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A young dumb blonde recently sat in my section along with her plump, perverted mid-50s sugar daddy. Everything she said was spoken in a grating "baby talk" voice a la Paris Hilton. He'd respond by imitating her faux childish whine. And while they both found it adorable, I found myself daydreaming of Iran, The Seventh Circle of Hell, a Focus on the Family rally, or any place more tolerable than within Barbie's vocal range.
Grandpa Sugar fondled Barbie as she engaged in a round of 20 Questions about her cocktail.
"Hi, may I bring you anything to drink?" I asked.
"Hiiiiiiiiiii," she said in Barbie-speak. "Do you have, like, daquiris?"
"Uhmmm, what's liiiiiiiike, the difference between a daquiri and a margarita?"
"One's made with rum, the other with tequila."
"Oh. And what's the difference between those?"
Thank God Grandpa Sugar interrupted before I could pull my machete out of my apron.
"Little Girl..." he said.
Yes, "Little Girl" was his nickname for her. Little Girl. God, I must have done something horrible in a past life.
"Little Girl, you always like the strawberry margarita. She'll have one of those," he informed me.
"And for you sir?"
"Ohmygawd, you should have a fruity drink tooooo!!" Barbie squealed. "Giggle giggle!"
"HahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahaahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAhahaahahahahahaahah!!!!" Grandpa Sugar laughed. And laughed. And laughed. And just before I thought his plump little face was going to morph into Mrs. Garrett from "The Facts of Life," he agreed to a strawberry margarita as well.
I brought the drinks to the table, where Grandpa Sugar seemed to be consoling Barbie, handing her napkins and helping dab her eyes.
"Everything ok?" I asked.
Barbie pretended to cough. Tears were turning that fake tan orange-ish color back to its infrequently seen shade of pale. Even in the dim light of the restaurant I could see that no one ever taught Barbie about matching the foundation with the neck. But I digress.
"This salsa, is like, reaaaaaally, really spicy," she whined. "Like, I can't stop coughing EH HUH EH HUH EH HUH."
Grandpa Sugar looked as though he were witnessing a gross injustice.
"Oh Little Girl," he comforted her. "Is your salsa always this fucking spicy?!" he yelled at me.
"I don't know," I said. "I didn't try your salsa before I delivered it to the table."
"EXCUSE ME?" he bellowed.
"What?" Innocent Little Me replied. "Oh, sorry, I meant to say I haven't tried today's batch of salsa. But our salsa is normally quite mild."
"YEAH WELL...IT'S SPICY TONIGHT!" he exclaimed.
I couldn't help it. That exact phrase, uttered with that much severity, caused me to laugh out loud. Since that night I've drunkenly exclaimed "YEAH WELL, IT'S SPICY TONIGHT" to anyone who will listen. I think it's the funniest phrase I've heard at work since "This banana margarita needs some more banana" or "We were really impressed with your service."
I knew my number was up. There was no way to get out of this one. However, by some miracle, Grandpa Sugar was too busy consoling Barbie to notice that I was stifling giggles like a 1st grader at a wake.
"I'll go grab you some ice water," I said.
"Wait," Barbie said, doing her best damsel in distress...in that awful Little Girl voice.
"Do you, eh huh, eh huh, have anything in your apron like a mint or something?"
Yeah, you dumb bitch, I'm your Phillip Morris girl. Get your candy! Mints! Cigarettes!
"No. I'll be right back with more water."
En route to the server station to fetch a pitcher of water, I noticed Grandpa Sugar and Barbie whispering and looking around. I tended to my other tables and got caught up in another crisis involving an Armenian family and their hairy spawn spilling milk (more about that next time).
And as I expected, Grandpa Sugar and Barbie fled. They hadn't ordered any food, and their drinks were untouched. Their technical dine-and-dash cost me nothing except the cost of Advil and cheap vodka to drown out the sound of her voice before I went to sleep later that night.
I recently served two stupid chauvinist frat boys in their late 30s.
On the left side of the booth I had The Dude, a beanie-wearing gym bunny with bad skin who boarishly slammed his fists on the table while laughing at his own jokes.
And on the right? The Buddy, a skinny but equally testosterone-laden bro who served mostly as a giggling sycophant to The Dude.
Both made it clear that they were on the prowl for tail, after watching the game of course.
"May I bring you anything to drink?" I asked.
