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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 Napkin Burger Might Be An Asshole

In case you haven't heard, New York City was hit yesterday with a bitch of a hurricane named Sandy. The only way you wouldn't know about this is if you live under a rock or a bridge like a skanky gutter troll, so yeah, maybe Springs1 hasn't heard yet. Anyway, it's pretty bad around here. Trees are on the road, there are millions of people without any power and the subways are not running because there is more water in the tunnels than there is in a Jack and Coke at a dive bar. It is a time when you really learn to set your priorities in order like food, water and survival. However, if you are the general manager at 5 Napkin Burger in Hell's Kitchen, your only priority is to get that restaurant back open so you can serve some damn hamburgers!

I was contacted by a reader, who shall remain nameless since we don't want to get him or her in trouble, about an email about their job at 5 Napkin. It was sent by the general manager last night at 8:00 PM, which is pretty much when Sandy was at the height of her bitchiness. It alerted all hourly employees to expect to open the next day. So while buildings were falling apart and tankers were being washed ashore, this asshole was all about "how can I sell some more bacon cheddar burgers." This morning at 11;45, they got another email telling them that since the subways are not running, to take a cab in and they will be reimbursed the money. I was told that this was the same offer given to them during last year's Hurricane Irene and they are still awaiting that reimbursement money.

Hey, 5 Napkin Burger in Hell's Kitchen: have some fucking compassion, assholes. Most of your employees probably don't even have fucking electricity so how in the hell are they supposed to iron their uniforms before they show up to work. Do you really want a bunch of wrinkled servers taking orders today? Maybe some folks didn't sleep last night since there were 90 mph blowing through their apartments but sure, you wanna sell some Lobster Roll Sliders, so by all means force your employees to figure out how to get to work.

It's really a double-edged sword for those if us in the restaurant industry because if we don't work, we don't make money. As much as someone would want to stay home and pump the Hudson River out of their bedroom, maybe they need to go to work so they can make a few dollars to replace all the food in their fridge that is spoiling since the power has been out for 18 hours. Being a waiter isn't like working on salary in an office where if the place shuts down, you'll still get paid. When restaurants close down, we lose money and we don't get a chance to make it up. We can't claim a personal or vacation day because for most restaurant workers, those are as foreign as 401K's and pensions.

Maybe the right thing to do was for 5 Napkin Burger to see how many servers were able to make it to work and how many of them wanted to do so. It's just plain asshole behavior to demand attendance the morning after New York City's worst storm in the history of ever. I get it: 5 Napkin needs to make money. I also get that some servers would want to be there if they could. But there has to be a balance of business and compassion. If your employee says he's not going to be able to make it into work because of a natural disaster unlike anyone proceeding it, then you just have to buck up and say, "Well, we'll do without you, but as soon as you can get back to work, we'll be ready to have you." If the mayor of New York City is telling people to stay home unless they absolutely must go out, I don't think selling french fries is enough of a reason to change his mind.

To my friend who has to go to 5 Napkin today, I'm sorry. I hope you either figure out a way to make it to work or your boss changes his mind. If you do go to work, I hope you make shitloads of tips and if you end up staying at home I hope missing out on another day of tips doesn't put you too far into a hole. And speaking of a-holes: 5 Napkin Burger.

Please share this, so maybe it will make it to the manager at 5 Napkin Burger on Ninth Ave.



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Monday, October 29, 2012

Oh, Sandy. You Hurt Me Real Bad

With all the hype on the East Coast about Hurricane Sandy, I can't help but write about anything else. It does not seem right for me to complain about that bitch who sat in my station the other night and just about how had a coronary when I told her we don't take American Express.

"But what about my points??" she exclaimed?

"What about the barrier islands in New Jersey??" I replied.

Or how can I justify writing about the man who asked for his burger to be "well-done but not too well-done, because I like it cooked a lot, but it's not like I want it burned, you know?" It seems trivial to respond to such an inane request when the future of residents in certain low-lying area of Brooklyn is so unsure.

In the face of the storm, I don't feel comfortable telling the story of that little boy who freaked out that there was bacon in his mac and cheese even though it clearly states that fact on the menu and I assumed that his parents knew how to read. This kid acted like a scorpion had crawled into his diaper and had an orgy with some fire ants. His parents did nothing about the tantrum except tell me they were going to need another round of drinks for them to be able to "handle the kid." So, no, I won't write about that.

What I will write about is how we on the East Coast are dealing with the storm. According to Facebook, almost every friend of mine has stocked up on liquor and junk food. Bottled water? Maybe. Vodka? Yes. Canned soup and tuna? Possibly. Doritos and donuts? Of course. It is 1:00 PM here in Queens and the winds are starting to pick up. The clouds are heavy and the rain is beginning to fall. I am still in pajamas but I might put some clothes on soon to go to the store for another essential need: bacon.

For anyone who is reading this who is in the path of this bitch Sandy, please be careful. Don't take any chances and if you must go outside for something (taco shells, beer, a dog walk...) make sure you watch those tree limbs. Those sneaky bitches are always falling down on someone and messing things up. I leave you with a You Tube clip about the original Sandy: the one from Grease. Below that, you will find a recipe for the Hurricane because if you don't have batteries, you probably have rum.


 

Hurricane Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz light rum
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 2 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • Juice of a half a lime
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp grenadine
  • Orange slice and cherry for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Squeeze juice from half a lime into cocktail shaker over ice.
  2. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into a hurricane glass.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice. 



