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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Home Away From Home (Guest Blogger)

In my absence while I am on vacation, I have assembled some wonderful guest bloggers to fill in for me. Please comment and share. Also remember, these are guest bloggers. Visit their websites and show them some love. 

This blog comes from the most excellent, Terry Everton who writes at Working Stiff Review.  


Of all the monosyllabic morons I’m forced to tolerate during any given day, nothing compares to the unbridled treat of getting to wait on the guy who expects the restaurant he’s visiting to transform itself into his personal dining room.

I had the privilege of enjoying a family of these retards the other night. They consisted of Papa Bear (Captain Hemorrhoid), Mama Bear (From Mom to Bitch in the Flick of a Switch), Brother Bear (Dudebro) and Sister Bear (Emo Chick Bravely Enduring the Overwhelming Angst of Life).

I approached their table with my usual “Good evening everyone, may I bring you something to drin…”

“Bro, change the TV to the Lakers game,” Brother Bear interrupted. “

Yeah, why are we watching hockey when Kobe Bryant is playing,” Papa Bear chimed in, apparently scaling the curiosity summit one perilous step at a time.

“I’ll talk to the bartender about it,” I answered while considering buying a semi-automatic rifle online to use on my intestines. “Until then, may I offer you something to drin…”

“What kind of ice do you use in your iced tea,” Mama Bear shot me in the gut with instead.

“I believe it’s the frozen kind,” I responded as I silently comforted myself by envisioning Freddy Krueger having his way with her.

It should be noted that Sister Bear sat with her head buried in her folded arms on the table. Apparently the oppressive weight of her fourteen years on the planet had taken its toll, and she found herself crumbling under the burden of basic socialization.

“Well, we use one inch cubes at home with little holes in them so the tea gets super duper colder, which is the way we like them,” Mama Bear enlightened me with all the charm usually found by someone being repeatedly stung by a hive full of bees.

“Gee, that sounds really neat-o,” I countered while trying not to throw up in my mouth. “Though I’ve never measured them, I’m pretty sure we use the same standard ice cubes you’ve probably encountered in most restaurants that have had the privilege of serving you.”

After a few more minutes of navigating our way through the various ways our beverage selection paled in comparison to the way they normally enjoyed Pepsi (in lieu of the Coke we serve) in the comfort of their home, I returned with four glasses of water, no ice, lemons on the side.

“Have you decided on what you would like for dinne…”

“So Bro, who picks the music around here anyway, ‘cause it really sucks,” Brother Bear asked in his best thespian recitation.

“I’m inclined to agree,” Papa Bear confirmed with all the warmth one normally associates with Indianapolis in January. “And it’s way too loud as well. I can hardly hear myself think in here!”

I looked at them with the look you give someone after they’ve just hit you upside the head with a two by four. “I’m pretty sure the music is selected by the owner. And he’s pretty specific about the volume we keep it at, Bro. Have you made any decisions regarding what you might like for dinne…”

“I’ll take your Island Burger,” Mama Bear announced to anyone who gave a rat’s ass, which most certainly didn’t include me. “No Island Dressing. And you can give my pickles to someone else. We also don’t make our burgers at home with lettuce, so you can leave that off too. But I’ll take cheddar cheese. And American. Both kinds, don’t forget. And just a drop of Dijon mustard, but not too much ‘cause it overpowers the taste of the meat. And I need the tomatoes on the side, but we don’t like them to touch the bun. Oh, and the bun. We don’t eat sesame seeds. Or onions. So make sure the bun doesn’t have any of those. And we like it toasted, but not too much. Just enough. And we like our French fries cooked just until they turn brown but not too brown and no salt. And we’ll take barbeque sauce instead of ketchup.”

Sister Bear lifted her head and rolled her eyes heavenward, though whether her disdain was with her mother’s diatribe or the hopelessness of existence which had her firmly in its grasp was beyond me. She let out a huge sigh before returning to her hunched over state, as if she had exhaled her very soul in the process.

The rest of the orders followed suit, with each entrĂ©e taking on more modifications than a typical Orange County housewife’s surgically-altered face until what was inevitably brought to the table resembled the original menu description about as much as what was going to be left of my sobriety in a couple of hours.

After their food had been delivered, I checked back with them to make sure everything was exactly the way they were used to having it at home.

“Bro, it’s awfully cold in here, man,” Brother Bear clued me in on, while the sound of his voice actually sent waves of frost down my own spine. “I mean, I’m all for bein’ chill and stuff, but this is ridiculous.” He chuckled at the amazing subtlety of his undoubtedly unintended double-entendre and waited for me to bask in the endless trough of his wit as well. I instead went to my happy place, conjuring images of him choking on a spork.

“I absolutely agree,” Papa Bear agreed, as I looked around the floor for where he might have possibly misplaced his brain. “We keep our house at a constant ambient seventy two degrees, and this sure feels colder than that!”

I assured them I would adjust the air conditioning, which I didn’t. However, I did check back with them a few minutes later to inquire whether my non-adjustment had made a noticeable impact on their dining experience.

“Oh my god, it feels so much better in here,” mumbled Mama Bear with a mouth full of chopped cow as a droplet of grease made its way down her chin. “I thought I was going to melt from the cold!” If. Only. That. Were. Possible.

