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Friday, January 28, 2011

Don't Call Me a Faggot

One of the most common questions I am asked is if I have ever spit in anyone's food. The answer is absolutely not. In my 33 years of food service, I swear on a stack of Tiger Beats that never once have I ever been so upset with a customer that I felt the need to take their food and spit in it. That is unprofessional, immature, unsanitary and disgusting and I would never do that to a plate of food. But one time I did spit in a lemonade.

Although I am not proud of this fact, I admit that I stooped to that level. Blame it on youth, blame it on insensitivity or blame it on the rain, but it happened. Black Eyed Pea Highway 290 in Houston, Texas. I was working my regular lunch shift in the late 1970's. One of my tables had four burly truck-driving men at it who no doubt came in to get their daily allowance of fried food and gravy injected into their veins. Now in those days, I was intimidated by men like that with their Wrangler jeans and cowboy hats and all that body hair sprouting from every orifice. They were not being particularly nice to me, but I could tell that they were not particularly nice to anyone else either. They were real men who thought that manners don't matter (they do matter!) and the gruffer they were, the more manly they were. One guy kept sucking down lemonade because he wanted to make sure he took full advantage of the unlimited refills that were available. As I brought another glass to the table, I distinctly heard the word "faggot" followed by deep guttural manly men laughs. When I put the glass down, they all looked at me and abruptly stopped laughing. I knew they were laughing at me. They continued with their non-use of "please" or "thank you" and when it came time for yet another goddamn glass of lemonade, I had had it. Still fuming about the "faggot" remark, I regressed to high school where that moniker was a regular occurrence for me. Some people had nicknames like Skip, Moose, or Boss. Mine was Faggot. Suddenly those four men at table 14 represented every boy in high school who had called me that name. They were the same boys on the school bus who knocked me down and made me cry. They were the same asses who scrawled my name on the bathroom wall saying I gave good head. They were the same punks who slashed my tires at the Homecoming dance. As I filled up that gigantic glass of lemonade, I hocked up a loogie from deep within my tortured soul. The phlegm sat in my mouth as I debated whether or not to follow through on my sudden decision of revenge. Plus, it's harder than you'd think to find a place in a sidestand where you can safely spit into a glass of lemonade without anyone seeing. But I did it. I let the spit drop into the glass and then I stirred it up with the straw and went back to the table.

"Here you are, sir. Is there anything else you need right now?" He grunted. I stepped away and watched him drink his lemonade. What was weird was that I didn't feel better. I felt stupid. It was like I was just as base and as lame as he was. What had come over me that suddenly I wanted to make this one man pay for every wrong that had come my way? I gave them the check, but I took one lemonade off the bill. I knew it didn't really matter, but I did it anyway. I guess it was my apology for something that no one knew anything about.

I have never done that again. One time. That was it. Ironic really, because I am certain that he went on to call many other guys a faggot. I moved on. He probably didn't.



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30 comments:

Bouncin' Barb said...

Getting back at someone when they know about it is much much better anyway!! hehe.

Mary A. said...

Don't you think piss would have been more appropriate?

Sorry. That was immature.

miss tia said...

"late 1970s"? you were definitely in utero then right? ;)

let's hope later in life when they had the eventual heart attacks you know they were going to have with those diets, the surgeon who performed their life saving bypass was gay!

Kitten with a Whisk said...

I've worked with people that have done so much worse than spit in someone's food or drink.

Stuff so horrible, it made me change my opinion about them forever.

Toni said...

Hopefully they all died of heart attacks shortly afterward.

trevor the lion hearted said...

I spit in people's food all the time and I'm not even a waiter.

Been following for a while - first time commenting. Love this blog.

Pizza Girl said...

That's awful. I can understand why you didn't feel better, I can tell you that holding someone's piping hot pizza out of the car window in the middle of winter because I had no choice but to get their pizza to them in 20 minutes despite a $1 or so pre-tip was satisfying. I felt better knowing that their pizza was cold.

dohhead said...

Bitchy, thank you for showing us your vulnerable side. I think you showed remarkable restraint, and a hell of lot more character than those 4 products of sperm donations put together....Kudos mate, cheers, Anthony.

Lolamouse said...

Your posts always make me laugh. This one made me cry. What's so sad is that these types of taunts still continue today. Glad you've matured beyond petty revenge and use your blog to vent your frustrations now! "Be the change you want to see in the world."

California Girl said...

Makes me think of the commercial where the Texas waitress is mad at the customers rooting for the Jets (I think) anyway against her football team. She wrings out dirty dishwater in their iced teas or iced drinks.