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Friday, October 26, 2012

Bitchy Waiter Horror Story

Something happened at work that scared the living hell out of me. Chills crept down my spine and a cold sweat came over my entire body making me damp and sticky and not the usual honey mustard kind of damp stickiness I normally have.
Moments after clocking in, my manager walks up to me with purpose. I know he has something to tell me and I brace myself.

"Hey," he says. "I got an email the other day and it was about you."

"Oh, really?" I squeak out. "What did it say?"

My mouth goes dry, my eyes widen and my knees buckle. The hair on my arms stands up and my pulse quickens.As I try to keep from swallowing my tongue, my brain begins running through every possible scenario that would cause someone to write an email about me and send it to my boss.

Oh my God, did that woman two weeks ago see me stick my tongue out at her baby because that baby totally had it coming. It was so rude, that baby, the way it kept laughing at the top of her lungs and shrieking with delight. Or maybe the email is about that time I told the man at booth 7 that I couldn't vouch for the Cabernet but the glass of Chardonnay that I was currently enjoying in the sidestand was quite delicious. Could it have been about me playing Words With Friends in the bathroom when that lady knocked on the door and I screamed out "occupado" and then when I came out I told her I was very busy trying to create a seven-letter word? Is it about this post I wrote about my regular who never shuts up? Maybe it's from the two-top who saw the raccoon on the patio last week. I stood there and watched it with them but told them not to tell my manager because if he knew about it he would call the exterminator and have him come and trap it and take it away like he did earlier this summer to that little baby raccoon who ended up being dropped off on Long Island somewhere.Sure the raccoon we saw last week could have been rabid or mad with grief and still trying to find its offspring that we shipped away, but she was so cute sitting there on the fire escape that I didn't want to rat it out and see it get trapped. Did someone see me on television and didn't appreciate my attitude so they felt compelled to alert my boss that he has an asshole on his staff? Or maybe the email is from a customer who saw me box up some food to-go after that piece of steak may or may not have fallen onto the floor before I placed into the box with care
.
Oh, the horror! This email could be about so many things! I see my job slipping from my fingers and I imagine myself traipsing up and down Ninth Avenue dropping off applications at restaurants that only want to hire young waiters who are just filling time between their modeling gigs.

"Yeah, I've never gotten an email about you before, but I guess there's a first time for everything," says my manager.

"Heh, heh. Yeah, sure..." I mumble. "So, what'd say?"

Long pause. It feels like the lights are getting dimmer but they may be because the blood is flowing from brain and right down to my feet.

My manager smiles. "They wanted to compliment you and your service. They said you were so friendly to them and that your shirt and apron were nicely pressed. They just wanted me to know how great you were. Good job."

A sigh of relief escapes from my mouth releasing with it all the fear that had crept into my body within the last fifteen seconds.

"Oh, that's cool," I say. "But duh, what else would someone have to say about me?"

Yeah, that was truly fucking scary.






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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The New and Improved Olive Garden?

And now a word from Arlene Sinclair, the cafeteria lady at Stroman High School in Victoria, Texas who asked me if she could use my blog as a place to express her concerns about a very serious issue:

Hey, y'all, first off I have got to thank The Bitchy Waiter for letting me say some words on the internets, but I have shocking news. My favorite restaurant in the whole world played a new commercial last night and it just about turned my world upside down, y'all. Lemme just say it: I love Olive Garden. I cain't help it, but I do. Those bread sticks just do a number on me and I cain't stop eatin' 'em. I hear they have a never-ending salad bowl too, but best I remember, I ain't never had that 'cause it's got lettuce in it. Anyways, I was watching the telly last night. (I love Honey Boo Boo!!)  and I sees a commercial on for Olive Garden and it was totally different. You know how they usually show a bunch of people sittin' around a table laughing and eating food and and then at the end they say, "When you're here, you're family?" Well what I saw last night they showed a woman doing some of that yogi bear exercise and a bunch of kids taking pictures on the cellular phones. How in tarnation does that have anything to do with Olive Garden? And then at the end they just said "Go Olive Garden." Don't mess with my Olive Garden.

I did a little bit of Internets research and found this article telling me that OG is changing the way they are advertising because their business is down. Now that don't make a lick of sense to me since every time I go to OG it's as crowded as the Wal-Mart on Black Friday when they's selling 102" flat screen t.v.'s for $1.99. I also read that they are starting to have some food that has fewer calories for people who are watching their weight. Now don't get me wrong, I watch my weight too, you know. I watch it get higher and higher, LOl! I don't go to OG to watch my calories. If I want to eat healthy and lose weight, I do what all Americans do: I go to Subway. Please DO NOT change, Olive Garden, I beg of you on all things holy and deep fried.

One thing that does look kinda interesting is this new "Dinner Today, Dinner Tomorrow" offer, which gives customers who come in for dinner a second meal to take home. They're cold and then I can just heat 'em up the next day. I might like this idea a lot because I can buy a fancy Olive Garden dinner for my kids and husband but I won't have to leave a tip on it, and that puts more money in my purse.

I suppose I understand that all things have to change, I just don't like it. I still recall how upset I was when they changed the recipe for Coke so long ago and came out with that new Coke. Lordy, I was so pissed off about that and I skipped breakfast for a week. I finally switched over to Dr. Pepper and life went on but I just don't know if I can handle all these changes at the OG. On Friday afternoons after me and all the other girls from the cafeteria are done with work, I loves to go to the OG and get myself a glass of white zin and eat some bread sticks. That's sorta like my own little tradition, you know? I just want things to stay the same and if Olive Garden is changing, what next? Is Arby's gonna start selling salads or is McDonald's gonna start selling pizza? Where will it end? If I want pizza, I do what every other American does: I go to KFC.

