The Hundred Day War

Kara dragged herself from under the covers and stumbled into the bathroom.  She stood under the shower head and braced herself as she cranked the cold water lever to maximum. About twenty seconds did the trick and her brain clicked on. Shower, dress, eat, go to the bank for change, work — double shift.  The first of many to come…

As she towelled off, the aroma of black velvet dark roast wafted in from the kitchen.  That coffee maker with the start timer was the best present she had ever bought herself.  She had even thought ahead last night and prepped enough for a double pot. She needed every bit of energy she could get today.

Bringing a cup of coffee back to the bedroom, she surveyed her clothing options.  Melissa’s definitely putting me outside today… khaki shorts… cotton V-neck…. light makeup — foundation, a little eyeliner and a kiss of blush.  Satisfied with the game plan, Kara set her coffee on the dressing and started blow drying her hair.

Twenty minutes later she inspected her work.  Her ponytail was neat, makeup looked fresh, and the outfit fit well.  Satisfied, she grabbed her apron, purse, keys and out the door she went.

“Hi Kara, can I help you?”

“Hey Becky,” Kara approached the counter and handed over two twenties. “Can I get a ten, two fives,  fifteen ones, three bucks in quarters, a buck in dimes, eighty cents in nickels and twenty pennies, please?”

Becky arched an eyebrow. “You’re not messing around today, are you?” she asked, counting out the change.

“Not my first time ’round the block!” Kara laughed. “I’ll probably run out before the weekend’s over, but the girls at the host stand get bitchy if you come in with no bank.”

Becky chuckled as she handed the money over. “Here’s to the Hundred Day War.”

“The Hundred Day War!” Kara smiled in acknowledgement, before turning and continuing her day.

When she got to work she immediately checked the section assignments. As she suspected, Melissa put her in Patio C, the most requested section of the deck because it offered the best views of the pristine beach and ocean below.  It also meant she was responsible for cutting four bins of lemons prior to opening.

Halfway through cutting the second bin, Melissa walked in the wait area and summoned everyone.

“Don’t stop prepping guys, just make sure you can hear me.” Melissa had a knack for ordering people around in a manner that didn’t come off as bossy at all. “Some of you have been with us for years and for some, this is your first season with us. If at anytime you need help, please let me know. Or, if you can’t find me, Kara knows this business like the back of her hand.  She’s happy to help as well.”

Melissa paused long enough for Kara to smile and wave before continuing the pep talk. “This is the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. The new people may have heard us refer to the Hundred Day War. If you aren’t familiar, there are exactly one hundred days between Memorial Day and Labor, which comprises the majority of our season.  We will be packed for much of this time.  

“There will be hundreds of people, young and old, some nice, some downright nasty. There will be fighting children, screaming babies and tired parents.  The kitchen will make mistakes, you will make mistakes, and I will make mistakes.  If we remember we are a family and work together, we will get through it and we will all make a lot of money. Try to save some of it for winter… 

“Ok, enough from me! Back to work! Hundred Day War!”

Melissa raised her coffee mug and was answered with fourteen responding coffee mug salutes. “Hundred Day War!”




Source: 100th


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