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Monday, July 9, 2012

Go Outside (GuestBlogger!)

It's time for a guest blogger to swoop in and save the day and to save us from Springs1 who has made way too many comments on the previous post. This post comes from Dennis who has written about our favorite summertime topic, the patio. He also has a most excellent You Tube channel which you should totally check out. Thank you, Dennis. Please show him some love by commenting, sharing and visiting his You Tube page.

Hi.  My name is Dennis Vogen.  You probably know me as "The Best Writer You've Never Heard Of" or "That Asshole Who Forgot To Bring Me My Six Sides Of Fucking Ranch Last Tuesday Night."  Either way, you're welcome.  I'm twenty-seven, but I've been working different jobs since I was thirteen; I've worked over a decade in the service industry alone.  Which is why I don't like you.  It's nothing personal.  It's just that you're a human being. 
A topic that I feel doesn't have its proper literary legacy is working on a patio.  I have a notorious hatred for not only working on a patio, but for ninety-five percent of the people who decide to sit on one.  Again, it's nothing personal.  It's just that I'm a betting man, and if you sit on the patio, then it's a fair bet that you're an awful bag of meat and skin.
At least half of the people who ask to sit on a patio will either a) complain about God's given earth and the elements on that aforementioned earth, or b) ask to be transferred to a table inside.  Usually, it's both.  Which makes complete and utter sense.  Because, for example, you didn't have to step outside of your home and car to get to the front door of the restaurant.  You definitely have advanced technology from the future, which definitely means that you teleported directly from your bed to our host stand -- and by judging by your appearance, that actually might be true.  Which obviously means that you didn't have the chance to -- I don't know -- look up to the fucking sky and see what it was doing.  And even if it was cloudy, or windy, or even raining -- who knows what will happen fifteen seconds from now?!  I don't.  And, obviously, neither do you.
Once, during a late Minnesotan autumn day, a leaf fell into a woman's soup.  And that adorable bitch asked me if I would comp her soup.  What I told her was, "No."  What I wanted to say was, "If only we would build a place with four walls and a roof, where you could shove full handfuls of food into your disgusting face, that was temperature-controlled and didn't have annoying 'outside things,' like leaves and bugs and sound and air.'"  But I couldn't say such a thing.  Because such a place does not exist.
But therein lies the rub.  This is our conundrum.  Because until we live in a world civilized enough to make buildings designed specifically to enjoy meals inside, away from the crazy shit our world throws at us, this is our cross to bear.  And not all patio patrons are terrible; just almost all of them.  Minnesotan nice does not usually translate to outdoor casual dining.

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Colleen said...

Awesome article! I hate working patio's and will do everything to avoid doing so. Past experience showed me that servers who worked outside tended to make more money, but the sweat, aggravation, and rude customers made it not worth it to me. I'd prefer to be INSIDE, with like minded folk rolling our air conditioned eyes over the people outside.

Heather Rae said...

Lovely observations! Our patio is the only area of the restaurant where large parties can be accommodated, therefore it overflows EVERY WEEKEND with bachelorettes in blinking tiaras and dick straws. There is a retractable roof which we keep closed to keep the heat in from the propane heaters. A drunken birthday girl will usually ask us to open the roof so she see the stupid stars cause it's her stupid birthday. But that would freeze the other 75 people, so we say no and ruin her birthday, which I do enjoy doing. It's the little things ;)

Practical Parsimony said...

Oh, dear! I like to sit on the patio, but only under perfect conditions--not too cold, not to hot, not too windy. However, I know what the weather is like before I decide whether or not to go outdoors.

Why don't men like to sit on the patio? You servers could tell me, I am sure.

Good post!

Jessie said...

haha I almost completely agree with this. Except for me! I'm a great patio guest, but then again I'm also a server, so I don't really count...

DMT said...

I hate the patio for one reason and one reason alone. Ashtrays!

I'm not one of those up-on-his-high-horse non smokers, smoking doesn't bother me. But for some reason ashtrays do, they really gross me out. It's weird because in biology I had to do things like dissect eyeballs and handle things you wouldn't put in sausage, so very little phases me.
"Hey DMT someone clogged the toilet with a scuttery dump" - No problem!
"DMT someone's precious brat that was running around all hyper a few minutes ago just spewed his guts all over the floor" - I'm right on it!
"Hey DMT go clear the ashtrays" - *Stomach clenches*

Knowing my luck it's windy when I go out to do it, so I end up with a face full of ashes and cigarette butts at some point

Anonymous said...

Whoa, someone in Minnesota wanted to use the weather as an excuse to get something for free? While outside? That ruins weather complaining for the rest of us who bitch about how we should move to a more climate-stable state and not actually do so, it would take away our option to whine and say "Don't like the weather? Wait 5 minutes, it'll change?"

Lauren said...

I hate bees, Once, a party of seven asked to sit outside because it was a beautiful 75 degree day, and even though I hated their mirrored sunglasses, I obliged. When I was taking their lovely order, the grandmother (matriarch to the douchebag with the mirror sunglasses, the lush wife, and the two kids that didn't understand the two simple words "sit down") informed me there were bees on the patio, and her grandson, who was wandering around without the attention of his gin and tonic and sangria swilling parents, was deathly allergic to bees.
"Is there anything you can do?" she asked me.
I very politely informed her they could move inside. Apparently, outside, and certain death, were far better than air conditioning. They stayed, made a mess of my patio and fountain, downed about $40 more worth of booze that was paid by the patriarch, didn't make use of the high chair i supplied them, and managed to tip me about $40 above the gratuity. Thank God to me, they noticed the bees, not the grat.

Nenni said...

I generally like Serving on the patio... but I've had my share of crazies who have tried to blame mother nature on their Server.

Mary A. said...

I have a retard friend who loves to sit on the patio. I have yet to go to a restaurant where the patio is surrounded by lovely gardens, or a babbling brook, or even a sandy beach (which would actually suck as sand gets EVERYWHERE). Most patios in the burbs look out over the goddamn parking lot. I'd rather eat in the garage.

Anonymous said...

I've never dined al fresco, and I wouldn't because I've done other things outdoors, and I barely enjoyed them. It's miserable, really.

Mrs. Katie said...

"awful bag of meat and skin". LOL!!!! I'm going to check out this person's other sites for sure.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I was hosting at a popular restaurant known for their beer garden with a retractable roof so patio season was always a shit show. I'm inside at the host stand, and watching people enter the restaurant. Their first question to me? "Hmm... Well, what's it like outside?" Really? You tell me, moron. I'm in an air conditioned building.

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