I caught the The Dude rolling his eyes upon my arrival. Perhaps he was upset that his server wasn't a busty young female. Or perhaps he resented the fact that my head was beanie-free.
"Is the game on?" he asked, ignoring my drink inquiry.
"Yes," I replied. "On the television above the bar, the TV with the men throwing the ball to one another."
"Dude, I can barely see it from here," he said.
"Anything to drink?" I asked again.
"Are there any tables by the bar, dude?" he asked.
"No dude. The bar's full because of the game."
"Well will there be any open tables by the bar SOON?"
Yeah, let me pull out my Magic 8 Ball and look into the future, you acne-stricken ox.
"Dunno," I said. I watched as the host was simultaneously seating me with a family of eight Mexicans and five uptight elderly people.
"Anything to drink dudes?" I asked again, a hair more urgently than before.
"We'll wait until a bar table opens up," The Buddy said.
"Then you need to check in with the hostess and let her know to put you on the wait list," I said.
"But we already have a table," The Dude countered.
"Yes. A table in my section. But if you want a table by the bar, you'll need to tell the hostess."
"Dude, we'll just move to the next open bar table when people leave," The Dude said.
I could have explained that some of the people waiting at the front were waiting specifically for a bar table and that he didn't have carte blanche to table hop as he pleased. I could have also tried to explain "Ladies first" and "No means no," but I felt anything rational would be lost on The Dude.
I got a drink order from the elderly people (before they died) and told the Mexicans I'd be with them momentarily, knowing they'd be the most patient.
With a tray full of drinks, I passed by The Dude and The Buddy.
"Dude," The Dude bellowed...with his hands cupped over his mouth for emphasis.
I gave him a smile and held up my tray of drinks to indicate that I was busy. Once the drinks were delivered, I revisited the house of Sigma Alpha Asshole.
"Yeah dude?" I asked.
"Uhm we're ready to order. Where have you been bro?"
Dude! Sorry bra, totes been at the bar, vibing on this chick who's real chill. She has huge tits and an ass that doesn't stop til next Tuesday. Got her number and plan on banging her when I'm finito with my shift. Sweet!
"Working," I replied. "Thought you two were waiting for a bar table?"
"Nah dude we're hungry. Two steak fajitas, two coronas."
I played catch up with my other tables. As I was answering one of the many questions posed by the Mexican table, The Buddy came up to me, handed me his empty chip basket, and returned to his booth. I refilled said basket with the greasiest chip fragments I could find and delivered it to the table.
The food arrived, and The Dude and The Buddy practically licked their plates clean. As I was clearing the plates, The Buddy informed me that "This shit was way too salty. Tell the chef."
Nevermind that every morsel from his plate had been consumed, and that when I stopped by earlier to perform the usual quality check, no mention was made of this salty entree.
"Ok," I said and walked off.
I returned moments later to ask if they wanted dessert. Or deodorant.
"Dude," The Buddy said. "Did you even hear what I said?"
"Yes. You said your shit was too salty as I was clearing the fully eaten plate from your table."
The Buddy intervened with one of my all-time favorite customer complaints.
"Dude, don't you think it's irresponsible to ignore a customer complaint like that?"
Irresponsible? No, I think it would have been irresponsible of me to urinate in your Corona or put Visine on top of your food. When I half-heartedly acknowledge your crudely stated food complaint, that's not irresponsible. That's indifferent.
"I'm sorry," I said. "What response would have been comforting to you in light of the fact that you ate your entire entree and said nothing about the food until I was clearing the plate?"
"Dude," The Dude said. "Just listen to customer complaints, bro. We're not trying to be jerks, dude."
I agree. You're light years beyond trying.
"Gotcha," I replied. "Oh here's your bill!"
I returned to my Mexicans and took their dessert orders. In my peripheral I could see The Dude and The Buddy (both with shit-eating grins) waiting at their table with the bill and a stack of cash, as well as coin. They wanted me to return and count my money in their presence so they could watch the sting of their bad tip. I held my ground.
After a few minutes, The Dude and The Buddy left and walked towards me on their way out.
"Hey buddy. I left your TIP on the table," The Dude said as he purposely bumped into me.
"Glad you figured out where to put it," I hissed as my head spun in his direction, scaring the shit out of the innocent Mexican family.
I didn't bother counting the tip. I pocketed the cash and went on my way. You see, I couldn't really get that upset, because they were right. I was irresponsible.
I did pour Visine on top of their food.