Mikey & Nicky’s Diner

DINER

‘This isn’t what I had hoped for my future role in society.’

‘I think you need to flip that Mikey.’

‘I said I didn’t expect to be doing this as a job for the future.’

‘I hear you Mikey,’ Nicky says impatiently, ‘but you need to flip that or it’s going to burn on one side.’

‘Like I keep saying, I didn’t expect to be flippin’ burgers for a career.’

‘I know you are no longer in office, but standards are standards, and it’s flipping burgers, not the colloquial contraction. You’ve been away from Education for some time, but please do justice to the rules of grammar, even though we have both come down a peg or two.’

‘Ha, ha, very funny,’ Mikey sneers. ‘I don’t recall you knowing all that much about grammar accuracy in your more recent occupation of the job I made my own. And it’s tragically de rigueur to pun on my more previous role, and it is really a rather banal attempt. As for coming down a peg or two, I think Dante’s Diner occupies a more colossal depth than you imply.’

‘Just flip the fuckin’, I mean fucking burger Mikey.’

Mikey flips the burger and sighs. His white chef’s hat has fallen down the front of his forehead and is resting on his black-rimmed glasses. He is sweating and breathing heavily, lips pursed fish-like as he sucks in and out.

‘Why are we only cooking burgers?’ Mikey asks.

‘It’s a burger diner.’

‘I know, I know. I mean why aren’t we focusing on sausages and meat pies and other proper English food? You know I love this country and wouldn’t dream of providing any of that European rubbish, but why are we concentrating on this American food?’

‘Look Mikey, I know you successfully banned American authors from being studied at GCSE – and don’t I know it, as I kept being reminded, especially by the persistent pesky irate American ex-teacher from Devon, and I knew it was a stupid decision but didn’t feel able to change it, especially as I didn’t feel able to do anything really – but you can’t reasonably ban burgers from a diner’s menu when it is so clearly now the most popular meal in this country too.’

‘Well, I was never a slave to the popular.’

‘No, you weren’t.’

‘What about these yellow aprons?’ Mikey asks.

‘What about them?’

‘Do you think anyone will get the joke?’

‘I should think most people will have seen the pictures of Teresa kneeling before the Queen and walking up the road to number 10. You couldn’t miss hers draped around her backside.’

‘But it is still a political joke?’

‘Yes, Mikey, it’s still a political joke. Unfortunately, it’s probably not the only political joke people will recall when they come to this diner and see the two of us working here.’

‘We aren’t working here Nicky, we own and run the place.’

‘Yes, Mikey, we really have landed on our feet.’

‘Do you think we’ll see Boris again today?’

‘You know the answer to that Mikey. He has been here for lunch every day for the last two months. He’ll order a double cheese burger, ask for ‘loads and loads of relish’ – giggling – and then leave a tip of euros when paying his bill.’

‘I could spit on it.’

‘Spit on what?’

‘His double cheese burger.’

‘You too?’

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