The Tale of Two Lunches

“Oi, miss, you cyaan jus stand dere so and not order anyting,” the cashier sighed, exasperation written all over her face. “You holding up the line.”

The line had about five people behind me, but I didn’t care. I waited patiently for the five people before me to get through and now it was my turn. The others can wait, and they will.

“I know, I know . . . I just can’t decide.”

“You cyaan decide what ma’am?” she grumbled, folding her arms over her chest and rolling her lazy eyes at me.

“Whether to get the Peppered Steak or the Stewed Peas,” I replied eyeing the menu board above the cashier.

Every Wednesday, the age-old question resurfaces . . . What to get for lunch today?

My regular restaurant, inadvertently but I am beginning to think its a malicious act, prepares two of my most favourite meals . . . Peppered Steak and Stewed Peas, every Wednesday.

And every Wednesday, like clock work I would feel for one thing from the get-go, for example Peppered Steak, but upon arriving at the restaurant, my appetite would change for Stewed Peas, and so on.

This Wednesday I stood by the cashier contemplating my two options, unable to make a decision.

“You know seh you can mix the two right? You can get Peppered Steak with a likkle Stewed Peas and vice versa,” she replied.

Hmmm, Peppered Steak and Stewed Peas together?! I have never thought of that before, but to be honest, the idea was not appeasing. Peppered Steak was savoury, tasty, peppery, and oh-so-meaty with the bits of steak and the sweet peppers and onions and carrots made with it. Stewed Peas on the other hand was a lighter meal, somewhat savoury, but tends to be a healthier option than the Peppered Steak, often served with irish or sweet potatoes, yam, and boiled dumplings. A much better option to rice.

But still, I couldn’t decide.

“No, I won’t mix them,” I replied and the cashier’s shoulders sagged.

“Well . . . you had Stewed Peas las’ week, nuh true?”

I nodded.

“Den have the Peppered Steak today,” she concluded.

Her logic was sound, why hadn’t I thought of alternating the two each week? The truth was that often times, one meal would not taste as spectacular as is usual. Sometimes, it would seem the cooks had an off-day . . . like most people. And as such, the Peppered steak would taste bland, or the Stewed Peas would be void of peas.

As I stood there contemplating my two options, the cashier asked to allow the next person to go ahead of me, to which I obliged while I made my decision.

The lady immediately behind me without hesitation rattled off her meal: “Fried Chicken, breast and wing, rice and peas, raw veg, and a bottle of Cran-Wata.”

Damn, she knew exactly what she wanted, probably had all the time in the world to get her order straight while waiting on me to decide mine.

The man behind her whispered his choice to the cashier, though I heard everything as well. “Oxtail with a tuups of stew peas on the white rice, raw veg and a cup of orange juice.”

Another customer who knew exactly what he wanted, and still I couldn’t decide.

The cashier looked at me again and waited to see if I had made up my mind. I took a deep breath.

“Peppered steak with rice and peas,” I said.

“You sure?” she asked smirking.

Why would you ask me a question like that, I wondered. You must really want me to start all over again.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“Anyting else?” she asked.

“Yeah, add a little Stewed Peas on the rice, and I want raw veg, and a bottle of Cran-Wata.”

I have to admit, the Peppered Steak with a tuups of Stewed Peas tasted great, I half wished they gave me more than just a tuups. But that night, my stomach rumbled like thunder, and all sorts of unimaginable things happened.

In other words, Peppered Steak and Stewed Peas may taste great together, but are a deadly combination. Just make sure you don’t have plans to leave your home afterwards.

Post inspired by Writing 101: Day 7 – Give and Take



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