Okay, I guess I better go. I am at work and the first batch of kids is about to be served lunch. I need to go open up five gallons of mac and cheese and pull those fish sticks out of the oven. I just wanted to vent about Olive Garden. "When you're here, you're family" is no longer, but to me, those waitresses at the OG will always be my family. I love 'em so much which is why I always tell them how great they are to me and my friends. I make sure to tell every single one what a good job they're doing because I think that's what they really want from me. We can all make money, but how often do you get a compliment?

Thanks again, Bitchy Waiter for giving me this platform. Go, Olive Garden? I say "Go, Bitchy Waiter!!"

No, Arlene, Thank you.  -BW

(And everyone knows that this wasn't really written by a woman named Arlene, right?)



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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Comment on Comments

My favorite type of post to write is a Comment on Comments one. They make me feel all warm and toasty on the inside. On a post called Credit Card Fraud is Not Cool, a lovely woman named Susan Swenton had this to say:

bitchy waiter? how about profane waiter or vocabulary-impaired waiter or lazy waiter because you rely way too much on shock value words which then become mundane and predictable and, durst I say it, annoying.

Dear Susan,

Fuck off. Yeah, I durst say it. (And that's the correct use of that word in a sentence.)

Love,
The Bitchy Waiter



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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"How To Pinch a Penny" or "I'm a Cheap Ho"

You know me, always on the lookout to help those who are less fortunate then myself and I found someone who is in desperate need of my assistance. It is whoever wrote the stupid fucking article called 7 Tips to Reduce Your Restaurant Bill. Most of the suggestions fall in the same category as "the earth is round," "the sky is blue" and "that old lady is gonna send her tea back because the water isn't hot enough." In other words, duh. I made a few amendments to the article that I think most servers can truly appreciate.





1. Use coupons and promotions.
Sign up for daily deals sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, where you can find discounts for 50% to 90% off...

...because servers love waiting on people who have coupons. Groupon Groupies are always so pleasant and generous. I mean, if a person is using Groupon to save money then that totally must mean they are going to use those extra dollars they saved to tip better, right?

Also take advantage of restaurant promotions. For instance, Applebees consistently offers a two-for-$20 deal, which includes two meals (you select from a list of  entrees) and an appetizer. Olive Garden is popular for its limited-time offers, such as unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. 

Why are you even at Applebee's or Olive Garden? If you are eating at one of those places, you have much bigger issues to deal with then how to save a few bucks.


2. Buy cheap gift certificates.
Visit Restaurant.com, where you can browse local restaurants and buy discounted gift certificates such as $25 certificates for $10, or $50 certificates for $20. 

Just remember to tip on the original amount that the food cost. Just because you are using a coupon doesn't mean that your server should make less money. If every person who sat in his station that night had a 50% off coupon, and they all tipped on the discounted amount, the server would be making half of what he normally would. Does that sound fair to you? 

3. Skip the booze.
If you order wine by the glass, you could be looking at a 400% markup. And as delicious as they are, fancy, fruity drinks are also overpriced. Even at a budget-friendly chain restaurant, you could end up paying as much as $7 for a strawberry daiquiri.

I want to know where a strawberry daiquiri only costs $7. Unless it's at Applebee's or Olive Garden you can expect to see me there as soon as I am finished typing this.

 The cheapest (and healthiest) route, of course, is to order water.

Just make sure you ask for lots of lemons and some Splenda so that you can make your own lemonade. Servers love doing this for you. If you don't want lemonade, ask for cucumber slices or some fresh mint to brighten up your water. Just because you don't want to spend $3 on a Coke doesn't mean your taste buds have to suffer . Trust me, waiters don't mind one bit. And once they bring your bowl of lemons, that is a good time to ask for more bread.

4. Order an entree that includes extras.
If you're going to spend more than $10 on a dinner entree, it should include a soup, salad or dessert. If you can't eat everything, take the rest of your meal home or purposely save some leftovers.

Again, where the fuck is this chick eating where she thinks a $10 dinner entree should automatically come with something? In New York City, the only thing that is going to come with a $10 entree is a half empty plate. And if you take the leftovers with you, please make sure it's not two or three fucking french fries. At least make it worth the to-go box it's going to be in. Really, is one more bite of steak worth the million years it will take that Styrofoam container to decompose? Oh it is? Then by all means, do it. And have your green beans in a separate container as well, you cheap un-caring fuck.

5. Order an appetizer as your meal.
Appetizers like quesadillas or chicken wings can easily be a sufficient meal, especially because they are usually served in portions big enough to share. 

If you can save three dollars, forgo that need for vegetable servings. Who needs 'em? You just eat that big plate of chicken wings or quesadillas and get yourself some more free bread and in no time at all you will have saved enough money to go get that liposuction you have been dreaming about.

6. Check your bill.
If you think you paid too much for a mediocre meal, don't be afraid to politely mention it to your server. We've all ordered a chicken dish that included more pasta than chicken. Rather than being annoyed about paying top dollar for a bowl of pasta, say something. Maybe you'll score a discount or gift card -- or even a free meal.

