Since it was Labor Day, the Nordic Warrior Queen and I went to Mimi’s Cafe for a nice breakfast. She likes the cinnamon French toast, and I didn’t want to cook. I wish now we’d stayed home.

The place was packed. We waited fifteen minutes before being led to a booth by the window. The hostess handed us menus. “Your server will be right over.”

A dreadlocked young woman came over and introduced herself as Glinda.

I couldn’t help it. “You mean like the Good Witch of the North?” I love the Wizard of Oz.

She laughed with the enthusiasm of an enema recipient. “What can I get you?”

I ordered coffee, and the Nordic Warrior Queen asked for a small tomato juice.

The menu listed gourmet dishes, Crab Cake Florentine and Quatre Fromages Quiche. Do people really eat that stuff? This isn’t France, for Christ’s sake. What I really wanted was huevos rancheros, but it looked the closest thing was a Five-Alarm omelette. One of their signature items.

The waitress hovered around the table. “Do you need more time?”

The Nordic Warrior Queen “Yes, sorry. We’ve never been here before.”

The waitress gushed like we’d announced the second coming. “Oh, how wonderful. Take your time.”

I gawked at my wife’s bold-faced lie, but kept my mouth shut until we were alone. “What are you talking about,”I whispered. “You were here a few weeks ago.”

She winked. “Just watch.”

The waitress returned and we placed our order. She smiled, her dreadlocks bobbing with joy. “Since you’re new guests here at Mimi’s Cafe, you’ll receive a complimentary 4-pack of muffins with your order. What kind would you like?”

I like lemon poppy seed.

“Blueberry, please,” replied my wife. The waitress took our menus and went back for more coffee.

She grinned slyly at me. “See? And you wondered where all the muffins were coming from.”

I admit, I’d enjoyed having fresh muffins in the house.

Our meals arrived quickly. The Five-Alarm omelette looked nothing like the picture, and had all the spice of Quaker instant oatmeal, but the hash browns were good. I tried a bite of her French toast.  Delicious. I could see why she enjoyed coming here so much.

As we paid the bill, the manager approaced our table. “Mr. and Mrs. Hanson. Can you come this way please?”

A cop waited by the hostess stand. The manager removed a video player from beneath the counter. The screen showed multiple clips of my wife walking out the front door of Mimi’s Cafe, a bag of muffins in her hand.

He pointed. “This last one is from three weeks ago, Mrs. Hanson. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

I was outraged. “What the hell is this?”

“Sir, Mimi’s Cafe takes its complimentary muffin program very seriously. I’m afraid we’ll have to press charges.”

The cop slapped the cuffs on her, and led her to the squad car. There was nothing I could do.

I followed them down to the Deer Valley police department. Since it was Labor Day, it took two hours before I could post bail.

Turns out she was very popular in jail. The muffins were a big hit with her fellow prisoners. She now has new friends with nicknames like Bonnie Blackest, and Emma the Embezzler, and she got the name for a great tattoo place in Ahwatukee.

The hearing date is set for November 13th, the day before her birthday. I sure hope she’s not in jail for her 50th. I’m planning to take her out for a nice breakfast.

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