A Little Disturbance (Flash Fiction #68)

Image by Maciej Cieslak from Pixabay

This is a sequel to the previous story “Ida And Superstition” here. However there’s no need to read the previous story to follow the little plot here. Yik opens a new takeout restaurant in Edison, New Jersey. Expecting a slow start, he is prepared to struggle for several months to get things off the ground, but to his surprise, business is brisk and the demand for his takeout food is higher than he thought.

Somehow words get around and his ex-girlfriend Yani calls him to congratulate. She says she wants to come to have a taste of the food, and of course Yik says she’s welcome. Then she says she wants to bring her new boyfriend Tony over, and Yik says “sure” without even giving a thought.

The second day, they show up. Tony is not terribly good looking, but he has muscles, which require hours and hours of training in a gym. Just a glance at Tony, Yik feels that he’s old. He’s 45. Tony is about ten years younger than him.

Another glance at Tony, Yik feels all the unfairness of this world. Here he is working his butt off in a tiny takeout restaurant without the hope of a break or a vacation. Even if he’s offered a free gym session, he will be too tired to do it. But Tony has all the leisure to go to gyms, to eat out, to date girlfriends.

Yik greets them cordially but goes back to his chef duties quickly, leaving them to the care of the cashier. He wishes them to order the food and go away as soon as possible, but to his surprise, the ordering takes more time than he thinks.

“I can’t accept your Groupon because it doesn’t show the little ‘red button’ to indicate that the service is offered.” The cashier tells Tony and Yani.

“I already paid Groupon and this is the email they sent me. So I press the button in the email to show that I am here to claim my food. There’s no red button at all.” Tony says, and Yani supports his claim.

“I need that red button on your cell phone. I need to press that red button to tell Groupon that it is claimed. Without the red button, we can’t serve you the food. How about you buy the food with cash and then go back to Groupon to claim a refund?” The cashier says.

“I already paid Groupon and I don’t want to shell out another twenty dollars right now.” Tony insists.

“We already paid and we are very hungry right now.” Yani chimed in.

“We don’t serve food without the red button.” The cashier says, turning around to Yik for support.

In any other establishment, the owner would be able to get online to their Groupon account to indicate “service rendered” on this particular coupon, but here in the little restaurant, nobody knows enough English to navigate the website and their own Groupon account.

Yik hears everything and he suddenly feels very upset, for reasons unclear to him. He rushes to the cashier’s counter and shouts, “I am going to stop the Groupon advertising. We have enough business. We don’t need that. You, go away. No food for you.”

“Excuse me?” Tony stares at him, surprised. “What are you saying? I have the right to be here to claim the food I’ve already paid for.” His temper is rising, his muscles bulging.

Two kitchen helpers hear the argument and come forward to support Yik, but taking one look at Tony, they are a little afraid. Tony looks so much stronger than anybody else. Still, one of the kitchen assistants holds a cleaver and waves it at Tony.

“OK. You want to use that?” Tony says in a mocking tone.

A young boy, about fifteen years old, and his parents have been standing in line waiting to order food. It’s a Saturday and the family comes to this plaza to do some shopping and get a haircut. The boy comes forward even though his mother tries to drag him back. He takes a look at the phone and says, “you can get the red button from the Groupon app. See, you are doing everything through the email Groupon sent you, which will not show all the buttons. If you download the Groupon app here, all the buttons will show up.” Then he skillfully presses the cell phone screen in remarkable rapidity. Voila, the whimsical red button shows up.

The cashier takes over, press the red button, and everything is done.

“Oh, that’s it. You want two lunch specials? The food will be right up.” The cashier says happily to Tony.

16 thoughts on “A Little Disturbance (Flash Fiction #68)

  1. Lol. What a fiasco. I thought there might be a few bruises and broken bones.
    I can understand the customers’ frustration. And Yik probably wanted to be rid of the two anyways.
    Thanks to the younger generation. 🙂
    This is a delightful and fun read. Awesome! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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