Waffle House Zeros

The haggard thirty-something Waffle House waitress didn’t bother with the usual niceties, and dove straight into her active concern. She had a “stalker” to complain about to me and the cook.

“Oh, dat guy!” The friendly Southern Black cook laughed. “I wondered if I should rescue you!”

“You should have!” She cried. “He was being a jerk and he’s a jerk every time he comes in here.”

“I’ll rescue you next time, girl. I was busy.”

She let out a theatrical exaggerated sigh and asked me, “Why do guys think they can act like that? Do they actually think it’ll work?”

“It does work, ma’am. It’s a numbers game, and it works.”

“A numbers game? It is a game to him. He’s probably trying to get a girl in every state.”

“I’m single and available. He’s single and available. I’m cautious, reserved, and courteous. He’s the opposite. We both would like to get with you, but my odds are zero and his are…”

She cut me off, “Zero.”

“Near zero.” I corrected her. “You know his name. You’re thinking about him. You won’t forget he exists for a while, and existing is half the game.”

“You want to wear those hash browns?” She playfully threatened me.

“Okay. Zero. But he does that to every waitress at every Waffle House between here and Los Angeles. I do this to every waitress. Who’s more likely to win?”

“He’s a sociopath! Besides, I’m sure there’s a nice girl out there for you.”

“Well, what if I wanted the mean girl in here, instead?”

“Zero.”

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