Fun with words and words for fun

Monthly Archives: April 2018

kitchen-4

At midnight, while Bill and Marie were busy cleaning up after the long and hectic dinner rush, the loud noises of noisemakers, balloons popping and loud cheers came from the dining room. The dishwashers had already left. Bill was busy scrubbing down the line. Marie was busy doing the same thing on her station. Almost simultaneously they stopped work and looked at each other.

“Happy fucking new year,” Marie said to Bill.

Bill dropped his scrubber into his soap pail and walked over to Marie. He took her up in his arms and gave her a full kiss on the lips. Marie kissed back and held Bill tight. “I hope it’s a better year for you,” Bill said. “I hope you don’t get hit anymore.”

“I wish it would be like that,” Marie said. “But I ain’t got no hopes.”

Bill went back to work as did Marie. A moment later the kitchen door opened and Lorraine walked in carrying a beer. She walked around the counter and onto the line and gave Bill both the beer and a big kiss.

“You staying over tonight?” she asked.

“Yeah, why not?” Bill said. “I be done in about a half an hour.”

“Be longer for us,” Lorraine said.

As Lorraine was leaving the kitchen, Victoria came through the doors with a tray full of dirty dishes on her shoulder. She dropped the tray down by the dishwasher machine and went onto the line and gave Bill a big kiss. “Happy new year sweetie,” she said. Bill smiled at her and pinched her cheek.

“Same to you,” he said.

The rest of the night was unremarkable. While Suburban did not have a New Year’s Eve party per se, the bar was open and Bebe kept replenishing pretzels, potato chips and beer nuts. The bar was packed but the dining room was starting to empty out, more so after the new year had turned and the people at the tables were starting to go home. Since the waitresses had eaten, there was nothing much to be done except for cleaning up and setting up for the morning. The restaurant would be open on New Year’s Day, but only for the dinner meal and not until noon. Bill could actually sleep in, somewhat, because he had to be in at nine to help start setting up. Henry Lee would also be in, and he had a full day’s work ahead of him to cut meat for both stores.

When Bill finished his work, first thing he did was go into Tommy’s office and call his fiancé. Unfortunately, what happened was he woke up her parents, which was not a happiness. However, they went on and got her so he spoke for several moments to his fiancé and told her he missed her and looked forward to seeing her. This was actually true. He did miss her and he missed her presence.

From there he went down the front stairs and into the back where he started to change clothes. Unbeknownst to him, Marie was lying in ambush. She found him in the clothes room. Quickly and happily, she locked the door from the inside. This was only one of a few doors in the place that actually had an inside lock.

“Boy,” she said, “I just love jumping your bones.”

“Girl,” Bill said, “sometimes I like having my bones jumped. But don’t you have somewhere to be?”

“My kids are asleep. He’s out probably. He’s doing whatever it is he’s doing. He could’ve come here you know. You see him anywhere around? About the only thing I know is that maybe he’ll be home when I get there. Maybe he won’t. Maybe he’s doing the babysitter for all I know.”

“Goddamn,” Bill said.

“Yeah,” Marie said. “Goddamn.”

Coming Right After Mother’s Day

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.

Advertisements

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Announcing:

The first volume of Fiction Outtakes, Bill Wynn: The First Hundred will be available on Amazon right after Mother’s Day.  Thank you all for following the series and the blog.

Please do pick up a copy of my already published works here: 

Books by Peter Weiss.

So you know,  all of the outtakes are autobiographical fiction and the workhouse outtakes are especially autobiographical.

Enjoy! 


Coming Soon

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Originally posted in November 2016, this is the fourth Bill Wynn outtake.

The workhouse was set up as a series of dorms. Each dorm housed forty-eight inmates. They were all constructed and set up exactly the same way. The front wall was prison bars with a door in the middle like any jailhouse or prison cell door. Along each side wall was a row of double bunks twelve deep. This left a nice pathway down the middle wide enough for two or three people. Just past the bunks was a half wall like in the showers with a divide in the middle for the entrance. Bill would learn on his first night that beyond that wall was where the bad stuff happened.

In that back section were three sinks on each side attached to the side walls, a small mirror over each sink. Along the back wall spaced out two on each side of the divide were four toilets with no backs. Forty-eight men, six sinks and four toilets, the sinks and toilets only separated from the bunks by a half wall: that was D dorm and every other dorm since they were all the same.

Only Bill was delivered to D dorm. Three guards delivered him. With Bill, they stood outside the dorm. One guard rapped on the bars with his stick. Then another guard shouted for the inmates to line up. This meant they all had to stand in the aisle in front of their bunks. After they were lined up, the guard who had shouted for the lineup took his keys off his belt and opened the door. The third guard held a shotgun.

