The Omelet

For De’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub.  Today is the Quadrille – a poem of exactly 44 words sans title and using the prompted word.  Today it is rainy and cool. A good day for sitting in Waffle House and drinking coffee and watching the cook do his job.  De’s prompted word is “quick”. One of my “real” poems about “real” life.

The Omelet
“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.” Anthony Bourdain
The omelet was cooked quickly,
slightly burned on the outside –
brown and tough.
I ate it anyway because I was hungry.
I left a nice tip because I was grateful..
The cook showed up for his job.
more than I did that rainy Monday.

51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whimsygizmo
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 15:45:19

    Toni, I love the kindness, wisdom and simplicity in these lines:
    “I ate it anyway because I was hungry.
    I left a nice tip because I was grateful.”

    Wonderful.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 10, 2018 @ 15:51:03

      Thank you De. The kid was barely past 19. I refuse to make someone working hard for me to feel badly. At one point I wanted to jump over the counter and help him out. He was doing his best.

      Reply

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 15:46:13

    Sometimes you just have to be grateful for what you get…. and in bad weather even bad cooking is good

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 10, 2018 @ 15:48:37

      Well, bad cooking is still bad cooking but it is warm and filling. I refuse to make someone who works hard for me to feel like a fool. So I quietly devour my food and resist giving pointers. Besides, the kid was varely past 19.

      Reply

  3. qbit
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:03:21

    Yes, and if life is an omelette, how we make them, eat them, and treat others reveals our character.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:06:24

      Working in a kitchen for many years and many years ago, I quickly leanrd how people could be true assholes to those who worked hard for them. I resolved never to do that. This kid was barely past 19 and all he knew wwas how he had been taught – quick and high heat. I ate my omelet in solitude and silence. And thanked him when I finally left after drinking several cups of coffee.

      Reply

  4. lillian
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:07:30

    Smiling I am. Love the ending here. Humorous — and kind as well. Somehow I doubt you ever made a nondelicious omelet!

    Reply

  5. Pat: willow88switches
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:07:40

    ah well, sometimes less than perfect does bid the thought of being grateful for the food anyhow …. I really like how you’ve turned this around, and made it into a reflection – the last two lines really are unexpected and totally seal the deal here.

    Reply

  6. kim881
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:10:57

    My husband makes a great omelet, for which I am always grateful!

    Reply

  7. Victoria C. Slotto
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:17:12

    No doubt you are drawing on a memory. I like the response you had. It’s so good and refreshing to be able to put yourself in another’s shoes as you did. Now, I’m going to go get some lunch!

    Reply

  8. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:31:38

    Your inherent kindness is like syrup on the waffle, very sweet. I, because eating out is so expensive, am not so kind. Having been cook & manager in such places, I courteously ask for a new omelet.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 10, 2018 @ 16:58:56

      Waffle House is not fine dining. It is not haute cuisine. It is cheap fast and dependable. The cook had barely passed 19 and was cooking the omelet the way he was taught – high heat and fast. It was edible though not cooked in the French fashion. I cooked as a trained chef and chef de cuisine for 20 years. A wise man once said, it is counter productive and mean to make someone feel like an idiot for working hard for you. I totally agree. If it had been a high end restaurant I would have refused it. As it is, I ate for the reason given and tipped for the reason given. I was not being sweet. I was being well mannered in an often unmannered world if the short order cook.

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      Reply

  9. anmol(alias HA)
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 17:07:52

    Small bits of gratefulness can help us through the day. This was resonant with my own experiences. Friday, I wandered off on my own and my cappuccino turned out to be pretty bad but it was good to be thankful for it.
    Also, I have always believed that respect begets respect, which works in this case too.
    -HA

    Reply

  10. Frank Hubeny
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 17:25:42

    Nice comparison with the cook showing up for his job.

    Reply

  11. Grace
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 18:04:35

    I appreciate the outcome of the omelet anyway as you are hungry (or anyone who is hungry, food always seem delicious). Good for you to give him a nice tip. Now, I am hungry for omelet, smiles.

    Reply

  12. sanaarizvi
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 18:28:39

    This is lovely! ❤️ Love the kindness in “I ate it anyway because I was hungry. I left a nice tip because I was grateful.” 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 10, 2018 @ 18:29:38

      Thank you Sanaa. Maybe I need to go to a different type of restaurant for a big of romance, yes?

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      Reply

  13. Truedessa
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 19:35:10

    I haven’t been to a Waffle House in a long time, in fact I don’t even know if there is still one around here. You were very gracious considering the food was not cooked to your liking.

    Reply

  14. revivedwriter
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 19:44:45

    Thanks for sharing this story.

    Reply

  15. Beverly Crawford
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 19:54:32

    In the great grand scheme of things, an overcooked omelet is, indeed, a small thing!

    Reply

  16. Arcadia Maria
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 20:31:24

    Thought provoking piece. Well done.

    Reply

  17. V.J. Knutson
    Sep 10, 2018 @ 21:15:02

    Sometimes we do the right thing out of compassion, even though the impulse is to complain. Well done – poem and action.

    Reply

  18. Singledust
    Sep 11, 2018 @ 00:28:38

    interesting quote from Bourdain, real life teaches more than books, I love the generosity of your spirit and wallet!!

    Reply

  19. annell4
    Sep 11, 2018 @ 09:12:01

    We are grateful for what we are given, you were kind not to make a fuss, and left a good tip for the cook.

    Reply

  20. merrildsmith
    Sep 11, 2018 @ 13:22:06

    I like this “real” poem. It reflects–empathy perhaps more than kindness. You understood that he had been taught to cook this way, and as you said, the omelet was still edible, if not very good.

    Reply

  21. Linda Kruschke
    Sep 11, 2018 @ 15:43:17

    Way to find the silver lining, something to be thankful for.

    Reply

  22. Misky
    Sep 11, 2018 @ 15:56:39

    Oh, this is excellent, and I hadn’t expected that ending.

    Reply

  23. Dorianna
    Sep 11, 2018 @ 18:23:30

    love it…appreciation that the cook showed up to be able to make the omelet even if it was a little tough…appreciating he did more than you that rainy day, ha!!

    Reply

  24. lynn__
    Sep 12, 2018 @ 09:10:17

    Loved this, Toni! Tipping for imperfect omelet reveals the customer’s character 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 12, 2018 @ 13:57:26

      ❤ Thank you Lynn. I was taught manners a long time ago but more recently as a chef in several busy kitchens. I understand about someone trying their best for you.

      Reply

  25. Vivian Zems
    Sep 12, 2018 @ 15:54:32

    You depicted the simple things in life – kindness and wisdom in a few lines. Love Bourdain’s quote- (RIP)

    Reply

  26. Mish
    Sep 15, 2018 @ 15:08:15

    A sweet example of restraint. Somehow down the road, he would have found out his omelette is not perfect. My husband browns mine too but he makes my breakfast on a Saturday morning. For that I am grateful.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 15, 2018 @ 15:50:08

      Yes ma’am, you are so right. I realize that not everyone is classicly trained and not everyone had the luxury of being shown how to make a perfect omelet. I was truly grateful that the kid had not called in sick that morning. That he had gotten out of bed at 5 to start the 6:30 shift. Thank you for your comment. I am grateful when my husband sets the table!

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      Reply

  27. Lona Gynt
    Sep 16, 2018 @ 17:22:32

    It is nice to be important but more important to be nice, right? 🙂

    Reply

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