The Waiting Game
Dear Readers: This was my experience recently in a well-known area restaurant. The names have been changed, but I just knew you would delight in the absurd theater as much as I did.
"Hi! I'm Josh, and I'll be your server tonight. Oh!, love your jacket! Shall I tell you about our specials? Oh, uh, wait, uh, where is that piece of paper I wrote them on? I mean really, I would just lose my head if I didn't write everything down, know what I mean? Oh god, here it is. Whew! OK, our feature tonight is Arctic Char Poached in Seawater on a Bed of Toadstool Mousse and Macaroni Pancake with Warm Drizzles -- I just love the word "drizzles," don't you? -- of Clarified Myrrh Butter and Chocolate Gravy. Oh good, I made it. Really, I've just had a week, if you know what I mean. My car broke down; I have a paper due that I haven't a clue where to begin; my girlfriend -- well, not really a girlfriend, but a friend that's a girl I've been sleeping with because I'm trying to decide which way to orient -- told me to get my life together.
What nerve! She should talk. And on top of that, my dog did his business in my brand new pair of Pradas. Oh god! I'm going on. Sorry. I'm only telling you this because you look like such nice people. Now, are you ready to order?"
"I'll have a salad with house dressing, the linguini and a glass of Chianti."
"Is that red wine? Point to which one -- that helps so much. Thank you. I just never got into wine, ya know?"
"What is the house dressing?"
"Ummm, something with oil and vinegar, I think. Wait a minute, I'll go check."
(He returns several minutes later.) "The chef said it's Herbed Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, but I just dipped my finger in it and it tastes like plain olive oil and vinegar to me."
(He turns to my companion.) "And you, sir? What would you like?"
"What kind of sauce is served with the Shrimp and Fettuccine?"
"Umm, I'm not sure if there is a sauce, but I'll go check."
(Several minutes pass.) "Oh my god! So sorry! I got another table. The Hostess is a tad hung-over and keeps double-seating us. Now, what was your question ... oh, the sauce! Right. Be right back."
(Several more minutes go by.) "OK ! Here I am. Miss me?" (He laughs at his attempt at humor.) "No, really, I just said that because we've become friendly. I couldn't say that to just any table. Anyway, the chef says it's a Malt Liquor Reduction, which doesn't sound that good to me but, hey, it's your money."
"I'll have that with a salad, as well -- house dressing."
"Really? You're sure?"
(He turns to me.) "Now tell me what you ordered again?"
Our evening continued in much the same manner, with Josh offering us "Fresh ground pepper?" for nearly every item we ordered.
Ah, for the days when waiters treated you with indifference.