“You know the drill,” he said. “Make a move, meet your maker.”

The other two guards, one of them the one who’d been razzing Bill about his stick, the other the one who seemed to be his friend, walked Bill inside.

“We got you a pretty young hippie boy,” Bill’s tormentor said. “We gonna get him all cleaned up at the barber then he’s all yours.”

They walked Bill down the middle, his tormentor next to him, his friend behind them. The guard with the shotgun watched them from the doorway. He stood at the ready. He could shoot then close the door within five seconds. He was prepared to do so. All the guards were.

Three beds were empty, two bottoms and a top. The two bottoms were toward the front. The top, which Bill chose, was toward the back on the right side as they walked that way.

“Leave your stuff on the bunk and let’s go,” Bill’s tormentor said.

Bill tossed his stuff up on the bunk. All there was was a sheet, a blanket, a pillow case, the towel which was still wet from when he dried himself after the shower and his underclothes. Bill kept his toothbrush in his pants pocket.

“Any of this stuff disappears, I’m tossing this place when I come back,” Bill’s tormentor said. “If I have to do that, I know I’m going to find contraband. You know I’m going to find contraband. When I find contraband, I’m taking the baddest of you mothers and putting it on you. Then I’m gonna make sure you do a two year stretch in the State pen. Anyone wanna try me, let something go missing.”

From somewhere not too far off, one of the inmates spoke out “F–k you,” so faint it could hardly be heard yet so clearly distinguishable it couldn’t be missed.

“You see it?” one guard asked the other.

“No.”

“I got this,” Bill’s tormentor said. “Whoever said that, you got one chance to step forward. Otherwise I’m cracking someone with this here nightstick. You got to five.”

He counted out loud to five. When no one stepped forward, he walked five inmates toward the front looking each one in the eyes. The words had come from the other side, so he turned, walked three inmates on the other side back. That third one was young and big. Without any warning, the guard thumped him on the front of his thigh, a full swing. The blow dropped the inmate to his knees.

“You say something boy?” the guard said.

“No sir.”

“Stand the f–k up, pussy,” the guard said.

“Yes sir.”

The inmate struggled up and as soon as he was standing, the guard cracked him again, this time on the other thigh. He went down again.

“Pussy,” the guard said again. “Let’s visit the barber,” he said to Bill.

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


kitchen-4

Another day, another dollar. They could have used Alvin on the line that night. It was so busy that Jimmy and Bill didn’t even have a moment to go pee. Grandma fried a lot of chicken and they went through the rib before ten o’clock. Tommy came in at seven to start expediting and Lillian relieved him at eight when she was due to begin. Tommy came back at 9:30 to give Lillian a break.

Almost all of the waitresses were working. Two waitresses served as runners and they all worked together to help the busboys clear off the tables so they could turn them more quickly. All told, when the night was through, they would do three full turns and the waitresses would go home happy, their pockets stuffed with cash.

No matter how hard they worked or how many covers they turned, the cooks only made their salary. No matter how much meat Henry Lee and Bill cut, they only made their salary. No matter how many salads she put up or how many times Marie had to go downstairs to get salad dressings, she still only made her same salary. There was something strange about that, the fact that in our society salesman always seemed to make more money than the skilled tradesmen. Anyone of the kitchen workers could have gone out on the floor and done the waitresses’ jobs, but not one of the waitresses could have come into the kitchen and done the cooks’ jobs.

Lillian worked late and it was almost eleven-thirty when she sat down to eat her dinner. By that time the orders had pretty much settled down such that Jimmy and Grandma could begin getting ready to go home. By this time Bill had had a chance to go down and relieve himself. While he was downstairs he helped himself to a nice drink of bourbon, first one he’d had since the party was over. Bebe had been swamped herself, and she hadn’t even been sending in beers. Bill, when he had a moment such that he could leave the grill, had helped himself to coffee. That was all he drank throughout the service.

Once Lillian was gone from the kitchen and the orders had stopped coming in, the waitresses began to order their own dinners. Bill, in his own quiet way, cooked up two Supers and cut them so Lorraine and Victoria could help themselves. He also cooked a steak for Marie and personally delivered it over to her station. He saw that Marie was sweating, and locks of her hair were pasted to her forehead. Rarely had he ever seen her sweat before. After he put down the plate, just for fun, he reached up her kitchen dress and pinched her on her thigh. He could feel she was sweating there as well.

“My coochie’s went too,” she said. “You ought to feel that.”

“Later,” said Bill. But he managed to help himself to a little pinch anyway. Standing there, already chewing on a piece of the steak, Marie spread her skinny legs for him.

But there was no time for fooling around. There was only time to finish feeding the waitresses and start the cleanup. With Jimmy and grandma gone, all the work was Bill’s and Bill did not want to be staying any later than he had to. Tonight was a strain-the-grease night, so he knew he would catch a break there. As well, almost everything on the line food wise had been used up and there was only a little to have to put away. However, on the other side of this, Mary, Bea, and Henry Lee had a full day’s work ahead of them in the morning.

No rest for the wicked, Bill thought as he worked. He wondered if he should go and sleep at Lorraine’s again. He wondered if perhaps they might have a moment to…

Coming Soon

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


kitchen-4

Despite the fact that his family was waiting for him, Mr. Jim took a moment and sat at the bar with Henry Lee and Bill. He asked Bebe to pour them all another round of the bourbon. When that was done, he picked up his glass and invited Bill and Henry Lee to do the same.

“Boys,” he said, “this may be our last drink together for a while. And I got something to say before we have it. I ain’t one to judge much. God knows through the course of my life I been judged not just for the color of my skin but for the way I could do my job. I’ve been mighty lucky. I got me a good wife, a loyal one. And I’ve been a loyal husband. I ain’t never fooled around, not once, not even with any of them black girls who ended up being waitresses on the trains because they worked for cheaper wages. They was some fine pussy too. And they was willing. You know, couple of them even went about showing me their wares.” He laughed, a little chuckle to himself. Then he went on. “I had my opportunities and I could have, but I didn’t.

“That brings me to you two shitheads. You, Henry Lee, you got a gorgeous wife, a good woman, you got two beautiful little kids. What the hell you doing?

“And you, white boy, you ain’t even married yet and you already fooling around on your wife-to-be. I ought to beat you upside your head. You think this stuff don’t come back at you? And look who you messing with. Goddamn boy! You know what Robert says, so check out your mind, both of you.

“That’s it boys. Drink up. Get your goddamn heads on straight and get yourselves together. Remember always, I love you. You always love your first crew. You ain’t my first crew, but you’re mighty special.”

Mr. Jim drank up. Henry Lee and Bill followed suit. Then Mr. Jim stood up. His family was waiting and he didn’t want to keep them too long so he said “See you when I see you,” and he stepped away from them and up to his wife who had been sitting at one of the tables. He helped her up gently, took her hand, and with his kids they walked out of the party room, up the front stairs and out of the restaurant.

First thing, Bill took that knife that was now his and carefully placed it inside his locker. Later, when he had nothing to do, he would build a sheath for it using newspaper and masking tape.

After securing the knife, he went to the meat room and joined Henry Lee for another drink. He had several joints rolled and laid out in the bourbon drawer under the towels where everything was pseudo-hidden. He took up a joint, waved it at Henry Lee and then they both donned the Arctic parkas and quilted mittens and went off into the deep freeze.

When they were sufficiently high and appropriately buzzed from the bourbon, Henry Lee started cutting meat. Bill went upstairs and first thing he did was check in with Mary. Already late for setting up for the dinner, it seemed as if it were going to be one of those nights where they ran behind from the get-go. But Mary had put the trays of baked potatoes into the convection oven. The prime rib was just about done. All Bill really had to do in order to get them off to a good start was set up the steam table, inventory supplies and get what they needed. Given that Mary had everything under control, and since for the most part the dishwashers and waitresses had already cleaned up the party room, Bill set himself right away to building the steam table.

Coming Soon

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


shoes 1shoes 2

America is more divided than ever before. We hear this statement made over and over. Actually we hear a lot of things nowadays, especially with 24/7 cable news channels which not only say a lot of things, but say them over and over and over. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it isn’t. Regardless, it is a fact of our life.

I wonder: are we more divided than we were during the Civil War times? Than during the Viet Nam War times? What do they mean by divided? Do they, whoever they are, mean divided politically? Racially? By religion? Culture? By economics?

Which station(s) do you watch? Which newspapers do you read? Do you get your news from social media? Do you pay any attention to the news at all? I mean, one of my friends recently said that now that marijuana was legal in his state he was just gonna chill out for the rest of his life and not pay any attention to this ridiculous stuff.

Your answers to the questions above tend to define which shoes you wear, especially if you subscribe exclusively to one grouping of any of them. Our shoes are determined, very often, by where we’re born, to whom we’re born, our parents’ experiences and beliefs and their socio-economic status.

No matter which shoes you wear, however, on some level what’s going on in this country is ridiculous, even in the realm of the absurd. Actually it’s in the realm of the theater of the absurd. But on another level it is very real, especially if the effects of what’s going on impact your income, benefits, taxes, services or education.

