[Bobby, Terry, Rayette, and Palm are seated at a booth in a roadside diner. The women have given their orders and a waitress stands above Bobby, waiting for his.]
Bobby: [looking at his menu] I’d like a plain omelette. No potatoes, tomatoes instead, a cup of coffee, and wheat toast.
[The waitress indicates something on the menu with the butt of her pencil.]
Waitress: No substitutions.
Bobby: What do you mean, you don’t have any tomatoes?
Waitress: [annoyed] Only what’s on the menu… [again, indicating with her pencil] You can have a number two, a plain omelette. It comes with cottage fries and rolls.
Bobby: Yeah I know what it comes with, but it’s not what I want.
Waitress: Well I’ll come back when you make up your mind…
[She starts to move away and Bobby detains her.]
Bobby: Wait a minute. I have made up my mind. I’d like a plain omelette, no potatoes on the plate, a cup of coffee and a side order of wheat toast.
Waitress: I’m sorry, we don’t have any side orders of toast. I can give you an English muffin or a coffee roll.
Bobby: What do you mean, you don’t make side orders of toast? You make sandwiches, don’t you?
Waitress: Would you like to talk to the manager?
Palm: Hey, mack!
Bobby: [to Palm] Shut up. [to the waitress] You’ve got bread, and a toaster of some kind?
Waitress: I don’t make the rules.
A wild turkey being prepared by chef and blacksmith Angelo Garro, San Francisco. Photograph by Lena Herzog. © Lena Herzog
Bobby: Okay, I’ll make it as easy for you as I can. I’d like an omelette, plain, and a chicken-salad sandwich on wheat toast—no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce—and a cup of coffee.
[She begins writing down his order, repeating it sarcastically.]
Waitress: A number two, chicken sal san—hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise—and a cup of coffee…anything else?
Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, gimme the check for the chicken-salad sandwich, and you haven’t broken any rules.
Waitress: [challenging him] You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.
[The other three laugh, and the waitress points to a right to refuse sign above the counter.]
Waitress: You see that sign, sir?
[Bobby glances over at it, then back to her.]
Waitress: Yes, you all have to leave, I’m not taking any more of your smartness and your sarcasm!
[He smiles politely at her.]
Bobby: You see this sign?
[He reaches his arm out and “clears” the table for her.]
© 1970, renewed 1998 by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Used with permission of Columbia Pictures. All rights reserved.
Carole Eastman and Bob Rafelson, from Five Easy Pieces. Jack Nicholson played Bobby; Karen Black played Rayette; Lorna Thayer played the waitress. While driving with his girlfriend Rayette to his upper-class family home in Puget Sound, Bobby picks up a pair of hitchhiking lesbians, and they all stop at this roadside diner. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Black), Best Picture, and Best Writing.
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