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Daniel S. McTaggart

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Lousy
by Daniel S. McTaggart
Monday, January 14, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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           >> View all 89

I'll walk into a lousy diner one day.
drink a lousy cup of coffee.
the counter, lousy with grit
from somebody's toast
and a cigarette
that couldn't
or wouldn't
reach the ashtray.

the waitress will take my order
while threading
her lousy hair.
but I'll get something
completely different
because she has
a lousy memory.

the food will arrive late because
she argues with the cook
who is
a cantankerous
louse.

and I'll whisper
to myself
"what lousy service."

but she'll hear me somehow
and refill
my coffee only half
way.
and she'll bring me
a nearly empty ketchup bottle
when I ask
for condiments.

I'll try to start a conversation
with her
but she'll be lousy at that, too.
answering every statement
or question
with "hmph" or "uh huh."

all the while, a crusty
little AM radio
plays the lousiest country
music I've ever
heard.
spitting
every beer-stained chorus
through the carpet
of cobwebs
draped over the speaker.

I'll be ready for the check, but
that waitress
spends all her time
in the corner
with some fat biker.
a hairy ogre
in a Harley tank top
with a handlebar moustache
and lousy teeth.
he smiles and
all I see is brown and black.
I'll never know which
is the color of his teeth.
maybe both.

I'll yell "Miss?" a few times before
she finally gets up saying
"hold your lousy horses."
I'll shuffle some bills
out of my wallet
as she tries
to say
"have a nice day."
but it comes out
as a growl from the left
corner
of her mouth.
an expression that stabs
her in the cheek.

she struts back to the biker
who by this time
must have a divot
in his lap
the size of her ass.
and I'll walk out the door
quickly
thinking
"gee...
I didn't even
leave her
a lousy tip."



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Reviewed by Amira van Kerk 4/5/2008
Not lousy but great ! Especially the end.
Amira
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 1/22/2008
So glad it's not only me who has these kinds of days... Lice sure do make you itch and usually in places where tis unseemly to scratch.... But there's a time to be polite and a time to say, "No... to hell with it!" Seems like this was one of them occasions, Daniel! Maybe, with all that head-to-head contact, they will have got lice themselves...!!! Love the funny side here... but also the frustrating reality. Great stuff! Kate xx
Reviewed by David Hightower 1/20/2008
Daniel - Loved the opening lines of this poem, images and sounds:
I'll walk into a lousy diner one day.
drink a lousy cup of coffee.
the counter, lousy with grit
from somebody's toast
and a cigarette
that couldn't
or wouldn't
reach the ashtray.

and you kept it rolling all the way to the end. I still feel gritty after reading it. Excellent poem - "no lousy tip." - David
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 1/15/2008
I've been there, its on the corner of a town that is also lousy with graft and overspending...personally I only give tips to the tops, the rest I leave a crusty old lousy penny...e
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 1/15/2008
I always love reading your views of life, on the back roads...so to speak. Still enjoy reading your book, looking forward to more from you...

Carole~
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 1/14/2008
Sounds like one of the little out of the way cafe's I have stopped in as I traveled around the country. A little bit of down to earth living...

Be safe,
Karen
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 1/14/2008
i love this look into a scene of every day life-these are some of my favorite types of work
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/14/2008
LOL Being a waitress in a former life...I can understand why no tip. She probably cussed you out after you'd left, "Lousy customer didn't leave me a lousy tip!" As if she deserved one...I loved reading this, Daniel, you took me there. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
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