Just a Fly on the Wall

Posted May 24th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I told the fiction department they’d be on the street looking for work if they didn’t produce a story soon. It’s been a while — too long, in fact. This is what they came up with. They hope you like it, but I gotta warn you, it’s kinda on and off the wall.

I was running late

Oh, wow, what a riot today has been. I got a late start but it was worth it. I didn’t make it to The Diner until almost two. First of all I was soaking up the sun in the park all morning and ended up nodding off. Then I was distracted by some fairly fresh feces. By the time I made it to The Diner, the last of the lunch crowd was leaving.

I flew inside and saw many of the tables hadn’t yet been bused so I knew I’d still be having a nice, albeit late, lunch. A few stragglers remained so I had to be careful, but in a short time I knew the place would basically be mine. I decided to sit there and scope out the situation from my spot on the wall.

Good times on the wall

The view is great from up there. At a distance I can go unnoticed so I can wash my legs before my meal without too much worry. From up here I can observe people, which is usually good for a laugh or two, but today was exceptional. For instance, at one of the still-occupied tables sat a couple. One was a short, sort of petite woman with dark red hair, the other was a really big man who hung over his chair. The man sat there as the woman scolded him. Curious, I flew to a better vantage point so I could hear their words.

“It’s costing us a fortune,” she said.

“Please don’t exagger—” he tried to say.

“Don’t interrupt me when I’m talking,” she interrupted, “Now we’ve got to settle this. You’ve broken the chair, the couch, the end table with my mother’s lamp on it — she handed that lamp down to me you know — and the grocery bill. My God!”

“But, hon—” he tried again.

“Stop it. I’m talking,” she scolded. You’ve got to stop. You’ve got to stop it now.”

She finally stopped for a breath and he just looked at her, kind of dumbfounded. He swirled his finger in what was left of the gravy on his plate. She looked disgustedly at him. He looked away in shame, but then he looked back. Not at her, though. He looked at his plate. He suddenly picked it up and started licking it. She slapped it out of his hand angrily. He burped in surprise.

Stop! Thief!

At this point I had to fly to another wall so I could bust out laughing without fear of being heard. As you know, it’s the Cardinal rule of us flies to never be heard laughing and inside I was cracking up. I was ‘fraid I was gonna hurt something.

Anyway, she got up and stormed her way towards the door and left the Diner. He called to her pleading that she stop as he struggled to get out of his chair and stand up. She didn’t even look back. He finally got up and started for the door, but another woman, this one from the kitchen, shot after him, cursing, shaking a wet mop in her right hand. Mop juice running down her arm and dripping from her knobby elbow. This was good stuff, and my laughing fit was under control, so I flew in closer to catch what was being said.

“You stop! You stop right now, Big Guy,” the kitchen woman warned.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “but my girlfriend left and—”

“I’m not kidding, you better pay for all that lunch,” she swore as she closed in on him with the mop.

“All right, all right. I’m sorry,” he said as he stopped.

“Okay, that’s better,” the woman said, trying to catch her breath. “Now let’s see, she had a salad and an iced tea, and you had three he-man burgers, French fries, the lumberjack meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy special, and, um, four Cokes. That’s $45, then tax, and a tip, you owe $56.”

“Here’s sixty bucks,” he started to say when the “Giant Homemade Cookies” in a tray next to the register caught his eye. “Say, how much are those great looking cookies?”

“They’re a dollar,” she replied, then added “each.”

“Hmm, they look good,” he said in a hypnotic tone. “I’ll take four, please. Just keep the change.”

“Thank you,” she said as he grabbed the cookies turned towards the door.

“Wait,” he said and turned back towards her pulling another ten dollars from his pocket. “I’d like ten more… those were really good cookies.”

Oh, crap

Well, that did it for me. I exploded in laugher. This guy was too much. Had he forgotten he was chasing down his petite but angry woman? Distracted by evil cookies? I pondered it but I couldn’t ponder it long. From the corner of my compound eye I saw that kitchen woman’s mop coming at me in a wide arc. The woman must have heard me laugh and expected I should pay for it with my already way too short life. You should’ve seen it: mop juices were flying all over The Diner. That in itself was a delight to behold. Hehe, ya gotta admit, it’s pretty cool seeing everything in slo-mo.

Anyway, I backed up a step, fast, then launched myself forward and flew towards the kitchen. I got some mop juice on me but it wasn’t too much and it wasn’t too hot; so it was actually sort of refreshing. I flew through the kitchen — fortunately the rest of the staff was oblivious — and I got out through the exhaust vent, right where we usually do when we go there together, and, well, here I am.

I’m hungry

Needless to say I’m starved. You want to go out and grab some early garbage behind that new restaurant down the block and, maybe, then catch the human nature show at the pub? Hey, hey, wait. I know a place that has some really great cookies. Okay, I’m kidding, nice safe garbage it is for tonight. No cookies… though I do want to show you something in the park on the way.

One Response to: “Just a Fly on the Wall”

  1. Just a Fly on the Wall | Talk Utopia responds:
    Posted: May 24th, 2007 at 2:08 am

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