"I'll have a medium black coffee, please," I said.
The pleasant looking girl behind the counter stared blankly at me.
"He wants a grande regular," interpreted Eb.
The girl smiled. "One grande."
"And I'll have a double tall cappuccino, extra-dry," he said.
"A double tall cap, extra-dry," she repeated.
She banged on the cash register for a moment, then said, "That'll be five fifty-six."
I whistled quietly.
Eb had his wallet out in a flash. "I've got it." He handed the girl a ten.
"Gee, thanks, Eb."
"My pleasure, Chris ... after all, you're helping me get my book launched."
The girl handed Eb the change, then asked, "Name?"
"Ed?" she asked.
"Eeee, Beeee ... Eb," he said patiently.
She nodded. "Your order will be up in a couple of minutes."
"Thanks," said Eb. He pointed to nearby table. "Let's sit over there."
I followed him to the table, sat down across from him, and watched him pull a proof copy of Bucky Bunny takes a Nap from his nap sack.
He looked at the book briefly, then and handed it to me. "Here it is."
I stared at the professionally rendered picture of a cute, but somewhat demented pink-colored, floppy eared rabbit on the cover. "Wow, this looks great, Eb."
Eb smiled. "Really? You think so?"
"Absolutely ... your guy did a great job." I started flipping through the book.
"It was your suggestion to post a request for an artist at the Center for Creative Studies."
I stopped at the page portraying Bunky curled up in his nest sleeping, a thought balloon over his head showed a row of carrots in a garden. The caption read, Bucky dreamed of treats in Farmer John's patch. "Well, I'm impressed," I said.
"Eb," yelled the girl behind the counter.
Eb held up his hand. "I thought the pictures looked good."
"Have you decided how you're going to publish?"
"That's what I wanted to talk to you about ... I've got an offer from a publisher, and ..."
"Eb," the girl yelled a little louder.
He waved his hand, but she still didn't see him. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about."
"I'm indie author, Eb, I don't know what advice I could offer."
"Eb," she yelled again.
Eb stood up. "You know the business, Chris."
"About as well as I know how to order coffee these days," I said. "Better go get our order."