Funny thing is, I can't remember the name of the product altho' I believe it's a tv service of some kind.

Jessica B said...

Sorry BW, that you had to deal with that stuff growing up...

Mark W said...

If I had known you in high school, I wouldn't have called you a faggot. I would have just cried at home and called you a jerk in my diary.

I've stuck my tongue in the drinks of more than one rude customer.

How much do you want to bet that at least one of those four burly, hairy men has had another male's head between his legs at one point or another?

SlumSlut said...

So what are you REALLY saying here? That you don't give good head?

i R confoozd

yourfriendlyneighborhoodbarista said...

That's terrible! While I've never considered spitting in a customer's drink, I have on more than one occasion decaffed an inexplicably rude customer. But, behavior like THAT is just something no one should have to put up with. Everyone has hurtful words they carry around with them from childhood, and no one should have to be subjected to their use. The ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me. I'm sorry that those men (and I use that term loosely here) treated you that way.

badbadwebbis said...

That attitude is still more common in Texas today than you'd think. Or than I'd like. Or you'd like. Or we'd all like.

Anyway, I'm sorry it sucked for you back then, and I'm glad it's so much better for you now. But it still never should have happened at all.

rae said...

Wow. Some serious last lines there. That post ended up being uncharacteristically beautiful. Nicely done.

Jamesrfitz said...

My mother once said to me, "If you throw dirt, you lose ground." I used to think that she meant that if I treated people badly, they would come not to care for me. And while there is truth in that, the more I live, the more I see that when we harm others, we lose a bit of ourselves and some of the stuff that makes us good and worthy people in our own selves. Good for you for coming to that realization early on.

That being said, there is a human need for justice. So in situations where vendors have treated me poorly, I have written the following note on my check payments to them: FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY - IRPAMTTAH. What they don't know is that the acronym stands for "I resent paying any money to this ass hole".

mainiac said...

Very sad. But look at the bright side. At least you didn't shoot them!

yourfriendlyneighborhoodbarista said...

@ Jamesrfitz: I like your mother's metaphor and your acronym. You've got to take the small victories in life when you can. And it's nice to do so without compromising yourself. ;)

The Empress said...

What a sad but beautifully written post. I don't blame you for spitting in that arsewipe's drink as doing so made you realize that you would never be comfortable treating someone else shitty like that horrible man treated you. While I loathe the word he used against you, it is wonderful that you turned an unfortunate incident into such a valuable learning experience. Hugs to you!

Winston said...

A true confession. A lesson learned: revenge radiates no warm-fuzzy. I applaud your step forward into maturity since that day.

Gabriele Agustini said...

This brought tears to my eyes.
Totally unexpected.
I love you even more now.

Kate said...

The guys sound like assholes - yeah it's gross, but good for you. I'm always amazed at the arrogance it takes to bully others.

Mrs. Hyde said...

Mark W, Lolamouse, and The Empress said it all for me. Good for you for growing and learning.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written and shows that you do have some insight into yourself.

Spitting in a customers food is not only disgusting, it can cause an outbreak of hepatitis that can close the restaurant down. I don't believe that most servers think about the diseases that can be passed that way that they may not even know that they have. With the prevalence of hepatitis, HIV and other diseases that can be passed by saliva alone, to do something like that is criminal. If a case of hepatitis is traced back to a restauarnt, the restaurant is closed until the source can be found. You would be arrested for that, which I am sure, is not in the mind of the idiot that has done it. Is it really worth your job and possibly jail time because someone annoyed you that much?

Will B, nothin' but a foodie said...

so what you're saying is....you give good head?

Anonymous said...

Plz dont judge. But i'd a pissed in his drink!
xo

Stephanie said...

Great post!!! Such assholes....

Darlene said...

Long long time ago when I worked as a Denny's waitress. I worked with the nicest guy in the world who two ignorant flucks kept calling him a fag or faggot depending on the situation at the moment. He left it for about 30 minutes and finally had to speak up. He flicked his hand and tossed his hair. And simple stated that he is not a British cigarette. However if they wanted to put their pile of sticks in with his. He would love to show them how to be a fagot, but until then he is the Head Queen Bee Queer and they need not call him anything other than Miss thing. And then he blew them a kiss. It was awesome.

janandtheboys said...

Well, since we will be seeing you soon on TV I won't be surprised that you are a man now. I automatically thought you were a woman. I loved your post and have shared it with my sons. xo