2007-01-25: The Kindness Of Scheming Strangers

Starring:

Joshua_icon.gif Evie_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Mr. O'Neal & Melissa

Summary: Evie and her friend take advantage of the food at the Wildhog and Joshua is a good owner.

Date It Happened: January 25th, 2007

The Kindness of Scheming Strangers


The Wildhog

The everyday goofing-off of the Wildhog employees aren't exactly a well-kept secret; after all, Melissa really does like to blab her mouth to her friends, who in turn tell their friends, and, well, you can see where this is going. Of course, just because Joshua lets the employees goof off when the restaurant is slow doesn't mean that the service is bad. When there's customers? Well, those employees do the job, and they do it well. Joshua may let them have their fun, but he makes sure they perform their duties, too!

Speaking of Melissa, she's currently sitting on the front counter, watching the front door and polishing her nails. What 23-year-old polishes their nails at -work-? Melissa, apparently. But hey, she's good with the customers, and she gets along with the other employees well. So! She can polish her nails. However, there's a slight ringing noise, and the door to the Wildhog opens… and in strolls Joshua. Wearing khaki shorts, flip-flops, and a Hawaiian t-shirt. Sunglasses, too. Not only does he look like a tourist, he has a guitar case strapped to his back, so he's a -musical- tourist. "Melissa," he says, nodding his head towards the girl, "Pink today? Or red?"

Taking advantage of the '12 and Under Eat for Free' policy at Wildhog is a twelve year old girl. (She looks a bit younger and could probably still pull off free meals next year too, truth be told.) She's not alone - across from the brown-haired girl is a man with a scraggly beard and rather shabby duds. He's ravenously devouring a plate of buffalo wings while Evie is only slightly more delicate with her meal. She continuously looks over at her dinner companion, seeming pleased about one thing or another. "Do you like New York, Mister O'Neal?" She barely gets her upbeat little question out before she swings her head around to the man who just entered. Instantly, she smacks a hand over her mouth, although it does nothing to stifle the giggle that follows anyway.

"Pink!" Melissa replies brightly, shooting Joshua a smile and sliding off of the counter. She looks over to Evie and Scraggly Bearded Man, tilting her head slightly in their direction. "Only customers of the day so far. Should have a few more in an hour or so.. it's always slow on Thursdays." Joshua nods slightly, re-adjusting the guitar on his back, and he lifts his sunglasses up with his left hand to look at the customers. "Well, as long as they're paying!" he says, and he turns towards the kitchens. "I need to go put my guitar in the back," he says and Melissa nods in response, immediately hopping off to find something to do afterwards (the boss is here.) Joshua gives Evie and Scraggly Bearded Man one last look, before disappearing behind a set of swinging doors, off to put his guitar down so he can greet his customers properly.

Giggles subsiding - due in small part to the fact that she shoves an animal-shaped chicken nugget in her mouth - Evie returns Melissa and Joshua's looks with an innocent 'what are you looking at?' breed of expression. The unkempt man across from her (he's also rather grimy, if one looks closely) has a flash of alarm cross his face when Joshua makes the comment about paying, but Evie pipes up. "Don't sweat it Mister O'Neal! We're paying customers. Well… one of us is." She clutches the edge of the table, leans in, purses her lips, and glances side to side surreptitiously before whispering: "Don't worry, I have a really good scam. They ain't gonna suspect ANYTHING."

Once in the back of the restaurant in his office, Joshua takes a seat at his desk and does a quick scan of the day's numbers. Or lack thereof. Melissa wasn't lying when she said Evie and Scraggly Bearded Man were the only customers of the day so far. Oh well. That's just Thursday at the Wildhog. There'll be more in the evening to come. Standing from his desk and makign sure his guitar is in its right place, Joshua tosses his sunglasses on a stack of paper and departs from his office, eventually making his way back through the swinging doors and over to the two's table. "Hello!" he says, giving them a classic grin, and a little nod of his head. "How is everything tonight? The food okay?"

Evie swings her legs back and forth under the table, where only her toes swipe the floor, and only barely, at that. Carefree and chowing down. Until Joshua appears. Her feet stop swinging abruptly. A mere second later, though, the child is beaming a bright smile. "Everything's great! My friend REALLY likes the buffalo wings. Isn't that right, Mister O'Neal?" Her friend pauses mid-bite and stares at the boss-man - before resuming his greedy devouring. "…He skipped breakfast. I tried to tell him, it's the most important meal of the day…"

"Well, I'm glad to hear that," Joshua says, turning his eyes on Mister O'Neal. He gives him a quick look over, takes in the first impression, and then turns back to Evie. "And what did you have?" As soon as the question is out of his mouth, Melissa appears, and takes Evie and O'Neal's drinks to refill them. "Thanks, Melissa," Joshua says to her, before turning back to Evie, an inquisitive, yet relaxed look on his face. He likes chatting with customers!

"The special," Evie answers immediately, looking down at her plate which… now contains a lot of crumbs, a few smears of ketchup, and a lone nugget. "The kids one." She helpfully pushes her tall glass, which obviously contained a milkshake, toward Melissa when she comes to refill the drinks. "With a milkshake. Chocolate. It was good. I'd give it an seven-point-five out of ten, easy. Are you, like…" She struggles to find the right word or phrase, quirking her mouth to one side and squinting an eye. "…the manager? You're in charge, right? I have question. It's really important."

