By the time the Old-Timers have been served their grits and coffee, the Kaskalantay*
couple have arrived. They are a husband and wife team. She is in a wheelchair and he has a very wispy dark beard. They both have winning smiles and are on some sort of welfare.
I can tell by their daily breakfast order. At the beginning of the month, they have steak and eggs-the most expensive thing on the menu. It comes with steak, eggs (obviously), toast, and hash browns. Its a pretty good meal. Impressive to serve, since I need to remember to bring ketchup AND steak sauce to the table; and the toast and hash browns come on separate plates to accommodate the. To bring this meal to the Kaskalantay I must balance the big tray. I am unskilled and must carry it in front of me like an amateur while the other servers fly around the room, tray expertly balanced in one hand.
Towards the end of the month they switch to dry white toast. And water.
This couple is charming at first. They ask (and remember) my name. They sit at the same table and do not make a huge mess.
But Mr. K thinks it is extremely hilarious to move his mug around the table as I try to refill it. I threaten to pour coffee in his lap eventually, although at first I try to laugh patiently and let the guy enjoy his joke.
It is really only funny the first time, but not to him.
Mrs. K is a sweetheart. She tells me I am pretty. I tell her SHE is pretty. She has one of those open Midwestern faces. The kind with a smile that takes over. I like seeing that face.
But the deep and obvious sigh she gives when I take her month-end breakfast order? Not so much.
First I worry about them. At the end of the first month when ALL they order is dry white toast I think...'Are they going to make it? Will they starve? Should I buy them eggs with my tips?'
Then they come back on the first of the month and order a $8 breakfast. So I ignore Mrs. K.'s sigh on the 31st.
*Kaskalantay is not their real name. It is a name that my sister made up. I can't remember their real names