I tire of blogging mostly about ghetto, Armenian and Hispanic stereotypes. Not because I strive to be politically correct, but because blogging about them is the result of interacting with them.
So imagine my uneasy mix of elation ("Yay! New blogging material!") and disgust ("Boo! Where are my prescriptions?") when a group of pie-making, plaid-loving hillbillies stopped by my section for some vittles, moonshine and chit chat.
They entered the restaurant from the back entrance adjacent to the parking lot, clearly confused by the tricky lay-out. They saw empty tables. They saw me. They did NOT see the host at the front of the restaurant. So as I was in mid-sentence taking a diner's order, Pa loudly interrupted me:
"HEY YOU, do we just seat arrr-selves er what?" he bellowed.
"Excuse me," I said to my current customers. I did a 180, horns emerging from my head, and addressed Pa and his band of extras from The Grapes of Wrath.
"There's a host," I said. "At the front of the restaurant."
"Yeah?" he said, not making the logical connection.
"So go speak to him if you need a table."
"Well nah why can't we just sit there?" he asked, pointing to a table in my section. "Seems silly to walk all the way to the front of the restaurant when we wanna table here in the back."
"THEN SIT THERE..."
They sat themselves. Twenty minutes later I arrived with menus.
"We ready to order," Pa said, speaking on behalf of his wife and three ugly children.
"I WANNA MARGO-RITA!" Ma declared. I imagine whatever spirits and libations she'd been concocting in the family bath tub had given her a craving for the good stuff.
Then came the food inquiries.
"Are fa-jih-tas those thangs that come on the sizzling thang?" asked the eldest daughter.
"Is it like where the guy comes to the table and chops everything up for you?"
"That would be at a Japanese restaurant," I replied.
I finished taking the food orders, gathered the menus, and started to walk away. Then my curiosity got the better of me. I never bore myself with the personal details of customers, save the anecdotes for this blog. But I had to ask...
"So, are you all visiting from out of town?"
"Yes," Pa said. "We're here to meet our daughter's husband."
Has your *daughter* met her husband? Or will he be joining us later with a blue-ribbon pig and a contract for land exchange?
Before the food arrived, I brought over the iced tea pitcher to refill everyone's glasses (except Ma...now I understood why she was on her second margarita.) I watched in disgust as they downed their refills before I left the table. So I set the pitcher on the table and walked away.
The meals came, and as expected, everyone wanted sides of ketchup and steak sauce to accompany their sizzling plate thangs. The food was devoured in seconds flat, and the iced teas never ceased to be empty.
Finally, bill time. What happened with the bill and its tip (roughly 18%) are unimportant to the story's end.
It was the state of the table after they left. Ketchup was smeared not only all over the table, but on the seats of the booth, as well. Food they didn't even order (french fries?) was left on the floor. All I knew was that 1) they were the first people to sit at that booth that day, 2) the youngest child was at least 13 years old and 3) I never saw anyone make a mess during my calculated observation.
It would seem, whether intentional or not, that those straw-chewing hicks had the last laugh without affecting my tip. Difficult customers are now resorting to black magic and deceptive form to make my job that much more unbearable.
Time to up my game*.
*Or, get a new job.