© 2010 Aaron Atkinson

Magic Word

Waitress: Until the supply truck comes in, your table’s gonna hafta share this single cup of creamer.

We’re at a diner near Chamberlain, South Dakota eating breakfast before a day of pheasant hunting. A grandmotherly yet spunky waitress places one of those plastic creamer thimbles with the foil lids in between the steaming coffee cups of my Dad and our hunting buddy, Gary.

They share a look, then share the creamer.

A few minutes later our waitress returns and refills their empty mugs. The creamer truck has yet to arrive and our waitress hesitates momentary, giving Gary the opening he needs.

Gary: Could I have a cup of milk?

Waitress: For your coffee?

Gary: Yep.

She grins with a devious twinkle in her eye.

Waitress: What’s the magic word?

Gary: (sheepishly, like he’s about to be the brunt of a bad joke) Please?

Satisfied by his plea, our waitress smirks and departs to track down a glass of milk.

Me: Gary, the magic word isn’t please. You shoulda said TIP!

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