Screaming For Pancakes

There was a group of three kids going into the dining room looking for pancakes. The youngest of them looked to be about 9 years old, and the other two looked like they were about 12 years old. The three of them were being sneaky. While I sat in the office, I heard one of them say, “Shhh… I don’t see him. You go first, and we will watch for him and wait.” I walked over to the doorway between the office and the front desk. The lights above the desk had been dimmed, and I turned off the lights in the office. I was difficult to see in my black shirt. I watched the youngest, and clearly most brave of them slowly step towards the pancake machine. He was small and squirrelly looking. He looked like the kind of kid who, when bullied, would just climb on top of the bullies back and bite his ear. He was being very cautious and looked towards the desk often. The 9 year old quietly grabbed a plate from the counter and gently placed it next to the machine. He glanced towards my desk again, then he pressed the button to start making the pancakes. The sound of the roller inside the machine is loud when there is no other sounds in the hotel. I could hear the roller turn; folding the batter filled bag enough to squeeze the batter onto the belt. It made a splat sound as it pushed through the bags nozzle. The sounds of the machine made the 9 year old look around again cautiously. He whispered to his friends who were on the other side of the wall. “It kinda sounds like a fart.” They all chuckled at that as silently as they were able. A moment later, two hot fresh made pancakes flopped out of the end of the machine, and fell right onto his plate. He quietly picked up the plate, pulled a fork out of the utensil dispenser, grabbed a syrup packet, and moved himself out of the dining room slowly and quietly; moving past the other three boys, he gave them a combination thumbs up and a grin for his success, and then tiptoed his way down the hall to room 116. Room 116 I the closest room to the dinning room. These kids think they got it made. It is just a few steps to and from the room.
Next was the fat 12 year old. He wore glasses, and his T-shirt was a bit too snug on him. He tugged at the shirt around his belly to stretch it out several times while he waited for his pancakes. I watched as he took his inhaler from his pocket, put it to his mouth. He took two breaths off of it and put it back in his pocket. The pancakes flopped onto his plate, and he took off with his plate in one hand, and syrup and fork in the other. Back to the room, he went.
The third kid was half as tall as the fat kid, but still taller than the 9 year old. He was not looking for pancakes. This kid opened the dairy cooler and pulled out several yogurts. He piled them up and carried them with the belly of his shirt as a sack, and bolted for room 116.
Watching that whole thing was funny. Those kids thought that they were being slick. The pancakes are for anyone who wants them, and even though the sign says they will be available until midnight, I keep them running until the bag is empty. I was happy to let those kids keep sneaking out for pancakes, and they were not actually taking any risk by sneaking out for them; unless they were sneaking away from the grown ups in charge of them. That makes sense also. Either way those boys had themselves a little exciting adventure that they will laugh about together for some time.
I hate sitting at the desk constantly, so I often walk all over the hotel when it gets midway through my shift. I also like the idea of keeping active and going up and down all of those stairs is good for me. As I was walking down the stairs back to the first floor, I heard the door for room 116 open again. The three boys were at it again. I decided to have fun by exiting the side door and running around the other end so that I could reach my desk without having them see me walk by. This time they all had more confidence and all three of them were standing in the dining room. The 9 year old was trying to access the juice dispenser while the other two were making themselves another plate of pancakes.
I turned off the lights in the dining room and lobby. The three of them froze instantly. I could see the fat one go for his inhaler. After a few seconds I turned off the hallway lights. The boys were in complete darkness with the exception of the little bit of light coming through the window blinds in the dining room coming from the parking lot. One of the kids whispered, “What’s going on?” That was when I starting quickly flipping the dining room lights on and off. I could see all of their eyes going wide as the light flashed on their faces with each flip of the switch. I then turned the lights back off, and grabbed my flashlight and the key-ring, and opened the door leading to the hallway. I made sure to be loud about it and let the door slam behind me. I heard another boy say, “What’s that?” I made heavy footsteps as I slowly walked towards the dining room. I pressed the flashlight against the wall so it would make a scraping sound, and I jingled the keys every few steps. “Something’s coming.” Another one of the boys said. I made a low moaning sound, and I could hear all three boys gasping for breath. When I made it to the dining room doorway, I turned the flashlight on pointing it upwards from below my chin and I made a big creepy toothy grin. All three boys screamed like little girls; especially the 9 year old. His voice nearly shattered the windows. I turned off the flashlight and quickly used the light switch in the dining room to turn the lights back on. The boys looked like wide eyed, pale faced statues. I said, “Oh, were you getting pancakes? Sorry about that, but sometimes the lights act funny at night. I just wanted to make sure they would turn back on properly.” They just looked me and stood completely still. I continued. “ Well, you can enjoy all of the pancakes that you want. Have fun guys.” I turned and walked back to my desk. As soon as I was out of sight, I heard the 9 year old say. “He’s lucky I didn’t kick him in the nuts.” The three of them laughed at that. I did too. They sat at a table and ate their food. When they finished, they walked back to their room quietly. Kids are fun.


2 thoughts on “Screaming For Pancakes

  1. This made me laugh. I can tell they will never forget this story. 😀
    You were messing with their fear. Last time “something” was messing with yours. I would have pointed the light at them in complete darkness interrogating them like criminals in a scary intimidating way.


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