Joe was hungry enough to eat the mat from the floor of his car. He pulled into an all-night diner in the middle of nowhere. He was willing to eat whatever they served - whatever.
The diner was straight out of a movie noir scene. The only sign of life was the slow swirl of an overhead fan. A waitress sat at the end of the counter listening to country radio and working a crossword puzzle from the newspaper. She barely looked up.
Joe swiveled into the counter.
The gum-snapping waitress with a bouffant hairdo pushed the pencil into her hair and lazily strolled to Joe’s seat.
“What can we getcha, sugar?” she said with one hand on her hip.
“Start me out with a coffee,” Joe said looking over the menue.
“The urn’s broken,” she said snapping her gum. “I can serve ya water.”
“Sure,” Joe said. “And I'll have the special to go along with that.”
“We’re out of the special,” she said.
“Hamburger and fries will do,” Joe said.
“The meat man didn’t come today,” she rolled her eyes and said. “No hamburger till tomorrow.”
“I’ll just have a double order of fries,” Joe said.
“We shut down the fryers when we ran out of hamburger,” she said with in monotone. Then she registered only a slight degree of enthusiasm to add, “I mean who eats fries without burgers… I don’t.”
“How ’bout a piece of apple pie,” Joe said.
“We had to throw all the pie out,” she said. “They had a recall on it.”
“Have you got anything to eat?” Joe said.
“No, but if ya go next door to the gas station they got about everything you wanted, butcha hafta nuke it.”
“Thanks a lot,” Joe said. He got up and headed to the door.
“Hey, pal!” she said. “What kinda guy don’t leave a tip. I could have left you drive away starved.”