I suspect Wanda and LeRoy swam to our restaurant from their houseboat, or from the sewer, or from a river-filled part of Hell. They claimed they'd never been to our restaurant before, but after interacting with them, I suspected they'd never been to any restaurant before.
They entered the restaurant reeking of banana oil, sweat, and salt water. They did not bother to rinse the sand off their bodies. They did not bother to change out of their swimwear. They did not bother to slip off their flip flops in favor of actual shoes.
"WE WERE ON OUR BOAT TODAY," Wanda told everyone within earshot as the hostess sat her and her husband right by the bathrooms (you know, in my section).
This was at 6:05 p.m. (the time will become important as the story drags on).
"Hello, how are you tonight?" I asked.
"Do you have catfish?!" Wanda asked between smoker's cough fits.
"We don't..." I said with a tilted head full of pity. "Anything to drink?"
"Yeah maybe," Wanda said. She coughed. "We've never been here before, so now's your time to impress us and keep us coming back!"
"Is that so?" I asked. "Why don't I wow you with a drink first?"
"We'll....need.....a....a....moment," LeRoy decided to weigh in. He smelled like the inside of a bong.
I let them be for about five minutes, after which time they still hadn't decided on a drink.
"Can you do a 'Suicide?'" Wanda asked with a cackle.
"You mean...a Suicide, like where you mix everything from the soda fountain into one glass?" I asked with a curled lip and two flared nostrils. I hadn't heard someone request a Suicide since my attendance-enforced 1st grade baseball team went out for burgers and bullying after our games.
"Yeah!" Wanda cackled like Baby Jane. "I think that sounds fun!"
"I.........sure," I replied.
I asked LeRoy what he'd like to drink.
"You all do milkshakes?" LeRoy asked.
"We don't..." I said with a tilted head full of pity. LeRoy finally decided on a Sprite. The time was now 6:20.
I returned with the drinks, and in an effort to guarantee I'd hate her, Wanda downed her Suicide in one swift gulp.
She slammed the empty glass on the table. "REFILL!" she laughed (and coughed).
Thirty minutes later, at 7:00, Wanda and LeRoy were still undecided.
"I want fried fish," Wanda half-said, half-bragged. "Can I order fried fish?"
"Yes," I said. "Just not at this restaurant."
For another thirty minutes, Wanda and LeRoy summoned me over sporadically as they inquired about each and every menu item. They'd ask if a certain item was "good," and then stare suspiciously at me as I answered, as if I were failing a true-or-false test.
Finally, at 8:00, after almost two hours of questions and comments and enough soda refills to ensure Diabetes upon all of Texas, Wanda and LeRoy were ready to order. After asking about the salmon, the trout, the chicken, the steak, the burgers, the lobster roll, the pasta, the sandwiches, and the appetizers, Wanda ordered a side of spinach, and LeRoy ordered a cup of soup.
They took their time consuming their paltry selections, and Wanda kept threatening to order more food.
At 9:30, after three and a half unbearable hours and umpteen more Suicides and Sprites, Wanda asked for the bill, which barely amounted to $16. She paid eleven dollars in the worst dollar bills you've ever seen, like they'd been used as rat blankets. The remaining balance - as well as my fifty cent tip - was paid for in a cacophony of quarters, nickels and dimes.
I disinfected their table with a wash cloth, my soul with a shot of tequila, and my memory with a shot of vodka. Just for fun, I returned to my childhood and tried a Suicide. I spit it out immediately.