Originally published in February, 2020, this humorous short story features the wills of a serious coffee drinker and a determined server, who wants to have the last word.
Wednesday morning broadcasts the arrival of another breakfast meeting for Billy and his other retired friends. Once a week, he meets his five best buds for hot coffee, delicious food, and welcome conversation at Bob’s Diner.
He always wears his favorite plaid, flannel shirt (perhaps you recall Al Borland from “Tool Time”). His faded, tractor green “John Deere” cap covers his nearly bald head, but his smile always catches his favorite server’s attention.
Flo has been working for the diner ever since Mel’s Diner closed (you might remember Mel and Alice—they became quite an item). She holds her own with humor and a smile, always managing to take care of Billy and his pals every Wednesday morning.
As Flo is scurrying around the diner with her always full coffee pot, she sets it down near Billy’s table as she takes another order. Billy appropriates the full pot of freshly brewed refills for his own private use, and sets it right next to his nearly empty cup. He tells Flo, “Thanks my dear. Now you won’t need to worry about refilling my cup.”
Billy remarks to his friends, “Ain’t life great!”
Billy enjoys his coffee, probably too much. The manager takes a look and shakes his head . . . as his profits shrink with every coffee pot Billy drinks. He motions Flo to come over for a moment, and they share a quick word.
Flo formulates a plan to take care of Billy’s endless and bottomless coffee drinking.
By the end of the breakfast meeting, the gray-haired trio times two has solved just about all of the world’s problems for another week. Billy has nearly eaten a whole hog as he has devoured crispy bacon, honey-baked ham, and perfectly browned sausage links, along with the usual fixings of hash browns, eggs, and pancakes. It’s time for the check please.
Billy surveys his bill, and his smile stretches to a frown. Reading on, he sees that he has been charged for a whole pot of coffee. He thinks to himself, “What’s this?”
Billy’s check has a special note at the bottom, “Cheaper to drink coffee by the cup instead of by the pot!”