Broccoli Incident