"The base was a stocking cap, and over it was a red floppy thing a woman might wear to a garden party. The waitress, Mary, ignored the guy at first. Then she took his order but made him pay in advance. He wanted coffee with his eggs, and when, after ten minutes or so, he still hadn’t gotten it and asked politely when it might arrive, Mary snapped at him and said that she was busy, O.K.? It made me uncomfortable to watch her be so rude. Had she had trouble with him in the past? Did it have anything to do with his two hats?"
From "The IHOP Years/1983-1990: Life at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the International House of Pancakes," by David Sedaris, which just went up over at The New Yorker.
I love David Sedaris, and I have my own IHOP history. First job I ever had — waitress at the International House of Pancakes. It sound so big and so small. International! But it was just that weird new building with the blue roof they put up at the Preakness Shopping Center.