Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"TIP OR GOD SHALL SMITE THEE MOTHERFUCKER!"

An interesting tidbit of history……..

If you ever read the Bible in the original Greek (Of course you have!) you find something interesting about waiters and the early Christians in Acts 6:1. The gentile members were bitching that the Hebrew members were overlooking them in the daily distribution “diakoni” of food. So they hired some guys to make sure the food was distributed evenly. This job was called in Acts 6:2 “diakone” which translates “to serve tables.” Waiter! Check please!

The anglicized version of “diakone” is deacon. A deacon is a member of Holy Orders in most Christian denominations. The mark of that office, the deacon’s stole, is a sash worn diagonally across the body from left to right. It is believed the stole’s origin descended from the towel the “waiters” used to clean the tables. (Those early Christian’s had no forks so it must have been a real mess!) Later the “towel” was a “liturgical napkin” used during the Eucharistic liturgy.

Now a guy named Stephen was one of these waiters. Like most waiters he had the gift of gab. You know what happened to him? He got stoned to death. Just like that poor schmuck waiter in the Soprano’s! (Well Ritchie stoned him and then Paulie shot him.)

I don’t think the other waiters got tipped well either……..

Now I am not getting all religious on you. Just letting you know that even if a waiter works for the Man Upstairs - he still gets treated like shit!

WWJT? - "What would Jesus Tip?"


The Hitman tries to make a reservation.

Actual phone call……last year.

“Good evening the Bistro. How many I help you?”

“Halo, Halo?” (French accent on a cell phone)

“I’m here. How may I help you?”

“I am Jean Reno.”

“Yes?”

“I would like to reserve your entire restaurant for a private party tonight.”

Its 12:00 am and the kitchen is closed

“I am sorry Mr. Reno but the kitchen has already closed.”

“Do you know who I am? I am Jean Reno. I am a French movie star. I was in the movie The Professional. Perhaps you have heard of it?”

The Professional, a compelling story of a hitman finding redemption through the eyes of a small child, is one of my all time favorite movies. Reno played the Hitman. Of course, I suspect bullshit.

“If you are Jean Reno then who played the hero in "Le Dernier Combat?" (An early Reno film.)

“Pierre Jolivet.”

Merde. It’s Jean Reno.

“Sir, I am a big fan. If the chef was still here I would make him wait but sadly we are closed.”

“Merci.” Hangs up.

Godammit! I wanted an autograph!

(Swear to God it happened just like that!)


The Waiter is home sick today. Don't want to get the Yuppies sick now do I?
Maybe more when I feel better.



Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Tuscan Twit

I work in a Tuscan restaurant. Like salmon that must swim upstream to spawn, middle-aged Yuppies are genetically programmed to visit Tuscany before they die. The sous chef, who is from Lucca, jokes you can always pick the invading Americans out of the crowd; fat, slow, pasty and patronizing.

I had a couple of Tuscan groupies tonight. Just back from Italy, draped in overpriced leather coats and gold jewelry pawned on them in Milan. Raving about how the gelato was like butter and how they drank San Giamigano in the actual vineyard.

The other couple sitting across from them had never been there. They were nodding politely waiting for dinner to end so they could make good their escape.

Tuscan lady, drunk, smiled expansively and said to me, "You have a lovely accent waiter, what part of Tuscany are you from?"

"The Jersey part."

"Huh?"

"I am from New Jersey madam." I look as Italian as an Eskimo.

If the botox in her forehead would permit it she would be wearing a frown.

"But New Jersey isn't in Italy."

"Esther he's an AMERICAN." Mrs. Never Been to Tuscany cajoled, relishing the opportunity to make her friend feel stupid.

Tuscan Twit's face is now redder than her wine. Her husband is glaring at me. Their friends are chuckling. Time to go.

"I will get your check."

Unfortunately Tuscan Twit's husband paid. Tip? 10%

Next time I say I'm from Florence.




Sunday, September 26, 2004

Customers are stupid.

The dumbest customers on Earth walked into my place tonight. I knew they were trouble right away. Without a reservation, they wanted to survey the bistro to “get a feel” before they “committed” to eating there. Of course they demanded the nicest table. Since it was Yom Kippur and slow – they got it.

The order was straightforward; two shrimp salads, a ravioli for her and bass for him.

After they had finished the salads, she dropped the bomb.

“Excuse me waiter is there garlic in the ravioli?”

“Yes madam.”

“I don’t like garlic; I have to change my order. What do you have without garlic?”

It’s an Italian restaurant. Garlic is in everything. I wanted to say “Tiramisu” but I bit my tongue.

“Madam, are you allergic to garlic or is this matter of taste?”

She furrowed her brow as if confused and said, “It’s a matter of taste but if I eat it I’ll get sick.”

I explained that every item had or was marinated with some garlic. I told her we could make some spaghetti primavera with fresh tomatoes. No garlic.

“I don’t like spaghetti.” Meanwhile the bell is ringing. Their food is ready NOW.

The husband turned to me and said. “Cancel our order we are going to leave.”