No place is going to serve equal parts pasta to equal parts chicken. We don't even do that at home, do we? So she suggests that after you eat it, you just mention that you didn't like it so maybe you can get it comped? Hell, no. If you do that, your server is going to think you're a total asshole. Nothing is more annoying than a person licking their plate clean and then letting us know that they didn't like their food. If it happens in my station, the only thing they're going to get is an extra side of "too fucking bad."

7. Earn cash back through surveys.
I don't even know what the fuck she is talking about. I f you can't afford to eat out, just eat at home.


I think you will agree with me that my suggestions make this article much much better. If you do agree, you should go over to the article and post a comment about it. Tell them The Bitchy Waiter sent you. That way they can see that the author really needed to do a little more research before posting the story. And that research could have started with a quick Google search for me, The Bitchy Waiter. If you think that those tips that were offered were a big steaming pile of "no shit," I hope you will share this blog post.



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Friday, October 19, 2012

Like, Basically, Shut Up

My ears are bleeding. Not because I stuck a Bic pen into my ear canal and popped my eardrum but because of a customer. He is a regular and I don't think he reads this blog, but if he does, this comes from kindness: for the love of all things bitchy please shut the fuck up!

He talks too much. The only time his gums aren't flapping is when everyone around him have excused themselves to go to the restroom. During that brief respite, his eyes desperately scan the restaurant searching for someone else to direct his words to. It's almost like if he doesn't get the words out, he will explode and spew out homonyms, synonyms and leftover pieces of a thesaurus that he once crammed up his ass in an effort to sound smarter. He does not stop talking. From 6:00 when he arrived until I left at 10:00, his vocal chords were working overtime, annoying me and everyone else who had the misfortune of having the gift of hearing. Never in my life have I wanted to be someone else more than I did that night. Oh, how I longed to be Helen Keller so that not only did I not have to listen to his voice but I could also be spared the sight of his chapped lips that had collected the tannins of his bottle of Cabernet.

Others were feeling the same way I was. More than one table let me know how he was destroying the tiny bit of ambiance that the restaurant has to offer.

Said table 7: "At least I'm not sitting next to him on an airplane."
Said table 2: "My GOD, I want to stab him in the face with a cork screw. Who the hell is he talking to anyway? Please make him stop. I hate him and I want him dead."

I feel bad for the guy, I really do. He needs to be told that after his third glass of wine he should be using his indoor voice. Or better yet, no voice at all. No one cares that he is having lasagna for Christmas dinner and nobody needs to hear the plot to a sci-fi movie that came out four years ago. He needs to realize that when I am standing in front of him ringing in an order at the bar, I don't have time to listen to the details of a vacation he took five years ago with some bitch I care for even less than I do for him. He should learn to use words more wisely and not rely on "like" and "basically" to connect every thought he has into one endlessly long run-on sentence that seems to never have an ending and just when you think it's almost at the the end, it gets longer by adding the word "and" and then it continues on and on until you realize that he will never stop talking until you actually either walk away from him or stick a napkin in his mouth but you don't want to do that because it will remind him of this other time that he had a napkin stuck in his mouth and then he will share that story too in another run-on sentence. Run-on sentences suck, sir. Don't use them.

We've all been there, trapped next to the guy who can't stop talking. In real life, I don't have an issue telling them that I need to have some alone time or that I am trying to read a book. However, when it happens with a customer at work, we sometimes get stuck with them. The only thing we can do is pray to be interupted. This is why from now on at work, I, along with my co-workers, will have an escape plan. We shall devise a signal that will alert others that we need to be saved from the conversation. the signal shall be something subtle like the gentle tug of an earlobe or the scratch of a nose. If all else fails though, clubbing the customer over the head with an ice mallet will do the trick too.

Shut the fuck up.




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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Attend the Tale of Banana Bread

There is an old lady who comes into the restaurant every week to take herself out to dinner. She is always alone and I imagine that her cats are sitting at home anxiously awaiting her return. She doesn't talk much and she never smiles. Even though she always asks to hear the specials, the only thing she ever orders is the roasted chicken off the menu. Maybe she is hoping that one day the special will be roasted chicken therefore making her boring meal of roasted chicken something special after all.

Today she seems even quieter than usual. Her mood, never exactly upbeat anyway, seems dark. Perhaps one of her cats had a hair ball on her favorite crocheted doily or maybe she just realized that Andy Griffith died sealing the fate of the Matlock reunion show she had been hoping for. Whatever the reason, grumpy old lady seems even grumpier. As per the norm, she eats in silence without the comfort of her cell phone to play Words With Friends or an iPad to update her Twitter. She simply eats and stares blankly ahead. I have learned that she is not a person who needs to be engaged in conversation. The most basic of service points is all she needs. Just fill her water, take the order, bring her food and her glass of Cabernet, ask her if it's okay and let it be. After she has cleared her plate leaving only the tiniest bone of the airline cut chicken breast which appears to have been sucked clean of every morsel of protein, she throws caution to the wind and asks me what's for dessert.

The world stops spinning on its axis.

Birds begin flying backward.

Pigs fly.

Cows jump over the moon.

I make it through a brunch shift without catching a buzz on mimosas.

"Tonight we have three desserts; a chocolate pot de creme, panacota with raspberries and blackberries and a fresh blueberry sauce and finally a banana bread served with candied walnuts and a toffee sauce."

She grunts. "Is the banana bread warm?" She grunts again and I wonder if her underwear is as clean as it was only seconds before.

