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Thursday, February 9, 2012

If You Are a Latecomer, I Hate You

I encountered a man last night who clearly had a knack for getting on my nerves. I find it incredibly annoying when a customer gets to the club after the show has started and then gets irritated with me because they missed the first portion of the show. Not my fault, sir, that we started the show on time. It's called being professional. He told the hostess that he wanted a pinot grigio and she took him to his seat at table 11, which is right by the entrance to the room. We save that section for latecomers so we don't have to drag their tardy-to-the-party asses all through the room disturbing the performer and the rest of the audience who know how to tell time. When I went to take his wine to him, there was no one seated at table 11. I scanned the room and saw the man wandering around looking for a better seat. Keep in mind, he is about fifteen feet away from the performer and he is walking around like he's looking for a seat before the Saturday matinee of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. I went up to him and whispered, "Can I help you with something, sir? I just set your wine down at table 11." He kept looking around the room as the performer on the stage sang a beautiful ballad with very intense lyrics but half the audience didn't know that because this man was distracting them.

"I'm trying to find my friend, Michael Scott Davis."

"Alright, well your wine is at table 11."

"Where is Michael Scott Davis?"

"I don't know the name of everyone here in the room, sir." I looked around the audience of 35 people to prove my point. I gently took his elbow and guided him back to his seat. "I'll find out out where he is, sir."

He finally sat his ass down and I went to the host stand to see where his friend had been seated. I went back to the man and explained to him that his friend was indeed in the audience but there were no empty seats around him so he would have to remain where he is. This was my sub-text: If you would have gotten here on time, you asshole, you would not be having this issue. Drink your fucking wine and watch the show. He had his second glass of wine and gave me no more trouble for most of the night. Until it was the last song of the show.

I suppose he wanted to remember this evening for eternity so he pulled his camera out of his bag and made his way to the very center of the room. Standing in front of several people who were being good audience members by simply sitting and listening, he snapped a few pictures. With the flash. Again, had he been there on time, he would have heard the announcement that said something to the effect of "Please turn off your cell phones and refrain from the use of any goddamn fucking flash photography." But he got there late, so whatever. He shuffled back to his seat and then two minutes later he decided he needed more Kodak moments and went to the center of the room to take more photos. With the flash. This time when he got back to his seat, he was reprimanded by the tech guy in the sound booth.

After the show, I gave the man his check. "Here you are, sir. I will take that whenever you're ready."

He called me back over. "Hey there, buddy? What's your name." I told him. "Well, it's nice to meetcha, but you gotta stop calling me sir. It makes me feel old."

"I'm sorry, sir. I call everyone sir or ma'am because I'm from Texas and that's how I was raised." "Plus you're old," I thought to myself.

"Well, I'm only 66, just call me Donny."

"Yes, sir, I will, sir. Thank you, sir." He's 66. I'm pretty sure that when I'm 66 even I will consider myself old.

The show now over, I began to clean my station as he carried on conversations with anyone who would listen. "Well back then when I was doing a lot of television work, I was much more handsome. Hell, I was hot," I heard him say. He snapped more pictures with anyone who would pose for him. He was the last one in the room, of course, talking to whomever would listen. Every conversation he had was ended by the other person, I noticed, and I never did see him talk to his friend Michael Scott Davis. Poor guy. Probably lonely. He seemed nice enough, just a little too eager to please. You know the type? As he waved good bye, he thanked me by name. I smiled back at him. "Have a good night, Donny," I said. "Come back and see us some time, alright?"

Just get here on time.

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Anonymous said...

Aww, this was a very sweet story at the end.

Sulky Kitten said...

Yeah, he was annoying the Hell out of me - up until the "lonely" part. he was probably just desperate to join in and be a part of something.It's a vicious circle for people with crappy social skills.

Anonymous said...

We're late everywhere. Ever since we had kids. Now with two young kids and a husband to get ready--I guess make that three kids--we're late. Always late. x.x

And it SUCKS.

Practical Parsimony said...

I figure anyone who takes flash pictures during a performance does not care what others think. At 65 and almost 66, I am old, not really old, nevertheless, old. He has low self-esteem; that's why he is lonely--he alienates people. Yes, I was hot when younger, but I know better than to announce it to strangers. Who cares? He has not accepted age and realized hot can transcend years. said...

Having spent many years as the "performer" I have no tolerance for late-comers and even less for someone with a flash bulb. I was blinded on stage during a particularly difficult solo when my well-meaning father approached the stage and took two quick shots. I lost my place in the music and the pictures were terrible anyway. You have more patience than I.

Mary A. said...

I also do not like to be called ma'am. but I don't TELL people I don't care to be called ma'am. Better "ma'am" than fatso.

bistis6 said...

Hmmmm...Donny. Donny Most?????

Hello my name is.... said...

I love your stories! You inspired me to start my own blog..check it out!