After a short discussion with the waitress, Jim Holmes decided upontwo strips of bacon, two eggs over easy, toast and jam, hash browns, andcoffee. For twenty cents more he could have ordered biscuits and gravyinstead of toast and jam, and Jim was the kind of guy for whom twenty
cents was no big deal. But without toast, he’d be forced to use his biscuitsto soak up his eggs, and he’d be left with insufficient
biscuit for the gravy.
Worse, he’d have nothing to accompany that second cup of coffee, after
the meal itself was done.But Jim was reluctant to keep the toast and order biscuits and gravyon the side, because the waitress was new, and not unattractive. H
want her to take away the impression
with an all but imperceptible
raising of her eyebrows, he’d seen it before
--that her customer was aglutton. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Jim enjoyed hisfood, all right, but the first precept of eating was efficiency.
“Waste not, want not,” was one of Jim’s favorite sayings.
And so he stayed with the toast. There were two pieces, each cutinto halves--making four pieces, really, to go with the two vials of jam.What Jim did was this: he pulled over a good portion of his hash brownswith his fork, and allowed them to soak up his eggs. This enabled him toconserve his toast, so that when the second cup of coffee arrived he hadtwo pieces, plus a full complement of jam. As he sat with his coffee, thewarmth of good living and efficient utilization of resources passed overhim.One vial of jam remained, but Jim knew that he lived in an
imperfect world. He’d carefully kept the vial free of egg yolk. Therestaurant’s policy on reusing unused jam v
ials was beyond hisresponsibility. He could only hope that the vial would find its place on
another customer’s plate.