Sister Bear, on the other hand, had wrapped herself in the sweater she had brought in tow for just such an occasion as she obviously had been down the ambient road before, and was looking to radically announce that she was on the opposite side of the familial thermostat coup. That, and the added vampirific countenance it added to the dour cloud hanging over her head emphasized the impending Armageddon she was inches away from perilously falling into.

After they had consumed everything in front of them but the table cloth and their plates had been cleared I approached the table, dessert menus in hand. Butbefore I had the chance to describe the overpriced and mostly mediocre sugar-laden confections, Brother Bear jumped in and saved me from the faux pas I was unknowingly about to commit. “Come on now, Bro. We don’t do the dessert thing.” Silly fucking me.

“Uh, yeah. We’ll just take the check,” Papa Bear chimed in with a tone insinuating that I had disappointed them for the final time.

After they paid their bill and left and I had pocketed my ten percent tip, I knew what had to be done just so I’d have a puncher’s chance of getting through the rest of the night. So I popped a Vicodin and ordered myself a dirty Grey Goose on the rocks.

Just like I do at home.

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Dew said...

This article comes back to a single point - restaurant staff are NOT slaves. Restaurant owners, who may or may not be our direct bosses and who don't work for tips, select tv stations, music, room temperature, and the menu. The kitchen staff make the food and none of us make the ice cubes.

Kris B said...

I would like " Mom to Bitch in the Flick of a Switch" on a tshirt, mug, bumper sticker...something....I love it!!! What jerks..who goes to a restaurant and acts that way?

euphoric_mania said...

Is this the Bitter Waiter doing this one? Sounds just like him...

Dean D said...

Awesome... I used to serve a family like this back in the day who somehow decided that I was their favorite waiter and that no one else in the restaurant would do... lucky me... I had dreams of bludgeoning every one of them with an wine bottle, but I couldn't bring myself to waste wine like that.

suzi said...

Surprised you would allow a guest blogger to use the word retard on your blog. May have been funny. I don't know because I didn't get past that word.

terry everton said...

Gee Suzi...Some day I hope to be as pretentiously righteous as you. You're actually the sort of turd stain to which the post refers. Of course you probably didn't get past the word turd.

Estrellita said...

I hate this family! Turd stain is right. Stay the fuck home and cook. I hate it when people tell me how they prepare shit at home. I'm always tempted to give them the mind numbing details of some mundane aspect of my daily routine. The Bear Family can choke on a bag of dicks. I love your post. I look forward to reading your blog.

DanORants said...

Estrallita, I happen to work in a BBQ restaurant in NC. I have to hold a conversation with almost everyone about how we prepare our shit compared to theirs (luckily, I do work for a higher-class (as high as BBQ can be) establishment, so our guests are usually impressed)... UGHHH!!! I don't give a shit that you use maple wood!!

Estrellita said...

DanORants, that sucks. I'm sure you get the Texans and Kansas City people who tell how how REAL BBQ is done. That's bs anyway. The vinegar based BBQ sauce is REAL BBQ to me. Every time I go to the Outer Banks, it's a pigfest from the time I cross the VA/NC line. There is that mundane detail about my life I've been dying to share.

Noelle said...

Nice! Well done. Very funny! I will skip over to your blog and hope I can make the time for yet another awesome place to stop for sanity check. Thanks

Cheryl said...

Damn funny, reading this shit makes me feel better about being a patron, I am a good one and try to be.

Nathan Partyka said...

Great read, can totally relate to this for sure. In a much more perfect world everyone we serve would be a delight... Maybe one day we will come close to this utopia.

Frank Giannantonio said...

"Nobody makes up funnier stories than Everton", I said with Rodney Dangerfield sarcasm.
That was about as believable as a sales pitch from Bernie Madoff, but I'm laughing harder than Ken Kesey at Bellevue. You've set the guest blog bar higher than a limbo game with The Jolly Green Giant.

Tammy said...

I have to agree with Frank. Funny story, great lines, but that's all it is: a story. If this dialogue actually happened I will eat my menu.

Excellent short story though! :)

terry everton said...

Start munchin' Tam. You and Frank can enjoy a lovely dinner of crow over a nice Chianti. I don't post fiction...though the strangeness of my restaurant experiences do admittedly at times stretch the boundaries of sane. xoxo.

Tammy said...

Alrighty, if you say so, I will order up some nice, crispy crow. You must have some crazy good memory going om there to re-create dialogue like that. Or do you carry around a handy digital recorder in case some really interesting specimens of humanity end up at your table?

As someone who lives with teenagers and also spends all day teaching them, you totally nailed emo girl. LOVE the description.

Fool Critic said...

Honestly, I feel for the daughter. She seems like the only decent member of the family. Imagine GROWING UP with these people. I'd be sullenly dying my hair and cutting myself too.

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terry everton said...

And I luv your blog. Good luck with everything.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a guy we were behind at Dunkin' Donuts in Middleburg Hts, OH. He wanted an large iced coffee with "only 7 ice cubes."

The gal working the counter and I both gave each other big eyes, paused, and waited for this guy's punchline of "I'm just kidding you!"

It never came. He was serious! OMG.