Once in a blue moon, after a rough shift, I'll entertain a certain thought while downing a Grey Goose and Ambien: I wish I had someone to come home to.
And just as quickly as that fleeting thought enters my mind, it vanishes while waiting on certain couples. Couples like Darryl and Janna, a twosome teetering finely on the line between white trash and people who enjoy Two and a Half Men.
They've dined in my establishment before, usually without incident. In fact I rather enjoyed them because they were quiet, quick, and tip-friendly.
However, a drunken Darryl and Janna recently entered the restaurant in the midst of a heated argument. So naturally I was their waiter.
"Hi there," I said in friendly form.
"No! Fuck that!" Darryl said to Janna while giving me a firmly dismissive gesture. "You make shit up and get angry about it even if it's not true! Fuck that!"
Without being prompted I could tell the situation called for alcohol, so I poured some sangria into a kid's cup and downed it while pretending to wipe down the table next to Darryl and Janna.
"You're always getting texts at weird hours!" Janna declared.
"From work!" he said in earnest defense.
After a few seconds of silence, I checked back in.
"Anything to drink?"
"Let me ask you something," Darryl slurred, placing his hand awkwardly on my forearm. "You've gotten texts about work late at night, haven't you?"
I picked at a non-existent stain on my apron as a subtle way of reminding Darryl of my employment.
"But like...hasn't work ever texted you to see if you can come in to help during a busy shift?" Darryl asked.
"...At midnight?!" Janna bellowed.
"Why don't I come back..." I said as I tried to walk away.
"No no no, we need drinks," Janna said. "But let me ask you this. If your girlfriend got texts late at night wouldn't you be curious?"
Oh honey. My last girlfriend was in college. She was studying abroad for four semesters and that's why none of my friends or family ever met her.
"I, uhm, I would probably, er, I'd," I stalled.
"You've gotten texts late at night and I haven't cared, have I?" Darryl said.
"I got ONE text late at night from my MOTHER because she was at the Sandals Resort and there was a time difference!" Janna said.
"How about I get some drinks started?" I said.
"Well he definitely just needs a water," Janna said.
"Oh so I'm drunk? DRUNK?" Darryl replied.
"YEP." Janna said.
"Fine," Darryl said. "We'll take TWO waters."
"Nooooo I want another Chardonnay," Janna said.
"Fuck that," Darryl said. "If I can't drink, neither can you. Man if you bring her a drink, I promise there won't be a tip."
"I'll tip him myself!" Janna said.
"With whose money, I'd like to know?!" Darryl said.
I fled to grab two waters. At this point, others in the restaurant had caught on to the escalating volume of Darryl and Janna's exchange, and the moronic manager told me to "do something."
"Where's my wine?" Janna said.
"Please you've been whining all day," Darryl responded.
I snickered reflexively, which pissed off both of them.
"We'll tell you when we're ready to order," Darryl said, followed by a burp.
For the next hour, Darryl and Janna sat at my booth, which is normally reserved for parties of four or more. They did not order a single thing and left only after the restaurant had gone off a wait.
I returned home later that evening and mixed the meager remnants of my varying alcohol bottles into a single martini and crashed on the couch while watching Two and a Half Men. And about four hours later, after I came to, I wiped the drool off my mouth and said a quick "thank you" to the man upstairs that I had no Darryl or Janna to disrupt the quiet contentment of being single.
If you were Bobby Brown and you ordered this club sandwich, after eating half of it, would you send it back because...:
1) You put too much ketchup on the plate?
2) Half-way through, you realized there was bacon on the sandwich, and you apparently don't like bacon?
3) Half-way through, you were in the mood for a burger instead? At a different restaurant?
4) All of the above?
(the correct answer is 4).
I was stuck waiting on five fratty dudes the other night. I could tell they were displeased when I, a male, approached their table. In fact, they couldn't immediately decipher why I came to their table. However, once I made my intention clear with a drink order inquiry, I learned just how stupid they were.
"Aaaah bro, you're our WAITER?!" announced Joey D. "We thought you were just coming to, like, chat or something because you just stood there staring at us. I was gonna be like 'Duuuude don't just come randomly chat with a bunch of dudes.'"
"Yes I can see how my coming to your table in a restaurant while wearing an apron with a pad of paper and pen in my hand would be misleading."
"Hey bro," interrupted Joey T. "Can I get a beer?"
"Any one in particular?" I asked.
He looked at me as if I'd just asked him to name the eight wonders of the world.
"Dude, whichever's cheapest."
You're in a restaurant decorated with stuffed armadillos that's in between two drug stores, a Gap and a combination burger/donut/milkshake shop. It's all cheap, dickhead.
"Do you all have buckets of beer?" Joey G. asked.
"We do not."
"Gah, this place sucks bro," Joey E. informed me. "I'll do a margarita."
"Any one in particular?"
"Which flavors you got bro?"
I rattled off the flavors with the aplomb of a stoned Baskin Robbins employee.
"I'll have a strawberry margarita," Joey E. declared.
"Dude," Joey T. cautioned him, "Don't get a fruity drink. Everyone will think we're gay."
Right. You're just five muscle-bound guys with freakish tans and freshly shaved chests wearing colorful wife beaters and ironic RVCA hats that match your chartreuse sneakers. The only thing that would make your table gayer is if Michele Bachmann's husband sat down and blessed your food.
Joey E. gave Joey T. one of those awkward "I'm craning my neck and opening my eyes in the direction of our waiter because I think what you just said might offend him and thank God he can't see me doing this" looks.
"Ooooooh," Joey T. said with pensive realization. "No offense to gay people, dude."
"None taken, collectively," I replied.
In defense of the bros, they bought me a shot of cheap tequila (albeit one that had first been refused by the slutty girl at the table next to them). And shortly thereafter, upon seeing a different table of three average-looking college girls arrive, they cashed out with me and invited themselves to sit with the girls.
However, an hour later, Joey D. drunkenly approached me as I was taking another table's order.
"Hey dude," he said. "I think I over-tipped you, and I'm all outta cash. I need to buy that girl a shot of something."
With that, I handed him back his tip in its entirety. All two dollars of it.
A slutty mom dressed like a secretary in a hard-core porn, whose breasts vied for space in her ill-fitting top like melons in a produce stand, had been a crazy bitch to me throughout her meal. She was accompanied by her overweight, equally unpleasant friend Suzanne and the slutty mom's young son Joey.
As the bill came, the conversation went as follows:
SLUTTY MOM: So, it looks like Joey and I owe about $34 for ours and you owe $20. Cool?
SUZANNE: Sounds good to me.
SLUTTY MOM: Yes dear?
JOEY: Shouldn't Suzanne pay all the bill?
(Slutty Mom and Suzanne give Joey a puzzled look)
SLUTTY MOM: Why's that, sweetie?
JOEY: Because I thought you told Dad that the reason we like to go out to eat with Suzanne is because she orders a lot of appetizers and always pays the bill?
Dead silence. Except for me cackling like a witch over a cauldron.