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Sunday, June 16, 2024


Jeff LoSasso 6.14.2006

By Rick Racela

Here’s what I really wanted to say to the four-top who sat in my section last night at 9:52, exactly eight minutes before the restaurant stops seating:
“Good evening, folks, my name is Jeff, and I’d like to take a flame thrower to all of you. All of you. But first, before I commit this crimes, go to prison, and experience a situation similar to what Andy Dufraine went through in the first half of “Shawshank Redemption,” allow me to apologize on behalf of my co-workers.
The torrent of obscenities and smashing sound of someone violently kicking the bread-warmer had absolutely nothing to do with you and your ill-conceived timing.
Truthfully, after a night so insanely busy, waitresses were intermittently crying; cooks were screaming out to smash the ticket-machine with a baseball bat; hostesses were threatened with bodily harm for triple-seating; and bussers were so deep in the weeds, they were in the Everglades – we’re all thrilled to stay open an extra hour.
That said, I’d like to go over some additions to the menu.
Oops.  That’s right. There are none. It’s 9:52.  Perhaps if you came in to eat at a decent hour like a normal human being, this wouldn’t be the case.  But you didn’t.  So now you’re beat.
Nevertheless, could I interest you all in a cocktail, a glass of wine, perhaps a jug of Kool-Aid, courtesy of Rev. Jim Jones?
What’s that? Four completely different, totally annoying martinis?  Sure. 
The service bartender is going to blow a gasket, but it would be my pleasure.
Okay, here we go, folks, four trendy martinis.  Yes, it is quite nerve-wracking trying to deliver them all at once without spilling a drop. 
In fact, sometimes I think it would be easier working for the bomb-squad. 
Cut the red wire.  No the yellow wire.  No!  Definitely the red wire!
So are we set to order?  No, not yet?  You have 854 questions you’d like to ask first?
From what region of South India does our table pepper come from? I don’t know, sir.
Could you have the Imperial in the flounder removed and replaced with BBQ pork?  We don’t have BBQ pork on the menu, but I’ll ask anyway, maâam.
Who won the Academy award for best supporting actress in 1974?  I haven’t the foggiest.
How’s a few more minutes to look over the menu while I brood in the back with the rest of the staff, chain-smoking cigarettes, cursing a blue streak?
Okay, I’m back, have we decided?
The filet mignon, well-done, butterflied.  Tragic.
The chicken fingers.  Ha-ha, very funny, sir.  You’re not kidding?  Oh.  Uh, excellent.
The old just-a-bowl-of-soup-for-me-routine.  Splendid.
And lastly, the surf and turf. Wonderful.  I’ll go put that in and wait for the cooks to start throwing sautŽ pans against the wall in a fit of blind rage.  In the interim, a busboy will be by to drop off bread so hard it will crack your molars.
All right, here comes the food runner looking completely exhausted and miserable.  Anything else I can get?  Yet another round of martinis?  Ugh.
Folks, how is everything thus far?
What’s that? Your chicken fingers are not medium-well as you specified? 
I’ll tell the chef. Though I think he’s halfway into a bottle of Wild Turkey by now.
Well I guess that about does it, gang.  How was everything?  A shrug of indifference, a smug sigh, a haughty sneer. Beautiful. Just the type of response I was anticipating.
Anyone care for dessert?  Perhaps a cup of coffee so old and strong it could strip the chrome off a Buick?
Very well then, I’ll just leave the check.  If you need me, I’ll be over there with the entire staff, staring daggers your way and muttering profanity.
All right, guys, thanks for coming in at 10 at night.
Oh, and thank you, grandpa, for picking up the tab. A $14 tip on a $133 check is extremely generous, if it was 1924 and Silent Cal Coolidge was still in office.

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