‘I’ll have a roast pork tenderloin with apple sauce and mashed potatoes,' the first man said.
‘It isn’t ready yet.’
‘What the hell do you put it on the card for?’
‘That’s the dinner,’ George explained. ‘You can get that at six o'clock.’
George looked at the clock on the wall behind the counter.
‘It’s five o'clock’
‘The clock says twenty minutes past five,’ the second man said.
‘It’s twenty minutes fast.’
‘Oh, to hell with the clock,’ the first man said. ‘What have you got to eat?’
‘I can give you any kind of sandwiches,’ George said. ‘You can have ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, liver and bacon, or a steak.’
‘Give me chicken croquettes with green peas and cream sauce and mashed potatoes.’
‘That’s the dinner.’
‘Everything we want’s the dinner, eh? That’s the way you work it.’
‘I can give you ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, liver –’
‘I’ll take ham and eggs,’ the man called Al Said. He wore a derby hat and a black overcoat buttoned across the chest. His face was small and white and he had tight lips. He wore a silk muffler and gloves.