You Want Fries With That?
by Jeff Baker
I am sitting outside Dinglehoff’s Bar and Grill with my laptop, on account of they will not let me back in after the incident with the soy sauce when I see the first flying saucer.
I am sitting there on the sidewalk because the light is better and they will let me call in and order take out. They have fries with the best dipping sauce in the world so I do not complain.
So anyway, I am in the middle of the article that is due the next day when I notice the first saucer which has coasted to a stop over the parking lot on the other side of the building right next to the closed battery store. I check on the news website and there is no buzz about it, nor is there any on Facebook, so I crane my neck to see (not wanting to get up, it is only a flying saucer) when the second saucer lands right in front of me with no sound except a “click” when the three metal legs touch the pavement. Hopefully not cracking it, as Mr. Dinglehoff gets very upset when the eighteen-wheelers park there. It is, you will see, not too difficult to upset Mr. Dinglehoff. A few minutes later a tall man exits the ship on a ladder, looking a lot like the ordinary guys you see going to baseball games, wearing (so help me!) a silver suit and walks across the lot to meet up with the other silver-suited man who has exited the other saucer via a similar ladder extending from the ship. They then walk in to Dinglehoff’s.
Now I am just glad the ship did not land one of its metal feet on me (they are about nine feet long and about as wide as the chair I am sitting in) but I am still curious about whether this is the beginning of an alien takeover of Earth. If it is, I figure I need to save the story I am working on and cover this one. A few minutes later, one of the spacemen walks out of the restaurant with Mr. Dinglehoff; points to the spaceship and Mr. Dinglehoff stares up at it open mouthed. They then walk back into the restaurant, and I am starting to write all about the spacemen and describe the size and shape of the saucers and eat the rest of my fries with the last of the sauce.
It is about fifteen minutes later when the two aliens leave the restaurant and return to their respective spaceships, and the spaceships take off a few minutes later with barely a sound and vanish into the sky. I walk over to the restaurant, as I see Mr. Dinglehoff standing there staring upward.
“What did they say? “ I ask. “I’m covering the story for the Daily Beacon,” I explain when he glares at me. He understands the need for good publicity and so he tells me, and I will tell you what he said.
“They were passing by and monitoring our radio broadcasts, heard one of my commercials and got curious,” Mr. Dinglehoff says. “We say that we have the best dipping sauce in the world and they wanted some. So I gave them a complimentary bag of fries and a cup of the sauce and they liked it. So, they placed an order for take out the next time they’re passing by.”
“And when,” I asked, being M. Reporter, “will that be?”
“Middle of next week,” he said. “Hey, that reminds me.” He sticks his head in the door and hollers out to Buddy, Eric and Stephen to call everybody in, saying they will be “working late.”
“What exactly did they order?” I am asking. He shakes his head and sighs.
“One thousand, three hundred and twenty-four orders of fries with sauce,” he said.
“This could be an historic opening in interplanetary relations,” I say. “And you will want good publicity on this story from the reporter on the scene. Shall we continue this interview inside in my old booth?”
He is holding the restaurant door open for me as I walk inside.
(With apologies to Damon Runyon.)