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His name tag simply read, “Mo.” His assistant manager said that it was unprofessional and that he should be wearing the “Mohammad” name tag that she printed out for him. He disobeyed her authority. But he kept his job. The aroma of fried pork chops enveloped the kitchen and it traveled out into the dining area. Lines of patrons waited to get their taste of the victuals from the famous restaurant in Newark, Delaware known as Pork Chop Country. Mohammad moved with equal parts sloth and bull. He moved slowly but made a mess at the same time. He would shuffle to the flour, coat the pork chops with seasoning salt, salt, pepper, and shake the bag up like a tambourine. He then waited until the oil reached an optimal high temperature and placed the pork chops in the basket. He looked up to the ceiling and blew a raspberry into the air.
“Hey! Stop all that breathing around the cooker, Mo. You know better,” Mohammad’s supervisor Boris Grimes said.
Mohammad just grumbled and reached for more slabs of the porcine pieces. The kitchen door swung open as Grimes left. Mohammad’s assistant manager then entered.
“Mohammad... where’s your name tag that I told you to wear?” his assistant manager Lovell Kandor asked.
“For you to be this prophet you sure didn’t see this coming. I’m writing you up for this,” Kandor said.
Mohammad then snatched off the offending handle tag and replaced it with the proper badge of his complete namesake.
“There,” Kandor said. “Now, that’s better. And hurry up with those chops. Come on, hustle, hustle.”
Mohammad managed to move a bit faster on his grind. He placed even more chops in the bag, seasoned them, and threw them in the oil. The pieces tumbled and tossed in the golden brown liquid that looked like dripping honey.
“We’re going to need an order of 12 pieces, Mohammad. Let’s go!” his manager Verna Huff said.
Mohammad increased his speed by increments of a few paces. He failed to clean off his workstation after laying the chops in the fryer. Mini-mountains of flour, mounds of pepper and seasoning salt piled up on the food sanitation area.
“What’s going on here, Mohammad? This is a mess. What’s the problem?” Verna asked.
“There’s too many orders,” the prophet said.
“Too many orders?! This is light work. We have 30 to 50 orders sometimes. Do you remember the corporate video when you were first hired here?”
“Sure,” Mohammad said, sighing and rolling his eyes.
“Well act like it, then. We’ve tried everything to get you acclimated to this environment, Mohammad. You should be accustomed to what we expect of you here at Pork Chop Country. I’m going to give you another chance, okay?”
Mohammad just grumbled.
“I’ll take that as a yes. Get to it, Mohammad.” Verna left the kitchen and went back to the floor.
Mohammad mocked his manager by imitating her words. He looked at the pieces of pork. They looked like golden medallions, delectable, and seemed to glow. His grin widened at the sheen from the brilliant pork chops. He couldn’t resist. He began stuffing the chops into his mouths making a supreme mess. Flour and pepper and bits of meat fell and hit the floor. Mohammad devoured the pork chops with vicious glee. He licked his fingers and never washed his hands.
“Mohammad we’re going to need that—what the hell is going on in here?” Verna asked with a furrowed brow. She observed the profound uncleanliness of Mohammad’s doing.
“You’re going to clean up this mess, then you can clear out your locker because you’re terminated, Mohammad.”
Mohammad’s face turned sour. He then transformed his visage into a twisted grimace. He picked up a serrated knife and charged after Verna. With expert moves, Verna knocked the knife out of Mohammad’s hand and pushed him into the pork chop fryer. With his head and upper torso submerged, the bubbling golden-brown liquid boiled the prophet alive. Verna bent her knees and shoved Mohammad all the way into the fryer.
“Now, that’s smart work,” Verna said, wiping her head.