I was waiting in line at a lunch place near my office and it was later than I usually have lunch so my stomach was literally growling. So was I… hunger makes me cranky.
And just ahead of me was a short bald man who looked sort of lost. He kept looking up at the blackboard that listed the specials and scratching his head.
By the time he got to the cash register, he mumbled a bunch of questions to the cashier but she kept leaning forward to ask him to repeat them. His accent was Eastern European but I think, but I couldn’t quite place it.
He must’ve asked how the fish was prepared because the girl began to describe in great detail how it was cooked.
“In a frying pan,” she enunciated.
He shrugged, still not understanding.
“IN A FRYING PAN!” she repeated, loudly.
Nope, he still wasn’t getting it.
“F-r-y-i-n-g-P-a-n,” this time s-l-o-w-l-y with hand motions miming the whole frying process.
Now, I had started out wanting to bodycheck this guy out of the way so I could get my dang lunch already, but the more she tried to explain, practically re-enacting a scene from Iron Chef, the more it made me smile.
So by the time she took things to the next level and marched to the back of the kitchen to actually grab a frying pan and show it to the guy, I was ready to give her a big hug (the long line that had formed behind me might have felt differently, however.)
It just really touched me that this young cashier (who gets zero tips, by the way) worked her little heart out trying to help this guy.
And yes, he got his pan-fried fish (if he’d have changed his mind and had lasagna, things might’ve gotten ugly) … and yes, I finally got my lunch, and walked out so cheery from watching it all unfold, I gladly donated to the charity drive some students were holding on the next corner.
So I guess you could say we all lived happily ever after.
P.S. In honour of this “pan” story, here’s Pat-A-Pan. 🙂 Enjoy!