Sunday Brunch at the Olympic Diner, by Paul Beckman
Sunday’s line for breakfast at the Olympic Diner was a block and a half long instead of the usual block. We got a booth and that made my wife and kids happy. The kids talked about the chocolate chunk pancakes, Elaine sang, “French toast, French toast, French toast” over and over again and I acted indifferent but was thinking about the everything bagel with lox, red onions, over flowing cream cheese and more lox.
Sally was taking our order when the police cars sirened up and a half dozen uniforms came tumbling out and into the diner. The hurriedly moved everyone out of the Tigris room and had them form a new line but left the diners in the Euphrates room. Then they roped off the Tigris room with the standard yellow and black crime scene tape and one by one they escorted the Tigris families into the roped off area, sat them under hanging lights and didn’t care that people were witnessing the “Good Cop/Bad Cop” routine that was going on.
While I ate my bagel and lox I saw my next door neighbors, the Lerner’s, being led out handcuffed to each other in a daisy chain led off by Jack Lerner’s mother who lived with them. After that they took the crime scene tape down and the EMT’s came in and took everyone’s blood pressure and pulse.
The kids were talking about the size of the chocolate chunks in their pancakes and Elaine was on the verge of orgasmic as she ate her first of three whipped cream covered waffles.
Johnny, the owner and cashier, walked around the room making sure everyone was happy with their food and service and never mentioned the police or EMTs. I seemed to be the only one fascinated by what was taking place.
The Tigris room filled up again and the EMT’s rolled Mrs. Lerner back into the restaurant, hooked up an IV, oxygen, and a beep beep scope. They slid her off the gurney and onto the table next to us and performed an operation. They asked my blood type and I told them type A and they had me lean back in my chair while they took a pint. I continued eating my bagel and lox and they transferred the blood to Mrs. Lerner, gave me a glass of OJ, a couple of small black and white cookies and stuck an “I gave” sticker on my shirt collar.
As we walked home I saws the Lerner’s stuffed into the back of the Black Maria and I realized that Jack Lerner never returned the snow shovel he borrowed this past winter. I considered mentioning this to the cops but I’m not the kind of guy who likes to pile on.
Paul’s third collection, Kiss Kiss, published by Truth Serum Press, will be out in the Spring of 2018. His FB url is https://www.facebook.com/paul.
Paul’s writing site: www.paulbeckmanstories.com
Paul’s blog: www.pincusb.com