“Excuse me Ma’am, did I order Eggs Benedict Arnold?” Ollie’s intimidating but ultimately good-natured voice filled the modest breakfast room at the Billy Holiday Inn in Eugene where we’d spent the night. His effortless glance-and-back at his plate as he smiled the question to the waitress was admirably non-threatening, but I still kicked his leg under the table, maybe out of habit as the waitress paged through her order pad and finally answered “No. Says here ‘Over hard’.”
“Yeah, you’re right”,
Ollie half winked, and she turned and continued back through the double kitchen doors.
“Why do you do that?” I grilled him immediately, with as parental a tone as I could muster alongside a giant bear who always made me feel like Woody Allen by comparison.
“Just checking. See, no one was injured..”
“This time..”
I scolded. “Actually, I wish I could be so neutral. I keep tryin’ to hurt ’em.”
“You’re getting better, Sol.”
Ollie, now the parent; “That last piece was just about right, they could read it as a story even if they never heard of Tschaikovsky and thought Puskin was some kind of freaking thumb tacks.”
I laughed at that, but then, “What, you read it already, O?”
“Wifi, bro, you heard of it? Whilst you slept… No comments though.”
“Didn’t expect any, it’s over their heads.”
Ollie frowned. “One would think the mental upper crust, the literary well-bred would have risen to the challenge, no?”
I paused, and then “…But one would be wrong!” We said in unison. I sighed and checked my own treasonous eggs. Hmm, edible, I concluded.
“So where we goin’next, O?” I changed the subject. We still had his old lap-top to pawn if necessary.
LET’S EAT in SEATTLE?” My accomplice suggested conspiratorially.
“I dunno, I’d like to SPEAK ON SPOKANE I countered. Ollie looked busy in the letter-game as I added “A fervent PAEN’S OK?”
“You lose; It’s ‘PAEAN’, sucka!”
Ollie knew the rules. I tried to cover my position with “An E.S.P. KOAN, then?”
“Too late, dime-store Buddhist.”
Ollie was finishing his coffee. “Save the Right Mind stuff for your Xanga experiment.”
“I am
doing better, O. Just didn’t expect like, everybody who ever heard of Billy Holiday to be…um.. ‘on vacation'” I do hand-pick my subs, you know.”
“Sure, ‘n they be clapping, jus with one hand, Solbird.”
Ollie smiled, killed his last English muffin in one bite, got up, pointed pointedly to the spot where Johnny was supposed to leave a generous tip, and was out the door.



  1. Ipoplikewhitey

    Oh, yeah I was busy snarfing paint chips– I just figured out eugene was the city, not a character.j solberg= le gros job?I suck at anagrams even worse than pidgin french.-g.

  2. elgan

    All right, it wasn’t until after I pressed the submit button (and I submit to no one) that I noticed the title for this post. How does Tiffany feel about it?


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