"Yes, ma'am, the banana bread is served warm. Would you like-"

"Banana bread." Grunt. "Yes, banana bread." Grunt, grunt.

I no longer wonder about her underwear and begin to worry about the chair seat itself.

Five minutes later, I see that the dessert as been placed on her table and she is taking her first bite. I am busy and unable to get to her make sure that everything is alright, but I see her wave down the other sever and hand him back the banana bread. Perhaps she grunted too hard and now she needs her dessert "to go" so that she can go home and have some quality time with some Baby Wipes and Murder She Wrote reruns. A couple of minutes later, I see the runner take the banana bread back to her table and I decide to go make sure everything is a-okay. Because I care so much.

"How's your dessert?"

"Well, it wasn't served warm."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," I lied. "It usually is. I guess I just assumed. Well, I see that it's warm now."

"It's still not warm. I sent it back and it's still not warm." I waited for a grunt that never came.

"I'm sorry," I lied again. "The chef puts it in the oven to warm it up but maybe it wasn't in long enough."

"Well, the oven's broken," she said.

I know the oven is not broken for it is the same oven that roasted the chicken she had just devoured. It is the same oven that is making the kitchen too hot and requiring me to bring Cokes to the cooks. It s the same oven that I want to put my head in.

"I don't think it's broken and I can put your dessert back in it if you like."

"It's broken. Forget it. It's fine."

I retreat. She said the magic words that allow me to remove myself from the situation: "It's fine."

She asks for her check and she leaves money on the table and quickly leaves. When I go to clear her table, I am greeted by a 30% tip and the remainder of the not warm banana bread that is covered by a napkin. The temperature of her dessert was enough to keep her from eating it and I felt bad. There was so much more I could have done to make her dessert more appealing, like take it to the microwave in the break room and nuke it for three minutes, but she said it was fine. She will return, I'm sure. I look forward to her next visit. I long to make sure she has a satisfactory dessert experience and I am eager to hear the grunts that fill my ears with joy, but the thing I look forward to the most is that 30% tip.



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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Future Douchebag of America

At first glance he appears to be your average 13 year old. He is gawky with a little bit of acne and seems irritated by his mother, just like most boys his age. He wears khaki pants and sneakers with a blue button-up shirt and his sweater is tossed over his shoulders.

When he and his mother arrive at the restaurant, there is only one table available. Without waiting for me to lead the way, the boy makes a bee line for it like he's a little old Asian lady getting onto the F train at East Broadway, paying no mind to anyone who may be in his path. He throws himself onto the chair and exclaims that he does not need the menu. The mother agrees.

"How are you?" she asks me.

She is a regular and we often bump into each other at the grocery store and around the neighborhood. She's nice and I like her.

Before I can answer, the boy sighs heavily. "I'm starving," he whines.

"No you're not. You're hungry," says mom.

"Gargh," says the boy giving the impression that he is somehow clearing his throat sarcastically. He throws his sweater onto his chair and lets his head fall back in utter disbelief that his mother is not going to get food for him right that second.

After the mother and I are finished with our pleasantries, the boy says, "Now can we order? Gawd! I want the steak well done with the fries on the side" (As opposed to the fries cooked inside the steak, I suppose.) "And an order of calamari."

His mother places her order and easily uses phrases that her son seems unaccustomed to like "please" and "thank you."

"Okay," I say. "I'll go put this order in and it will be out shortly." I return my pen to my apron and start to walk away when the boy decides he has me more thing to say.

"And that calamari? Put a rush on it!"

I look at the kid and he transforms before my very eyes. No longer is he the slightly annoying teenager just discovering the joys of puberty. He now appears to me as a full-fledged future douchebag. He suddenly looks like that asshole that was in every movie that took place in high school during the '80's; like James Spader in Pretty in Pink.


I look at his mother who shrugs her shoulders as if she has resigned herself to having a douchebag for a son.

"You got it," I say. "A rush on the calamari." I mosey towards the computer making sure to check on every other table first and fill any waters that need attention. Before I get to the computer, I see that the bread plates need to be restocked and that the napkins are low. I take care of those tasks and then I help myself to a soda before I place the order for the calamari, conveniently forgetting to add the word "rush" to the ticket.

Ten minutes later, when I place the appetizer before Douchebag, Jr., he reaches out to grab a handful to stuff in his face. He doesn't give me time to warn him that it has just come out of the fryer and is very very hot. It doesn't matter. The piping hot calamari is no match for the fiery douchiness that his mouth is used to accommodating and he swallows it with ease.

After their app plates have been cleared, Mini Massengill wants to know how much longer it will be before his well-done steak is ready. I assure him it will on his table as own as soon as it is ready, because the sooner it's ready, the sooner I can serve it, the sooner he can eat it and the sooner his vinegar and water ass will be out of my station. My explanation is not good enough for him. Moments later, I see him stand up and walk over to our open kitchen and hover at the line, his hands on his hips, watching his steak on the grill. Never mind that he is in the way of those of us working, for he is going to watch that steak cook. A watched pot may never boil, but a steak being eyed by a 13 year-old douchebag grills quicker, everybody knows that.

"How much longer for the steak?" he asks Juan the grill cook.

"Que?" asks Juan.

I intervene. "I will bring your steak as soon as it's finished, I promise. Go sit down."

