Dishes, Dishes, Dishes
All your life, you hated washing
dishes. Your mom’s fancy china, pots and pans caked with grease. Broke as you
were, you’d toss your own, vs. scrubbing them. Buy new ones in the dollar
Now here you are, so hard up since Shithead left, you’d do the
thing you hate most.
“Sorry!” the cook says, breathing booze in your face. “We don’t
need no waitresses.” Like waitressing is every girl’s dream. You see two: a
graying redhead and a mummified blonde.
“I’m here to wash dishes.”
It sounds fake. Like you’re a hired killer, and this is a front.
Like some scorned chick hired you to take out this cook. Shemp’s his name, like
in The Three Stooges.
Nah, you think. Not him.
Shemp’s like fifty, with this shock of white hair that’s got to
be real. A Hawaiian shirt and shorts that reveal too-hairy legs.
He looks familiar: like that “hunk” from your mom’s day who
drove the navy Lincoln all over town.
Each time, with a different blonde. As he got older, the blondes got
plumper, with doughy, made-up faces.
Was that Shemp?
“Ever wash dishes before?”
“No.” It’s true. You’d die first.
He snorts. “Good luck.” And leads you to the kitchen.
Where his girl waits. A chunky blonde in tube top and shorts.
That’s him, you realize. Mom’s first love. Now the cook at Casa Vincenzo.
Little does the clientele know this tarantula-legged fuck is sautéing their
Between shots of ‘Buca.
Greasy pots piled to the sky. Dishes stacked at a crazy angle,
in a sink from like 1910. And at Casa Vincenzo, you think. Fat roaches scoot up
“Hah!” Shemp says, when you cringe. “Even the best restaurants
You’ll never eat here again.
Only one automatic dishwasher. For all those dishes.
“Hand me that apron,” he tells Fatty Pants.
“Do it, yourself!”
“Fuck you, bitch.”
You walked into that. On your first night. But they were
battling, before. You can tell. The blonde was too quiet, like she was waiting,
maybe hoping, to be fucked with. She’s got the craziest eyes going.
The grimy apron is for you. Shemp throws it at you. When it
lands in your face, he snickers.
“Ha! Ha!” Fatty Pants says sarcastically. Like he thinks he’s
funny, but he’s so not.
For some reason, you start with the pots. Puttanesca sauce caked
so thick, it’ll never come off. Never. Back home, this fucker would be in the
trash by now. On the garbage truck, already.
Like an asshole, you try scrubbing it. With a sponge.
“Good luck,” Shemp says again.
You need it. Those pots
are hopeless. The matronly waitresses dump dish after dish on the belt. And the
dishwasher’s fucked up. Shit, you think.
A half hour later, it’s almost closing time. Your elbows are
killing you. You start stacking silverware.
“Hurry up, will’ya?” Shemp says drunkenly, from behind you.
“Ya like that, don’t’cha?” Fatty Pants means you. She’s as
as him, now.
“Nah.” You hear bottles clink. “No meat on ’er.” Like you’re
says, snickering. “I like blondes.”
You know what’s coming.
“Blondes?” she says. “Like, how many?”
“How many?” Shemp says, getting pissed “Like, too many.”
“So I’m not blonde enough
“Forget it,” Shemp says wearily.
A wave of booze hits you, as Fatty Pants reaches past you, grabs
something off the tray.
Scrunch! you hear, next.
“Ahhh!” Shemp says, sounding choked.
Then . . . scrunch again. “You fuck!” she says.
You turn around, nearly keel over.
The biggest knife, she took, and is hacking away. Shemp gags, as
blood shoots out of his neck. He grabs it, tries to stop bleeding.
In minutes he’ll be dead.
But she keeps chopping: chest, shoulders. Now she’s sobbing.
Blood is everywhere: even on you, way over there. On dishes you
washed. Like the world is splashed with Puttanesca sauce.
“Help!” you scream, finally.
Till then, Fatty Pants forgot about you.
Luckily, a waitress runs in and screams . . .
The old blonde.
Cindy is a Jersey girl who looks like a Mob Wife and talks like
Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out a lot, so needs no excuse
to do whatever she wants. She hates shopping and shoes, chick lit and chick
flicks. She’s been published in the usual places, such as Hardboiled; Shotgun
Honey, Twisted Sister, A Twist of Noir; Beat to a Pulp; Pulp
Metal; Thrillers, Killers, n’ Chillers; Mysterical-E; and Powder Burn Flash. She
is the editor of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s also a Gemini, an animal
rights activist, and a Christian.