I could smell my new hippy customers last week before laying eyes on them.
As I rounded the corner I saw the male hippy sticking his tongue down the female hippy's throat (though I wasn't able to immediately distinguish them). They reeked of body odor and sun-soaked sweat, and I surmised they'd either been picking beets on the land of their commune or doing each other in a landfill.
Either way, that stench had no business being in public.
"Hey friend!" the husband greeted me in a voice like Santa Claus (the real one, not the mall one).
"Yeah, hi friend!" the wife greeted me with do-me eyes and salsa on her mouth.
"Hiiiiiii," I said in my best I'm-not-judging-you voice. "Anything to drink?"
"So many options on the menu, friend," the husband responded. "What would you choose here?"
A quick death and then haunting the fuck out of this place.
"Seems like you two have been outside," I replied with a smile. I had no intention of parlaying that statement into a drink recommendation, but when I could see that my subtle hint fell on deaf ears, I persevered.
"...So I'd go with something refreshing, like sangria."
"Yeah, friend," the husband replied. "We'll do a pitcher of that. And bring a glass for yourself."
With that request came the whiff of a heretofore undetected scent, the unmistakeable stench of marijuana. These two smelled like a Berkeley V.W. van circa 1976. I got a contact high within seconds.
"Oh, no thanks," I replied. "I don't drink on the clock."
"Ah ha," the husband said. And then he winked at me. And when I looked at the wife to gauge her reaction, she winked at me as well. I ran away as a little part of me committed suicide inside.
I returned with the sangria and two glasses. As I set down the first glass, the husband grabbed my hand.
I reflexively jerked away as if a feral cat had just scratched me.
"Whoa, friend," the man said with earnest sensitivity. "You have a very chaotic energy. You need to push pause, unwind."
"Yeah, friend, relax," the wife chimed in. I didn't want to look closely, but I was 99% sure she was giving her hubby a handy under the table.
"I appreciate the low key vibe at this table," I said, "but I'm trying to work so I don't usually have a lot of time to stop and smell the roses while cleaning up guacamole. And sweat stains."
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The hippies laughed in unison. "Smell the roses, HAHAHAHAHA!"
"So, yeah, may I take your order?" I asked.
"No, friend," the husband replied. "We're just here to get buzzed and enjoy the fine, fine company."
"Oh neat," I responded in monotone. "Just flag me down if you need anything."
"...Anything?" the wife responded.
"Nope," I replied. I walked back to the bar and all but drowned myself in the barrel of sangria.
Minutes later, a co-worker with a shit-eating grin informed me that the hippies were asking for me.
"You rang?" I said as I returned.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The hippies laughed in unison. "'You rang,' HAHAHAHAHA!"
I stared at them as if identifying letters in a vision test.
"So, friend," the husband replied. "We're debating something..."
Oh God please protect my purity.
"On whether or not to order an appetizer?" I replied.
"No, friend," the wife replied. "We're torn between ordering another pitcher of sangria here or going back to our place in Topanga Canyon and having a real party..."
Cut to me again with the vision test look.
"...And we were wondering if you'd want to join us at our place when your shift is over," the husband added.
"So," I said. "You two will either stick around here, or leave now if I want to meet up when I'm off the clock?"
"Yeah, friend," they said.
"Oh that's easy," I replied. "I'd love to meet up with you guys. I'll bring the bill, and you two write down your address/phone number."
"What's your number?" the husband asked.
"Oh my cell phone broke. In the shower. Yesterday morning. Because I was trying to listen to music. I haven't had it replaced yet," I lied, unable to combat my tedious habit of adding too much information when I'm clearly fibbing.
"That's ok, friend," the husband said. "We can just call the restaurant to check on you, HAHAHAHAHAHA."
Minutes later, after some heavy-handed, insincere signs of interest on my part, the couple made haste and hurried home to no doubt inform the rest of their husbands and wives that company was coming.
I hurried through my side work and kept checking behind me on my walk to my car, just in case they were lying in wait.
I returned home, locked the door and barricaded myself from the outside world.
Minutes later, the hostess called to inform me that the hippy couple was hoping I was on my way.
Oh, I was on my way, all right. On my way to drinking away the dreadful memory of my stinky admirers.