by Colleen Sutherland
At 9:30 a.m. Aggie stepped outside her diner for a breath of fresh air. The morning cook and the part time waitress had left. Aggie would be alone in the diner for the next two hours if she was lucky. She didn't expect to be, but she could always hope.
She looked up at and down the quiet Main Street watching the occasional walkers, mostly young housewives getting in a stroll while their children were in school. She watched one house in particular, way down where the business district ended, past Mike's Hardware. She looked at her watch then up again as the front door opened and the man of the house emerged. She sighed and went back into the diner to start the coffee, but first she had a phone call to make.
“They're coming,” Aggie said and hung up.
In a few minutes, Frank was at the diner. He hooked his cane over the coat rack and sat down at the horseshoe counter. Oliver and Carson soon followed. Carson didn't sit down until he had turned on the television and helped himself to coffee. Aggie's quiet morning was over. Only one more senior citizen and the Four Old Farts would be assembled for their morning discussion.
On the television set a has-been actor was selling second rate life insurance “for only pennies a day”. Aggie knew that Oliver and Frank already had their policies. Carson was still thinking about it but he was the cheapskate of the bunch. He figured his kids could afford the funeral. He was counting out his seventy five cents for the coffee. “When are you going to lower your price, Aggie?” He said the same thing every day. “It's Obama's fault, these high prices.”
Aggie pursed her lips. For the next two hours, all she could hope to take in was $3.00 for the coffee and that included all their refills. Everyone in town knew about The Old Farts. There would be no more customers while they were there unless some unwary tourist came in. There would be no tip.