The rest of their meal happens without issue. The steak must have calmed his douchiness for now, but certainly not for the future. He has a lot to look forward to in life. When he gets to high school, he won't be joining Future Business Leader of America or Future Farmers of America or even Future Homemakers of America. He will start his own club called Future Douchebags of America. He will be the president as well as the vice-president and will rule with an iron fist that smells of ammonia and he will meet on every summer's eve. His shirt collar will always be in a popped position, his chin will always be thrust forward and his attitude will always suck. The first order of new business is to remember that douching is always easier when you're relaxed.

Good luck ladies, he's 13 and he's all yours.



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Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Linda Lavin


Happy birthday to Linda Lavin! Since it is such a special day (and I am especially hungover today), I am reposting this story about the time I "met her." Please take a moment to "like" this or share it or Tweet it or whatever the fuck so that maybe she will somehow see it. Thanks.

 -BW

I was at my place of employment this week, but as a patron, not an employee. As you know, I work at a music venue where singers perform as I serve drinks during their show. Sometimes the show is good, sometimes the show is bad and sometimes the show reaches deep into my soul and finds my tiny hardened heart and makes it break a little. I went to see Linda Lavin perform and it really felt like a surreal moment.

Linda Lavin is most known for her iconic role of Alice Hyatt from CBS's Alice that ran from 1976-1985. Of course I loved the show. Most people don't know that she is an accomplished singer and Broadway actress with a Tony award and many nominations including one for her most recent Broadway role in The Lyons. I knew she was a singer because I loved how she sang the opening theme song to her own television show. Ms. Lavin had done a show at my club  years before I worked there and every time I saw the poster of it that hangs in the lobby, it hurt that I had missed it. When I learned that she was doing another show, I was thrilled. Could it be that I was going to get to see this woman in person? The same woman who’s show I watched every week through junior high and high school?  How can this be? And her pianist was going to be the amazing Billy Stritch, so it was like icing on the Bitchy Waiter cake.


I got to the club and was surrounded by famous people who came to see the show just like I did; Diane Sawyer, Mike Nichols, Stockard Channing, Tommy Tune, Sheldon Harnick were all sitting next to me and if I had been at work that night, I would be serving them, but that night I was there to see the show. The lights dimmed and a voice came over the speaker. “Ladies and gentleman...Linda Lavin!” There she was, not five feet from me, smiling and tossing her hair and scanning the crowd to see her friends. “Oh, look at me!” I thought. “I’m right here. Make eye contact with me. Please, no one wants to be here more than I do. Look at me!” She started to sing her first song and then the night began melting away into a fog of sense memory. Her mannerisms were the same as they were when she made a smart remark to Mel. Her smile was as warm as it seemed when she had a scene with her son Tommy. But this wasn’t Alice Hyatt. This was Linda Lavin. And then she sang the theme song to Alice. I know it’s silly, but I started to cry. All of a sudden I was 12 years old again and laughing at Vera with an exploding box of straws and thinking that Alice was such a cool mom and that Flo was so funny. My husband reached under the table and held my hand and it was one of those “I am so grateful” moments that don’t come often enough.  Well, honestly, those moments probably come plenty of times, it’s just that we don’t take the time to acknowledge them.

The next song she sang was one I had never heard of called “The Song Remembers When.”

I was standin' at the counter
I was waitin' for the change
When I heard that old familiar music start
It was like a lighted match
Had been tossed into my soul
It was like a dam had broken in my heart.

She was singing about what I was just thinking; that music has the power to transport you to another time. To this day, whenever I hear the song "I Melt With You" I float back to 1986 when I was in Judith's living room watching a slide show that my best friends in college put together. I can't hear that song without feeling nostalgic, happy, and incredibly sad all at the same time. When she was finished with the song, she verified what I already knew; music can move you. That is "the good of music," she said. It can do that for you and she had just done it for me. She had a lot of wonderful things to say. "Fear is your friend," she said when talking about the nervousness that we all face on occasion and how we have to use that to our advantage. "I love my life," she said. "My life is a big surprise to me." She was so grateful to be there and to be working and she wanted to remind us to all be thankful for the moments that we receive on a daily basis. It was like she was reading my mind. I know she only played a waitress on television, but it was like we were wearing the same apron.

For the rest of the show, I relished every second of it. I was taking in every moment because I knew I never wanted to forget how perfect the evening was. And it all happened because she was performing at where I work. Because I am a server, I knew about this show and got to come see it. Thank God I am a waiter at this club. After the show was over, my cheeks hurt from smiling. I rubbed the tears out of my eyes and went to the lobby. There she was, greeting her guests under the poster of her show from three years before; the same poster that had taunted me. I was scared to talk to her. I had already forgotten her advice that fear was my friend and I walked past her too afraid to shake her hand and thank her for the evening. Why didn't I do that? Several days have passed and I wish would have swallowed my fear and said this to her:

Ms. Lavin, I know you hear this all the time, but I loved Alice. I'm a waiter and you gave the character of Alice such realness. She was never ashamed of her job because she knew that it was just a job and not her life. Alice was a singer who waited tables. I am a writer who waits tables. Thank you. Your show tonight moved me more than you could ever know. I will never forget how happy I felt tonight when you were were talking about how grateful you are for your life and your husband and your career, because I feel the exact same way. Thank you.

It was a very good night indeed. Please "like" this so maybe someday it will make it all the way to Linda Lavin and she'll know what I was too scared to tell her. Thanks.



