Breakfast, politics and checkers was the order with the guys on Saturday morning at the diner in Meyer, Minnesota, a small town of 150. It was one of those towns if you sneezed everyone knew about it.
It was the weekend before Christmas. Herb decided to pick up the check for the boys. You could say that he was in the holiday spirit. He shuffled up to pay, as the cashier rang up the bill, he opened his wallet to find it empty.
"Ahhh…ummm I think my cell phone is ringing." He staggered over in front of the restroom as red blotches formed on his neck.
His shoulders dropped as he pushed the speed dial button on his phone. He looked over his shoulder at the cashier. "Honey, I forgot to stop at the ATM this morning. I loaned you the credit card so you could go to the city and shop. I offered to pay for the guys’ breakfasts. Brandy, the town gossip, is running the cash register. I’m a millionaire executive for a Fortune 500 company. What’s gonna happen when this gets out? Everyone will think I‘m broke or a deadbeat. You gotta get here quick."
"You‘re lucky. I was just leaving to go shopping. I’ll get there as soon as I can."
Herb sulked back to the cashier. "Herb, when are you going to pay, next June?" some of the patrons snickered.
Herb gulped loudly. "Brandy, if you don't mind, I want to sit, relax and have more coffee. I'll pay you later."
Brandy tapped her fingers on the counter. "Sorry, but I already rung it up. I can't void it. You gotta pay NOW!"
Herb's face turned red. "I want to pay, but not right now. Can't I just sit and relax for a while?"
Brandy smirked, "Sure, you can relax, but you need to pay now. There are other people who are waiting. I can’t void your transaction."
Herb paced for a few seconds. "What's wrong, Herb?" asked Brandy.
Herb looked like he was about to faint, "I…I d-do…n't h-ha…ve any m-money."
Brandy laughed, "You're a millionaire and ya don't have the money. Just wait till the rest of the town hears this."
Herb clenched his jaw. "My wife is going to be here shortly with the money. Please don't tell anyone about this. Could this be our little secret? Why does anyone in this town need to know?"
Brandy had a smirk on her face. "It's too late, everyone here has seen what just happened. I don’t have to tell anyone anything. Everyone here can do my dirty work for me."
Bill, one of the guys walked over. "Herb, I'll take care of the check."
"Thank you, Bill, but my wife is on her way."
Just then his wife showed up and gave Herb the credit card. "Here you go, Honey."
"Brandy, here's my credit card. Do you see it?" Herb held it about two inches from her face. "I can pay you now!"
Brandy laughed as she swiped the card through the machine. "That will be $90.67."
"Brandy, I'm going to try really hard not to get mad at you. Add a $25 tip to the check."
Herb hugged his wife and both of them walked out of the diner.
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