"Of Flapjacks and Umbrellas"
by Andrew Hall

It's one of those times that you curse yourself for wondering where your flapjacks are.

She stares at you with eyes teetering on the fine line between obsidian and outright hellfire, and as soon as she exhales, you can tell that the air she just expelled could more properly be defined as pressurized exhaust, with a stink of sulfur that her cherry perfume won't even try to cover up. And then she speaks.

She talks of the time when her last boyfriend, one of the top students in his highschool drama classes, does the worst impersonation of a soul of innocence once he realized that she had just caught him in a compromising position, one that sent him into a half-a-second trip to a grip of paralysis, whereas half-a-second ago he was in a grip of her own mother's jean-clad posterior.

She talks of grabbing the nearest physical object, not caring if it took one hand or two to heft, not caring if it took one hand or two to throw, and certainly not caring whether said object, which ended up being an umbrella stand that never held an umbrella but now held a sense of hateful purpose, would break over her half-a-second-ago boyfriend, or whether her half-a-second-ago boyfriend would break under it.

She talks of, after neither breakage occurred, scurrying to re- acquire the umbrella stand before her cowering ex-boyfriend could even think of it. Hefting it like a baseball bat in the hands of a baseball player looking to put an end to the super-cocky pitcher's laugh in regards to striking all the other batters out, she took a low-level swing, striking her ex-boyfriend in the elbow. She knew she shattered his elbow, because after noticing no discernable damage to the umbrella stand other than a slight dent, she soon heard him whimpering and curling up in a ball on the couch.

She talks about asking him how he could consider himself man enough to goose her mother in the middle of the day, yet was proceeding to whimper like more of a schoolgirl than either she or her mother ever did. She had no interest in an answer, as she was more interested in swinging the umbrella stand almost exactly the way she just had, this time hitting her ex-boyfriend just above the left side of his hip.

She talks about laughing her ass off when she heard how much more damage she had caused to his kidneys than to his elbow, especially because said kidney damage was even more than that caused to his - left- kidney, as she apparently had waited until he rolled off of the couch in pain so she could hit him in his -right- kidney, this time with her workboots. She bashed the countertop in front of me five times, saying "Boom!" each time, representing how many times she stomped him.

She talks about how lucky I am to be able to pee, standing up, without bleeding, and in general. She pauses, and asks me if that's even the case. Because, after all, she doesn't know if I can pee normally or not, let alone whether or not I'd goosed her mother lately. Of course, neither does the manager of the restaurant, whose sweating, bug-eyed face I could just tell was waiting to scream things about a certain waitress who would never be able to work at this restaurant again, or even until the end of the latest number-one-pop-single-that's-burning-up-the-charts playing quietly in the background.

I could see his face twitching this way because the waitress' head had stopped steaming. Just before the manager's head could start giving off a little steam of its own, I peeked around him to see if the kitchen had finished cooking my flapjacks. Of course they haven't, I thought to myself, they're all staring at the little scene of suspense and intrigue unfolding six feet away from their grills, and six inches away from my glass of water. And if they weren't too busy snickering about how mad they knew the manager was, they'd either be finished cooking my flapjacks or snickering about the fact that I was more interested in just where my flapjacks were, instead of what had happened the other day to my waitress, who actually had brought my flapjacks out. I must have forgotten she had set them off to the side before exploding.

That's certainly something the cooks would have a good snicker about.

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