"Ooh, a seven-point-five," Joshua repeats, smirking slightly at the young girl. "I'll do my best to make sure it's at -least- an eight next time." At her question, he nods, but then he stops himself and turns it into kind of a shrug nod. "I'm the owner of the restaurant, so I guess that makes me manager. I have other people that work in manager positions, but I guess you could say I'm the top Hog."

"Okay!" Evie replies acceptingly to that answer. It's good enough for her! She plucks her last remaining chicken nugget off her plate with her fingers and poises to bite it, but not before she adopts a Very Serious Expression and pegs Joshua with her lively blue gaze. "Alright… so…" The girl tips her head down a little bit. "Does dessert come for free too if you're twelve or under?"

"With practice, we might be able to get it up to a nine, or even a ten," Joshua continues, giving another slight nod of his head. He turns slightly to take a look back towards the kitchens, where a loud crash has just sounded. "Tommy," Joshua says under his breath, shaking his head and giving a small snort-laugh, before turning back towards Evie. "Desert? Yeah, it comes for free. Did you have something picked out already?"

"Uuuuuhm…" Evie, now chowing down on that last nugget finally, bites her lower lip and sneaks a fleeting, unsure glance at her dinner pal. Ultimately, she gives her head a swift shake. "Nope. I'll have to think about it," she answers with her mouth full. 'Cause you have so many /options/ here, y'know?" She swipes a dessert menu from its holder and splays it out on the table beside her empty plate. "Oh! Can I… when I make up my mind, can I get my dessert to go?"

Joshua waits patiently, putting his hands behind his back (allowing his shirt to be on full display, a large 'Surf's Up, Bro!' emblazoned on the front of it in waves, surrounded by Hawaiian-esque foliage and colors), but when Evie says she still needs to decide, he nods. "Not a problem at all," he says, glancing over to O'Neal, before taking a step away. "I'm just going to go check on the kitchen real quick, and then I'll come back to see if you've decided, okay?" With that, he takes a full turn, and disappears behind those swinging doors.

Success! Evie beams at Joshua— "Okay! Thanks!" - and then turns her beaming face onto the scraggly man across from her, who is finally wiping his hands after finishing his meal. "You have barbecue sauce in your beard, Mister O'Neal," the girl points out cheerfully, ducking her head and giggling a bit. She then peeks toward the swinging doors Joshua disappeared behind and hunkers down over the table. "Okay, Mister O'Neal…" she flattens her small palms on the dessert menu and pushes it across the table, swirling it around to face the man. "Pick /anything/. Even THAT one," she points at a giant slice sumptuous chocolate cake - incidentally, one of the more expensive desserts. "It's FREE." Evie digs into one of the pockets of her cargo pants and, all so very covertly, deposits a few crumpled bills into an equally crumpled napkin. This oh-so-sneaky bundle is then handed to her unusual companion. "Now all you gotta do is give 'em this when one of 'em comes back. Easy as…" She's distracted by the menu. "Oooh, how about that pie? It's real good. Maybe even a nine."

It isn't long before Joshua is walking through those swinging doors again, having averted whatever crisis was going on in the kitchen. Turns out one of the shelves fell off of the wall because someone took the screws out. Their excuse? 'I didn't know that would happen!' He was disciplined, though, so it's okay. Joshua crosses the restaurant quickly, arriving back at Evie's table. "So, have you decided?"

With some grunting and pointing and other deliberating in the time before Joshua reappears, a conclusion was indeed formed. "Yep!" Evie chirps. "Mi— I'm going to have the… um… what's it called…" She turns the menu back around to face herself and points at one of the pies. "That one! To go. So we pay now, right?" There's a light thud underneath the table and Mister O'Neal grunts and hoarsely mumbles something incomprehensible. Evie gives him a pointed look and he hands a few crumpled bills to Joshua, giving him a half-toothless and not-quite-all-there smile.

"One Swiss Delight Pie coming right up!" Joshua says, and he turns towards the kitchens. He nods at Melissa, who disappears through the swinging doors to get the cooks on the order. When the money is handed to him, he takes in his hand, and with a small nod to Mister O'Neal, he looks at the both of them. "Well, my name is Joshua, and I'm glad that you two chose my restaurant for your meal. I'll get Melissa on your bill, and she'll be back with your change. I hope you two come back!" With that, he turns towards the kitchens himself, and disappears through the swinging doors as well. About five minutes later, a cook comes waltzing through with the pie, heading towards Evie's table, and Melissa heads towards the cash register to take care of their bill.

"He seems nice," Evie comments idly as she watches Joshua disappear again. She resumes kicking her feet to and fro under the table until the pie happens along. "Next time, you won't order anything, and we can share mine," she suggests cheerfully. "I know what it's like being hungry all the time and not knowing how you're gonna get your stomach to just zip it. So… enjoy your pie, Mister O'Neal." She takes the Swiss Delight and hands it to the man, who nods and gives the girl a sincere (read: less vacant) smile. Evie then starts to slide out of her seat.

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