Once again, as said before, this is tough stuff. Remember, about fifty per cent of the American population doesn’t pay taxes and many of these people get money back from the government. They wear one set of shoes. Those who pay taxes wear a different set of shoes. Those people who have children benefit from free public education. Those with no children who pay taxes pay for the public education of people with children. These groups wear different sets of shoes. In America, such groupings are numerous and varied. Some people in America aren’t here legally and still get money and benefits from the government, this despite what the government would have you believe. These people wear a different set of shoes. If you’ve been waiting to immigrate here legally and have tried to do it the right way, you wear one pair of shoes. If you’re the illegal collecting benefits, you wear a different set.

Different points of view, depending upon which shoes you wear is a characteristic trademark of America. It is one of our greatest strengths. It can also be one of our greatest weaknesses, especially when we let the priorities our country was founded upon deteriorate into ridiculousness. For example, in certain states one can be fined, even put in jail for using the wrong pronoun. Imagine that! For another example, during the last administration if one’s findings on climate change contradicted theirs, one could be prosecuted. Imagine that! When our rights are suppressed because of the shoes we wear, our country’s values have been diminished and we as a free country are in peril.

Which shoes do you wear? Maybe you wear many different shoes. Maybe not. Whichever shoes you wear though, you should be free to wear them without fear of being suppressed for wearing them.

Coming Soon

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.


kitchen-4

When the party ended, everyone went about their business except Mr. Jim and his family. Mr. Jim pulled Bill aside. He asked him to wait a moment there in the party room while he went to get something. Bill said sure and hung out by the bar where Bebe was cleaning up.

“Give me another triple bourbon,” Bill said.

“Ain’t you had enough?” Bebe asked.

“Probably,” said Bill, “but I still gotta work the night and I’ll have plenty of time to work it off.”

Bebe poured the bourbon for Bill and he downed it quickly. About that moment Henry Lee popped his head in and seeing that Bill was getting another drink he asked Bebe for one too. Bebe didn’t hesitate and poured Henry Lee his drink. He asked her for a beer chaser too and she was happy to give it to him. She was more reluctant when Bill asked her for a beer, but she accommodated him as well.

Henry Lee and Bill were both still sitting at the bar when Mr. Jim returned. In his hands Mr. Jim had his long carving knife.

“This the last thing I had in my locker,” Mr. Jim said. He smiled. “The railroad gave this to me a long, long time before either of you were born. They gave it to me cause I couldn’t afford to buy my own and I needed one to carve the roast beef they served on the train. Back then this knife was state-of-the-art. All these years I’ve kept it, kept it sharp and kept it so that it would serve me as it was supposed to. I want you to have it,” he said to Bill.

Almost as if it were ceremonious, Mr. Jim handed the knife to Bill. Bill reached out for it and held it in both his hands. It was not as if he had never seen it before, and, in fact, he had used it many times. The carving knives at Suburban were eons more modern, shaped differently, and not as long in the blade. This blade was made to be seen across the length of a steamship round. Carving steamship rounds was a tricky matter because it was hard to stay even if you couldn’t see your blade all the way through.

“I can’t take this, Mr. Jim,” Bill said.

“You can’t not take it,” Mr. Jim said. “I once thought about giving it to Yulie but I wasn’t ready to retire at that time. That boy would’ve made really good use of it. He was one fine cook. But he was a goddamn druggie. Them fucking drugs kill everything they touch. It’s goddamn diabolical.”

“Whitey done set them on us,” Henry Lee said.

“That’s bull shit,” said Bill.

“Listen boys, I got my own opinions about this stuff,” Mr. Jim said. “But that don’t matter none. It don’t matter who done what to who. It only matters what you do. Yulie was weak. He couldn’t handle the drugs. The drugs handled him. I don’t know many people who can really handle the drugs. I ain’t talking about weed. I’m talking about that shit you shoot into yourself. And there’s many forms of it. So you, little white boy, you better watch your ass and stay away from that crap. And that’s all I got to say about it.”

Mr. Jim stood there and took a long look at the both of them. He studied them up and down as if he were memorizing them, as if he’d never seen them before, except they were already etched in his memory just as Mr. Jim was etched in theirs. For the rest of his life Bill would be able to close his eyes and see Mr. Jim clear as day. He would be able to do the same with Mary, Bea, Henry Lee and even Alfreda. He could surely do it with Robert. With Robert the single most striking image would be his puppy dog eyes.

Coming Soon

BW 1st 100 cover 2

Pick up a copy of my published works here: Books by Peter Weiss.