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     "Good morning, sir?"
     Many years ago, she had learned something. She had learned that if she put a question mark after her greeting, the customer would give her his order immediately, rather than going to the trouble of repeating "Good morning." Then she would have to say something like, "Are you ready to order now, sir?" or, "What would you like, sir?" These were wastes of time, she thought, and she had no use for them.
     "Good morning. It's a fine morning, this morning, don't you think?"
     But then there were some who thought that an empty restaurant would have a waitress eager to talk. If only her customers were as free with their breakfast tips as they were with their speech. She figured him to be the type who would tip a wine steward half the cost of the bottle, while he would slip only a dime under the plate for an entire breakfast.
     "Yes, it's a fine morning." He filled the awkward pause with a comment of his own. She, however, felt far from awkward. Her job was to give him the food that he wanted, not to sit and chat with him. She stood quietly while he made up his mind to order. She felt that he was looking at her, but her eyes were busy adding up the digits on the guest check. She could wait; there was no one else to worry about. Her husband would say three words to her from his grave before she would say one in return to her customer.
     "I'd like one egg, please."
     For Christ's sake, she thought. Does he have any idea how many ways there are to cook an egg? To stop herself from frowning down at her customer, she counted the number of lines on the guest check. No wonder he's so small, if he only eats one egg for breakfast. She sensed that he fidgeted a bit in his seat.
     "One egg, sunnyside."