Holiday Heroes

It’s MLK day and Pine State Biscuits is rammed with patrons. But the staff is in control. Everyone has their part to play and this pack of sweaty Millenials is absolutely killing it. A thick curly haired dude is manning the grill, the oven, and the sauté station. He’s got bacon in the oven, a half dozen pancakes on the grill, and he’s popping open some eggs to scramble. He cracks them one time, pours the egg into the pan, then slings the shells into the can behind him without looking. He heaps small mountains of onions and mushrooms onto the grill. I’m about to order when a waitress rounds the corner from the kitchen. She makes eye contact with the hostess, puts two fingers to her own temple, and jokingly blows her brains out. The hostess and I laugh. The hostess tells me she and her friend forgot what day it was, and were caught off guard by the mob of people. The reaches around the building and out of sight. I’m here at around nine forty, but by the time I leave at 11 am the line will not have diminished one bit. Behind the bar the staff is moving confidently through their world, yelling out and receiving orders, plating the stacks of deep fried satisfaction and prepping them for sale. To put it simply, they are in the zone. A woman tending the orders stands up strait, cocks her head back, and calls out that they are selling the last of the patties. She wipes her brow, and swings a couple trays of fresh biscuits out the oven. All of a sudden I get what Russian figurative sculpture is about, plus a Reggie Deluxe and fries. These people, the service industry, are out here helping to ensure that the holidays are properly celebrated. Making sure when it comes time for the rest of America to hang up its hat and say “time to relax,” that theres a way to really do that. And most times it’s a pretty thankless job. The other day I read that Millenials are perceived as a scourge (in playboy magazine), but, you know what, especially on holidays, take a minute and thank the horde that keeps our lives luxurious. Sure, maybe this country would be better off if there was a larger technical industry that these people could work in, but on days like this it’s hard to think of a better use of time than the towering delicacy before me. Hats off to young people in the service industry and hats off to Pine State Biscuits.

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