"I need an iced tea, and I need it constantly full," Ted warned me, interrupting my introductory "Hello, how are..."
"Neat," I said, switching tones from polite to perturbed.
"And I'm waiting for two more people," he said.
"I wondered what those two extra menus and empty seats were doing there!" I said. I returned with an iced tea, which, in a show of dominance, Ted chugged in one sip. "More iced tea," he said.
Ted, a suit-and-tie-clad businessman, went through five iced teas before the rest of his party arrived. They were both nondescript, polite people in business casual. They did not require unreasonable refills.
They quickly ordered their salads and resumed discussing business, a dialogue that Ted led in his increasingly caffeinated state. Every two minutes, he flashed his fingers in the air, his symbol for "more iced tea."
Later, as I was speaking with the guests directly next to Ted, he flashed his fingers at me. I ignored him. He flashed his fingers again. I ignored him.
"Excuse me, when you're done chit-chatting?" he interrupted. "Just give me a pitcher of tea?"
I glared daggers at him, turned away, and then walked to the back of the restaurant. I found a spare pitcher - one that was maybe clean - and filled it with iced tea. Without a word, I set the pitcher down directly in front of Ted.
"Good, maybe now I..." he began.
"Anything else?" I cut him off.
"Just the bill."
Minutes later, as I cleared the table and claimed my generous $7 tip on a $60 bill, I noticed Ted's glass was empty. The pitcher was full, his symbol for "I'm not thirsty; just an asshole."