4B’S CAFE

4Bs_cafe_1951

Maybe the wagon wheels out front

or the ropes bordering the menus

drove me to make a beeline

for the horseshoe window booth

in the old West Broadway 4B’s,

slide across that slick-hard plastic,

brass tacked and barn red,

and grip the rim of the Formica table-top

like the lap handle on the Tilt-a-Whirl

at the carnival each summer (the best

ride!) at the Western Montana Fair.

 

Our Dale Evans costumed waitress

handed out menus with cartoon bees

buzzing over a corral scene of horses,

fences, lariats, and cow-folk covered

in wipe-clean plastic sleeves—

no ketchup or coffee stains. Each

of the bees had a human face, cut-out

photos of Bill, Billy, Buddy, and Barbara,

the 4 B’s was a real family cafe.

 

Our waitress sashayed back

in her hooped skirt, flipped over

and poured my folks coffee cups

to the brim, pulled a pencil from her hair,

beehive, and started taking orders: one

Cubed Steak with fries and Thousand Island

for Dad; a Chicken Fried Steak for Mom,

Blue Cheese dressing; a Hamburger

for my sister, no onion, and a large Coke;

my brother always ordered the BLT

and Vanilla shake (which my dad

usually changed to a glass of milk).

 

When she looked at me and asked,

“What can I get cha, Hon?” I ordered

the liver and onions, a large Root Beer.

She laughed and looked at my folks

who shrugged, so she started collecting

menus, “You sure you’re not pullin’ my leg?”

She smiled. I shook my head. My mother

assured her it wasn’t a joke, I really

loved liver and onions. Miss Kitty

winked at me, “In twenty years of hashing,

Sweetie, no child’s ever ordered that

from me.” Mother nodded, Dad grinned,

my sister rolled her eyes,

and my brother glared at me.

 

On her way to the kitchen

the waitress turned and said,

“Are you sure he doesn’t want a

Pabst Blue Ribbon with that?”

 

The men sitting at the table next to us

turned and laughed. One suggested

a side of hearts & gizzards. Then more

people around us laughed. And I

wondered how they knew or why it was

so funny—but I liked it just the same.

 

This entry was posted in Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 4B’S CAFE

  1. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever woirk and coverage!

    Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you
    guys to my personal blogroll.

  2. Enchanting articles on every side hypnotic and unconventional stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *