Last night, the restaurant was ridiculously busy. The hosts broke out a wait list around 5:00 pm, and we pretty much stayed on at least a 15 minute wait until right around the time we locked the doors at 11:00 pm. Busy nights are typically my favorite nights because of two reasons: 1) More people in the restaurant means more entertainment value for me in terms of meeting and greeting, as well as in terms of comical conversational pieces for my fellow servers and me, and 2) More people in the restaurant means more money in my pocket in tip form! I guess you can say last night brought both of those, and overall, it was a win win situation for me.
The highlight of my night though, had to be the party of 4 I was seated with towards the end of the evening. I watched the family as the host seated them: a scrawny dark skinned man, two small brown skinned children approximately 4 and 6 in age, and a tall, corpulent light skinned woman with long fire engine red hair — presumably a weave of some sort. Interesting indeed. As soon as I saw them settle in, I popped a mint into my mouth and walked on over to introduce myself to them.
The man and children were quiet and not necessarily undesirable guests, but it was clear to me that the damper on this party was the red haired woman we shall call Lisa. She was anything but demure — if you imagined the loudest, most unrefined drama queen you can imagine…add in an undeserved sense of power and entitlement, a vocabulary that would put Young Jeezy to shame, and an abundance of audacity, you pretty much have an accurate image of Lisa. She was horrendous!
Regardless of just how atrocious Lisa was, I could not bring myself to lower my serving standards to the level she was clearly trying to get me to stoop to. She called me obscene names (in front of her small children and meek baby daddy!), to which I smiled and asked her to define for me, as I claimed to be unaware of the meanings of such words. She commanded me to bring her extra lemon for her water as she reached for the sugar caddy, so I beat her to it and brought her a plateful of lemons, a spoon, extra sugars…and even a glass of lemonade — just in case she decided to skip the tedious steps she had planned out. She attempted to snap her fingers at me for more salad dressing, more ketchup, more napkins, more (insert whatever condiment she could have possibly asked for) — but I had anticipated such demands, so I had beat her to the snap and set next to her table an entire server tray full of extra condiment-filled ramekins, napkins, utensils (plastic included), take out container…even a bowl of ice. Since my other tables were fairly low maintenance, I was blessed with enough time to linger around staring at Lisa and making sure that she had all that she could possibly ask for.
At the end of their dinner, when I saw that there was nearly nothing left on any of their plates, I walked over to the table and asked if they had saved any room for dessert. Lisa immediately put her mole-covered hand up and proclaimed, “I am disgusted. I couldn’t eat none of my food because you people cookin’ in the kitchen mad nasty. You people be puttin’ hurr in my food and ‘spect me to eat it!” Stunned, I looked at the shrimp tails left on her empty plate. There I saw it. Laying gingerly atop the pile of unwanted shrimp tails was a long strand of synthetic looking fire engine red hair.
Choking back a laugh, I calmly said, “Ma’am, I apologize for you finding this piece of bright red hair in your discarded shrimp tails, but I am just as confused as you seem to be as to origin of this hair. I can assure you that none of the male cooks in my kitchen have hair that length or color, and that none of the servers working here have hair that length or color. To be completely honest with you, the only person in this restaurant with hair of that length and color is you.”
Lisa leaned back and shot me the stink-eye. Looking defeated at her poorly thought out plan, she stuttered, “So what you tryna say? That I put my own hurr into my food? Why would I do that?”
I smiled sweetly and said, “I am not saying any of that — you drew that conclusion on your own. I’m not entirely sure as to why you would want to put your own hair onto your plate after you’ve eaten all of your food…but I have heard rumors that some restaurants give you free food if you find stray hair in your entrees. Usually when one legitimately finds stray hair in his or her entree, it is towards the beginning of the meal, and it is never hair that looks like it came from said person’s own head. It is too bad that this does not seem like the case here, and I find it truly unfortunate that it seems quite obvious that what happened here is that your own hair fell onto your finished plate. All I can do for you is clear it away so you won’t have to stare at it and continue to feel disgusted.”
Lisa’s mouth dropped open in disbelief (or maybe incomprehension…or maybe both), and she simply stammered, “Just give me the bill then! We be outta hurr!”
The bill was paid for…and there was no tip intentionally left on the table for me from Lisa. Big surprise. But when I reached into the cracks of the booth to clean them out with a wet rag, two twenty dollar bills fell out from where Lisa’s fat ass was sitting. I think that means I win.