“But sir your food is ready.” I could see his $26 dollar entrée in the trash.

“Nowhere on your menu does it say the food has garlic so we don’t have to pay for it”, the lady said.

Flabbergasted I was ready to say “What the fuck did you expect in an Italian restaurant?” but thought the better of it. I was silent for a moment.

“I don’t like garlic.” She repeated again.

“I bet you don’t like dick either,” I thought. Luckily the owner was in so I dumped it in his lap.

Luigi was pissed. He walked over and asked her if the garlic marinated shrimp in her salad was inducing convulsions. They were red faced. Luigi knew it was a scam. They paid for the salads and wine and left. An 8% tip. I was surprised there was any.

The dishwasher has stripped bass Livornese for dinner.


Assholes.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Other waiter blogs you might enjoy!

Manahttan Waiter

Adventures of the Masked Waiter

Bitter Waitress - check out the Shitty Tipper Database! Celebrity sightings!

The Gothamist is a great website about NYC. They had a forum on tipping where I jousted with some anti - tipping scum! Read all the posts here. Feel the love!








Monday, September 20, 2004

Doggy Bag


So I’m telling an eight top the specials on an especially clamorous Friday night, shouting to make myself heard above the din, when I hear a dog barking.

No not outside, somewhere on the side aisle! Mystified I stop mid sentence and look in the direction of the canine vocalizations. The woman at that table is opening and closing her mouth and I swear everyone thinks she is the one barking.

“What the fuck?” the hard charging corporate CEO type at my table exclaimed.

“I believe some one is having a psychotic episode sir.”

I walked over to the offending table. Just as I was about to ask the barking lady if she had skipped her morning dose a little dog peeked his head out of the handbag on the seat next to hear and went “YIP YIP!”

Now I love dogs. I have a little dog myself. But Vietnamese cuisine is not on the menu and if the health department showed up we would be well and truly fucked.

The woman ignored me and was barking back at her surrogate child as he happily squirmed in her handbag.

“Madam, unless it’s a seeing eye dog, it can’t be in here.”

Angrily she looked at me. “I take him EVERYWHERE!”

“Not today. Please take him out of here.”

In a huff the woman took her pooch and exited stage right. Her dining companion was busy staring at the floor willing it to open up and swallow her whole. Where before there had been the roar of a crowded bistro on Friday night – now there was only silence.

I went back to my table where a chorus of laughter and “Good jobs” rained down on me.

“Brings new meaning to the term doggy bag.” I deadpanned.

The woman took her food to go.



Leftovers

I was hungry at the start of my shift so I jetted to the pizzeria across the street to grab a quick slice. As I was chatting up the kid behind the counter a totally smoking babe walked past the window hand in hand with her boyfriend. In typical guy fashion we both continued to talk about how the Mets sucked while our eyes lit up the girl’s ass like radar tracking an enemy plane. When I turned back expecting the usual lustful smirk the kid’s expression was crestfallen. He said, “Girl like that! Us working stiffs only get the leftovers.”

The egalitarian side of me recoiled at this notion. Leftovers? No one is a leftover! I am a working stiff and if I ever told my girlfriend I thought of her in the same terms as two day old meatloaf I would be dead before my body hit the floor. I knew the kid was having some self esteem issues but there was something other than being unlucky in love behind his comment.

Everyday we guys are bombarded with images of women we are “supposed” to have. They stare at us from magazine covers. Beckon us in beer commercials, Girl Gone Wild ads, and porn web sites. In the affluent area were I ply my trade there is a never ending parade of trophy wives with firm Pilates honed bodies, botoxed faces, and surgically enhanced boobs. If I said I never felt a twinge of longing or envy I would be lying. I am just as susceptible to those images as the next guy.

But I am a little older and wiser than the pizza boy I hope. In another life I worked in a mental hospital that catered to the rich and famous. I saw women struggling to maintain “perfection” by vomiting up everything they ate till they ruptured their esophagus and bleed to death internally. Girls cutting themselves, trying to hang themselves with pantyhose in the shower, offering me blowjobs for cigarettes, and crying till they almost shook apart – the collateral damage of “perfection.”

I remember one trophy wife whose eating disorder was so bad she had a very real risk of dying. Her fat rich husband’s only concern was if she stopped puking she would get fat and he did not like fat girls. Scumbag.

Working stiffs get more than their fair share of beautiful women. I lucked out! I see plenty of average guys with knockouts. Yet the images the assault men every day are raising the standard to an unattainable level and women are literally dying to keep up. Besides if you are holding out for that supermodel you may miss the love of your life right in front of you. Sure her ass may be a little wide. She never wears bikinis and high heels while fetching a beer from the fridge – but she will love you. And when you get older and gravity has taken its toll on you both she will be the warm body you reach for in the middle of the night.

I wanted to tell the kid all this but I had to go back to work. Back to where the women recoil in horror from the dessert menus. Back to where smelling vomit in the ladies room is a weekly occurrence. So I said,

“Every dog has his day kid.”

Then I left.









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