Terms: word / griddle / hot cakes
It was the day of the great Municipal Marathon. All the best athletes in the region had come down to the city to participate in the famous event. You had everything from decorated Olympians to fit grannies showing they could still run with the young crowd, and, as the saying goes, everything else in between. One of these participants happened to be Charles. He was an avid track-and-field runner at his high school back home. But this was his first big marathon, as well as his first run, outside of his home country.
Well, he ran and got tired like everyone else did. The fact that he wasn’t as dead as some of the other runners made him feel a boost in his confidence. He actually came out ahead of one of the Olympian runners! But all his effort still put him behind two grinning grannies.
—How is that possible? he said to himself. They didn’t even break a sweat!
Regardless of his time in the race, his mind only wanted to know about his next meal.
—Where should we go? Charles asked to his growling belly. Somewhere where the food is as fat and seasoned as possible.
Without even thinking of a shower he went off down a long avenue in a central neighborhood where all the best-known restaurants in town were. He walked past one and then another, testing the worth of each place by its smell, appearance, and wait line outside the building. It couldn’t smell or look too good or it would be too expensive. As for the line, he didn’t feel like waiting half a day to fill his needy stomach. He had to have food now!
One place caught his nose’s attention and wouldn’t let go.
—Remember the rule of smell, he reminded himself, but his nose wouldn’t let him turn away.
He walked into this restaurant, still dressed in his running attire, and it looked kind of average, yet very busy. Nothing too high class, that is. He sat at an empty table and checked the menu: Chicken and waffles?
—Hmm. Now, that’s an odd combination.
—Hi, welcome to the famous house of chicken and waffles! Can I get your drink, or would you like to order already?
—Wow, your service is great! I actually just sat down. I’ve never been here before.
—No problem! I can start you with a drink …
—I guess I’ll order the orange drink– juice. Sorry.
—Haha, sounds good.
Then the waiter noticed Charles’s running clothes.
—I can suggest some combo plates for you. I see you got your running gear on.
—Oh, right! I forgot to change. I was so hungry I just came looking for food as quickly as I could. I ran in the Municipal Marathon, actually.
—Word? I forgot that that was today. Awesome, man. I bet you came in first?
—Ah, well, not exactly. You’re kind, though. Umm, I just don’t quite understand–
—Sure, what’s that?
—When you said “Word.” Were you asking me to say a specific word?
The waiter’s face clicked as though he understood immediately what Charles wanted to say.
—Sorry, sometimes my slang gets into my work. I meant Word, which is like me asking, “Is that right?” or, “Really?” Do you see?
—Okay, word is just a way to say “really?” almost like you’re a little surprised.
—Precisely. Let me check this other table real quick. I’ll be right back.
He watched the waiter leave and stamped the word “word” into his memory. Scanning over his menu he saw lots of tasty-sounding dishes; sausage this and waffles that and buttery this and lemony that. Everything sounded and looked amazing. One item he saw didn’t make much sense to him, though. When his waiter came back, Charles thought to ask.
—Hi again. I just have a doubt with this here. How do I say it? Girdle?
—Right, the hot cakes on the griddle. A griddle is just a little cooking stove with a flat surface where we pour the hot cakes over. It makes them cook a lot faster.
—Okay, I see now. But, hot cakes?
—Oh, I’m sorry. Hot cakes are the same as “pancakes.” You’ve seen pancakes, right?
—Of course! I just never heard that name before.
—It’s more of a nice, down-home way to say it. Hot cakes on the griddle. Sounds like from your grandma’s house, doesn’t it? More homey.
Charles definitely liked the sound of that.
—So I’ll get the hot cakes on the griddle with a wing and thigh on the side.
—Now we’re talking! We actually have a Marathon Day Deal, where all pancake dishes are half price.
Charles’s face lit up.
—Word? I’ll order two then!