Crazy Things Happen In Paradise
“So you used to be a cop in Canada?”
“Yeah, in another life a long, long time ago.”
I was talking with a cute young waitress named Mia at the Clearwater Beach
International House of Pancakes – IHOP. I had started to come to IHOP regularly for my main
meal of the day, and Mia was the reason. The other two places that I used to go to were nearer to
my room, but the chance to see Mia had made walking the extra distance seem worthwhile. I
hadn’t really said anything of consequence to her for the first week or so. I just enjoyed watching
her. As the days passed, she seemed to take an increasing interest in me. I wanted to believe her
attention was the result of my innate charm. More probably, her interest had grown in proportion
to the generous tip I always sacrificed for her.
At first, when we finally did more than the serve and volley of ordering a meal, we made
casual conversation - the weather – hurricanes and evacuation routes, Clearwater events, tourists
and fishing. A week or so into that routine, she accidentally placed the wrong order in front of
me. She apologized profusely claiming she had other things on her mind. Her embarrassment
was evident. I teased her about being a blonde and having a mind to have other things on. And
the verbal exchange started. She passed off my blonde insult with a quick wry smile and a verbal
shot about single males eating alone every day at the IHOP - round one to Mia.
From that first short exchange, we began a daily ongoing banter that I thoroughly
enjoyed. It was innocent. We were having fun.
Example: Did you hear about the two blondes who decided to drive to Disney Land?
When they saw a sign that read “Disney Land left”, they turned around and went home.
Mia seemed to look forward to our verbal sparring as much as I did. Often, when I
arrived for my meal, she would have an opening quip about tourists or Canadians. I soon realized
that my stock of blonde jokes was running out pretty quickly. I made a quick visit to the local
library’s Internet service, and my cup overflowth. There were enough jokes to keep me going for