 
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Friday, October 12, 2012

It Happened Again: Drunk Baby

This photo has gone viral across the Interwebs because it shows a baby drinking whisky that he was accidentally served in a restaurant somewhere in Wales. Yes, it is horrifying that this child thought he was celebrating his second birthday with a cold glass of water and lime juice while he was actually sucking down some 40% alcohol. However,  the real tragedy in this photo is not that this baby was getting the good stuff way before it was legal. The thing that makes my eyes burn is that horrible fucking sweater in the background. Is that what one wears to a two-year old's birthday party in Wales? Skulls and crossbones? We will address that later.

At a restaurant called Frankie and Benny's, a family thought they would celebrate the birth of their little lush named Sonny Rees. I mean seriously, you name your kid Sonny Rees and you're surprised that he is drawn to whisky? That's like naming your daughter Bambi and then being surprised that she's a pole dancer. Sonny probably keeps his bottle in a brown paper bag. There was a stag party (I assume that's Wales for "bachelor party" and not a party for deer) happening in the restaurant at the same time and apparently, the server gave the future AA member the glass of whisky and water by mistake. Looking at that picture, it seems like Sonny is a real natural. Look how he's holding that glass. He looks like me at happy hour. Or me pretty much any time, truth be told. When the mom saw that Sonny was squirming in his seat and "pulling faces" after every sip, she tasted the drink and realized that her baby was turning into a 75 year old hobo right before her very eyes. She rushed him to the hospital where they checked him out and deemed him okay.

The restaurant felt so bad about the misunderstanding that they took 50% off their bill and issued this statement:  "The company is incredibly sorry for what happened. It was a human error and we are putting measures in place to ensure it never happens again."

Wow, they really went all out, didn't they?

But now let's focus on the real problem at hand: that ugly fucking sweater. Maybe little Sonny knew that there was whisky in that glass and he chose to drink it in order to forget what his mother was wearing to his birthday party. Maybe he wanted to drink the whisky as an act of rebellion for the horrible haircut she gave him with a Flowbeee she bought on Craigslistist or maybe he was angry about the plaid shirt he was dressed in. Mom, after you rushed to the emergency room, I hope you swung by the Dress Barn to pick out a new top. I'm surprised that the staff at the hospital didn't issue a code blue for that sweater and rip it off of you and hand you a robe instead. It's seriously horrible. Maybe on Halloween one can get away with wearing a skull and crossbones sweater, but any other time it is wrong. And at your son's birthday party? You should be ashamed. I don't blame Sonny one bit for getting trashed.

So let's go over this again, parents. If you want to make absolutely sure that your child is not getting  a major buzz at a restaurant, taste the drink first before your kids goes to town on it. Chances are everything is as it should be, but we have seen it happen enough times to know that occasionally, cocktails slip through the cracks and end up in a sippy cup. No server willingly gives a kid alcohol, we can be sure of that. It would jeopardize their job, be dangerous for the child and quite frankly it would be a waste of good liquor since no kid is going to appreciate a pomegranate margarita. I would suggest just testing it first. It could save you a trip to the emergency room. If, however, you are wearing an ugly ass sweater with skull and crossbones on it and you find alcohol in your child's drink here is what you should do:
  1. Take the alcohol away from your child.
  2. Take your sweater off.
  3.  Pour the alcohol onto the sweater.
  4. Ask your server for a match.
  5. Light the sweater on fire.
  6. Resume your meal.


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Comment on Comment

 I may be opening a big can of worms smothered in Ranch dressing here, but I'm going to do it anyway. On a recent post called Bitch of the Month, a comment came in from a very familiar source. It annoyed me for a couple of reasons. The post was about the joy that I experienced when I was (questionably) awarded Employee of the Month at my job.  Not only did the commenter steal the focus of that amazing event, she also made me vom in my mouth when I saw that she was commenting again. The comment came from Springs1 and it read as follows:

"As soon as I finish my phone call, play my Words With Friends turns, eat a handful of Goldfish, finish my wine and update my Twitter, I take her check to her."Do you need change?" I ask."Yes," she says all curt like I have inconvenienced her by asking her a simple little question."

If you really did all of that, you DESERVE A STIFF AND TO GET FIRED, SERIOUSLY WITH ALL OF THAT PLAYING ON THE JOB AND *****ASKING FOR YOUR TIP********!!

YOU NEVER ASK IF SOMEONE WANTS THEIR CHANGE LAZY!! YOU ARE VERY LAZY. Even a server admitted it that it was because of LAZINESS why servers ask this.

HOW ENTITLED ARE YOU, SERIOUSLY?

Okay. This crazy fucking bitch has high jacked many of my blog posts leaving insane comment after insane comment. On this post, Are Your Customers as Stupid As Mine Are, she left over 75 comments, many of them longer than the post itself. They clogged my inbox and irritated me and everyone else who saw them.  As for the above comment, does she have no sense of humor? Does she not get it? It's a joke, lady. Over the years she has called me immoral, lazy, disgusting, evil, rude, entitled and many more names. Now it's my turn:

SPRINGS1, You are the crazy one. This is my blog and I can say what I want. I don't mind people leaving comments about how they disagree with me. I don't even mind when people call me names because I do that too. What I do mind is that your comments come in sometimes at 10 or 15 a day and I spend way too much time sifting through your crap to see if anyone else had something interesting to say. I know you are an attention seeking Ranch dressing loving crazy fucking bitch and you crave the responses. We all know that you have a Google alert set up so that any time someone types your name in the Internet, you can go and see what people had to say about your crazy ass. I don't get what your problem is. I don't understand you and I don't know how you find the time to write 500 word comments. Do you not have a job? Or maybe you do have a job and your pimp and your Johns don't mind you typing on your iPad while you get finger banged. You have annoyed me for the last time.

