Bananas go to law school, too!


Praise the Lord, A Present from Above

As an aside, one of the cooler moments of my short stint as a blogger occurred but a few hours ago. No details needed, but suffice it to say I kept repeating “Seriously? Seriously!” to myself.

Onwards. One of the problems with break is that there are few good law school/New York stories to tell. And I know this bloggie has recently been woefully holiday greeting/list-based. So, instead, I’m going to take you back to a little story that reflects exactly why I keep telling myself I AM NEVER WAITRESSING AGAIN. Of course, I will be serving myself a piping hot plate of my own words come May when I crawl back into the restaurant business with no paid summer job to my name. But until then, I can look back smugly, knowing I will never have to deal with this crap again. Usually I don’t swear. But that is what we like to call “foreshadowing.” FYI: this is a gross story, and a crude one at that. Don’t read if you’ve recently consumed a “meal of food.”

My last Friday at the restaurant this summer. I look at the hostess stand upon entering and see that there is a reservation for 12 for 7pm. Score, I think to myself, and begin doing the complex calculus that I always do to figure out where I need to be in the rotation at 6pm, 615, 645, in order to come up just in time for the 7pm reservation. Not that there’s anything I could actually do about it, so all this counting was a fabulous waste of time but I’M A MATH MAJOR (law school inside joke, apologies).

So, three points for me, I land this table. The hostess seats them outside before I can get a good look at them, so when I go out with the bread, I meet my lovely table for the first time. And what a sight they were.

12 of them, none of them a lick below 65 or a pound under 200. Sigh. I have nothing against older folks, as they have every right to eat out and enjoy themselves, of course. But a big table of 12 of them?

They look at me with a confused look on their faces.

“Hi welcome to [insert fabulous restaurant here]. My name is Anna, and I’m going to be taking care of you tonight.”

Still confused. So I put down the cutting boards of bread at their table and realize that, bless our hostesses heart, but she forgot to “give” the table the “menus.” I jet back in and return with no fewer than 19 menus. Because that’s the way our complicated, mega-menu-ed restaurant rolls. Of course, 19 menus confuses the poor folks, so I start out explaining our dinner menu (12), specials menu (2), pizza menus (1), wine list (2) and martini list (2).

Still confused.

The older lady at the head of the table waves her finger all “come hither” like and I lean down next to her.
“I thought this was a Chinese food restaurant.”

Sigh. This restaurant is a mix of South-American-Pan-Asian-Italian. It used to be straight Italian, under different ownership. But recently has been changed into, I think, a mega-cool totally different kind of restaurant. I explain. (no, I didn't use the term "mega-cool." I save that type of literary gem for you readers) Of course, no one in our town quite comprehends a restaurant that isn’t Italian, Mexican or Bennigan’s.

They look mildly confused, but seem interested in the menu. So, over the course of the next two hours, this table has been running around ragged – they ask for a different type of sugar-free sweetener than we have, they want their lemons in QUARTERS not EIGHTHS, half want salad before appetizers, the other half want their salad after. And they are just the biggest group of foul-moods who ever decided “You know what, I’m grumpy today. I think I should gather up a bunch of my equally-grumpy friends and CONSUME FOOD IN AN EATERY.” But whatever, foul moods and demanding customers is par for the course, no?

Another layer of the onion.

Throughout the night, I continually have to “nudge” the gentleman at the end of the table to awaken him – before ordering, before serving him. Every time I return, however, he has finished whatever was on his plate with LIGHTNING speed. So he caught my attention, to say the least.

And the end of the night, I serve them Magical Birthday Cake and they are sitting around, enjoying a little coffee. I keep my good eye on them because, literally, every two minutes they have some sort of random demand. I see the older “rip van winkle” gentleman stand up and stand in front of the door that leads from the patio to the dining room (the main entrance/exit for the restaurant in general). He stands there for a moment, with a “younger” woman at his side, holding his arm. I walk towards the door to open it for them because I thought that they just couldn’t open the door. As I walk over, they turn around and shuffle toward the parking lot – so I go back to packing away soup or whatever it is that closing duties entail.

The rest of the table is still out there, I had given them their credit card receipt awhile back and, as their party dwindles, they seem to (finally) be in good spririts, so I decide to leave them be.

Forty minutes later, my boss comes into the bar room and screams “F*UCKING SH*T!”

Bless his heart, but this isn’t, necessarily, a “strange” outburst, so I just give him a look and go back to soup packing.

“No, really, SH*T!”

And I look outside, and right in front of the door, like a present from the Baby Jesus on Christmas Day, is a pile of human feces. A pile which looks remarkably like the pork tenderloin I had served Rip Van Winkle but an hour and a half earlier.

The man had dropped a deuce in front of the entrance to the restaurant. He had stood in front of the door, decided that he couldn’t quite make it the bathroom all the way in the back of the restaurant, so he dropped trou* right there.

*Actually, no, he did not even “drop trou.” It had ran down his pantaloons.

Now, 99% of me feels really bad for the man – he is old, probably had no idea what was happening until it was too late and is probably mighty embarrassed. 1% feels bad for me, my boss and the two other waiters who had to spend the next 40 minutes cleaning it up and throwing bleach on the ground.

Yes, it would have been nice for someone in the party to come inside, pull me aside and say “You know, I’m sorry, but our friend just accidentally crapped his pants, do you think you could clean it up?” That would have been nice, but I don’t think Miss Manners has published her What To Do When A Dinnermate Drops a Deuce At A Restaurant article, yet.

Here’s the kicker. I had seen this gentleman leave a good half an hour before the rest of the party did. The door to the restaurant is maybe 5 feet from the table they were sitting at. This table SAW that this man had made a mess and then proceeded to SIT five feet from the pile for THIRTY minutes. Personal experience can underscore the fact that the stench was not for the faint of heart. Who just SITS there for thirty minutes, talking about the weather when there is a PILE OF STEAMING CRAP five feet from you?

The same people, I suppose, who are Most Particular about the way their lemons are cut.

And the same people who leave 40 bucks on a $250 check.