State College in the Summer

I’m not sure why this is, but apparently, to work at a restaurant here in the summer you have to be:

  1. under the age of 19,
  2. male, and
  3. offputtingly earnest and eager to please.

This morning I asked for my breakfast burrito sans bacon or sausage, and the young fellow asked me if I’d rather have chicken. I told him I didn’t eat meat, and his eyes lit up.

“I…I think we have…t…t…tofu,” he said, as his lower lip began to tremble. He had been waiting—perhaps all summer, perhaps all his life—to deliver such a line.

“Hell, if you’ve got it, throw it in there,” I barreled back, trying to seem nonchalant, but unnerved by his excitement. (He was by this point emitting an audible crackling noise, like a beehive had fallen on a bug zapper.)

As the words left my mouth, he vanished, leaving only the faint whiffs of Axe body spray and saltless tears. I’d like to think he’ll come back to this earth someday, perhaps as a designer chicken or one of those hairless cats.

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