Mario said, “I’m telling you man. You gotta check this chick out. It’s the weirdest thing.”
We pulled into the parking lot of Hott Diggiddee’s, a chain restaurant neither of us really liked. Mario had already reserved a booth at a specific station. There was a waitress working there that he wanted me to see. He was all excited.
A cute hostess with a nametag that said, Helena led us to a booth where we sat across from each other. “Linda will be over in just a sec to take your order. Enjoy your time here at Hott Diggiddee’s,” she said.
“Thank you,” I said.
“Thanks,” said Mario.
I looked at Mario. He was grinning with eager anticipation.
“Just wait,” he said.
A young woman appeared wearing a green and gold Hott Diggiddee’s uniform and big floppy cap. “Hi and welcome to Hott,” she said, “Diggiddee’s.” She handed us menus, shining a friendly smile. She wore glasses. I was a sucker for a girl with glasses.
“Thanks,” I said.
“My name’s Linda and I’ll be your server this evening. Can I get you two something to,” she said, “drink?”
“Uh, I’ll have a Moosehead, please,” I told her. “Thanks.”
“I’ll have the same,” said Mario.
“You,” said Linda, “bet.” She walked away.
Mario just looked at me with his big grin and we both burst out laughing.
“Did I tell you?” Mario said. “I didn’t lie. Did I?”
I shook my head. “No you didn’t. That’s so weird…”
Linda returned with two bottles of beer. “You guys ready to order yet? Or do you need a little more,” she said, “time?”
She looked at us with raised eyebrows, pen poised to take our orders.
Mario and I couldn’t help bursting into laughter again.
“Okay, I’ll give you guys a few more,” she said, “minutes.”
“No, we’re sorry. We’ll, uh, split a large nacho,” Mario said.
“Coming right,” she said, “up.”
Mario was still grinning.
I said, “So what’s the deal with her?”
“Does she have, like a speech impediment or something?”
“No. I don’t think so. Her words sound normal. She just talks weird.”
“Yeah, I know. But in what way?”
Mario shrugged, puzzled. “Never really thought about it before.”
“I can’t put my finger on it. It’s like there’s something slightly off about her when she talks. But I can’t say quite what…”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. Weird.”
Linda eventually came back with our nacho platter. “Here you,” she said, “go.” She placed the food between us. “Now, this plate is very hot so be,” she warned, “careful.”
“Excuse me,” I said. “You have a very unusual way of speaking. Can I ask where you’re from?”
“Local girl, born and,” she said, “raised.”
“So, you’re from around here?” Mario asked her.
“Uh,” she said, “huh.”
We looked at her, nodding.
“Okay, well enjoy your,” she said, “nachos.”
And we did. They actually weren’t half, I thought, bad.
Hank Kirton lives in Massachusetts. His latest book is Everything Dissolves, a collection of flash fiction. Twitter: @HankKirton