Over the years, I have let my comments be pretty open. I very rarely moderate them because I truly felt okay with people saying whatever they want to say. That has changed. As of this post, every comment will now need to be approved by me. That's right, Springs1, you can comment all you want and no one will ever see it on this blog because I will just delete that bullshit before it gets posted. Sorry that your Google alert has sent you to a dead end where you can gain no attention. Find someone else to bother.  And just in case you didn't get what I was saying, Springs1, let me type this in a way that you will understand:

You are immoral AND LAZY AND CRAZY.!!!!! I do not like *******YOU******** AND *******YOU******** WILL never ever be allowed to leave another ******COMMENT***** on The BITCHY WAITER.!11!!!!1 I THINK *****YOU******* pussy smells bad AND it probably looks even worse.!111!1!! I bet it has Ranch DRESSING COMING out OF it.!1!1!!! You say ******YOU***** tip 25-30% FOR good SERVICE but I bet ******YOU******** *****NEVER***** get service that *****YOU****** consider good.!!!1! That would be BECAUSE *******YOU**** are A maniacal CRAZY ASS bitch who has serious mental ISSUES.!!!!1 Good bye, ******YOU***** sorry piece of SHIT.!!1!!!!

Love,
The Bitchy Waiter

UPDATE: 

Supposedly, this is a picture of Springs1. I dunno for sure because someone sent it to me, but it's good enough for me. If you see this woman, be very careful. She may smell like rancid Ranch. If this is not her, I apologize to the woman. You're very gorgeous, whoever you are.

-BW



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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

We as servers must be quick on our feet, not only literally but also figuratively. Of course we have to be nimble and efficient so we can get our guests' food to them in a most timely manner, for that is what we as servers truly want, isn't it? For our guests to be happy? We also have to be quick with a reply when people ask a question and we must know our menu backwards and forwards so that we can answer any question  customers may have. Sometimes, even I am amazed at the true and utter bullshit that flows from my mouth at work.

A customer asked me which was better, the tilapia or the salmon. I opened my mouth and this is what fell out of it:

Well, I think the salmon is heartier and with it being prepared on the grill gives it even more substance as compared to the tilapia which is a simple white fish and very simply pan-seared. I suppose it's a toss up, but with the cool weather out tonight, I would suggest the salmon. It's delicious.

Here's the kicker. I have never had either entree and I don't even eat fish. (Well, I did once in college but that was only because I had too many wine coolers and I felt obligated.) We servers have to answer the questions though, right? So what that I've never had either one of the dishes, I've served them for almost two years and that counts for something. I could be honest but what customer would want to hear this answer:

Yeah, I don't which one is better because they both look pretty nasty to me. One comes with cous cous and the other one comes with quinoa and those suck ass. The only fish I like is tuna and even then it has to come in a can and be mixed with a shitload of mayo. If I were you, I'd go back home and order some thai food and watch Project Runway.

So I lie. I do it at my other job too when people ask me which drink is the best one on the cocktail menu.

"Oh, either the Razzle Dazzle or the Ruby Red Martini, I can't decide," they say.

"Well, you just picked my two favorites off the entire menu, that's what you just did. On the rare occasion that I do have a drink here, I always choose one of those two. You'll be happy with either one."

Now you see, the lie there is subtly different. The truth is, I have tasted all of them and I don't have a favorite. That's like asking a mother to decide which is her favorite child. It's a Sophie's Choice kind of decision. The other part of that lie is the "on the rare occasion that I have a drink here" part. To be honest, if they asked me at the right time they could probably have a sample of either drink just by taking a sip out of that plastic cup on the tray stand.

Yes, servers lie.

Sometimes we lie to cover up our mistakes: The reason your food is taking a little longer is because the printer in the kitchen ran out of paper and your order didn't print out when I rang it in.

We lie to make people feel better: Yes, everyone loves that dish so you are not the only person I have seen licking your plate clean.

We lie because we don't know the real answer: Celery root is very similar to a potato.

We lie to get a better tip: It was a pleasure to serve you and I am so happy that your four kids seemed to enjoy their time in my station. Please come back soon.

We lie to our bosses: What bottle of vodka that was almost empty? I have no idea what you're talking about.

We lie to co-workers: Can you close for me tonight? I have some major diarrhea.

We lie to the cooks: The douche bag at table seven changed his mind. Now he wants mashed potatoes instead of french fries. I dunno why he didn't tell me that when he ordered so I could have rung it in properly.

But most of all, we lie to ourselves: Next week, I am going to go get a new job.

Tell me, does anyone else lie at their job? What's the most recent lie you have told while punched in at work? You can tell me. I promise I won't tell anyone.



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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bitch of the Month

Are we living in a parallel universe today? Or is it opposite day and nobody told me? Something crazy has happened and it is fucking with my mind. Something that seems inconceivable and wrong on all counts. It could rock my very existence and damage my reputation as the Bitchy Waiter. I am ashamed to admit this, but here goes:

I won employee of the month.

Actually, my place calls it Superstar Employee of the Month because we are all so dramatical and over the top like that.

It all started last week when Jasmine told me she was campaigning for me. "I'm gonna tell people to vote for you, you deserve to win."

"No, I don't."

"Yes, you do. You've been here for almost three years, you totally deserve to win."

"Really? You think so?" I asked. "That is so nice of you to say. Would you pass me my wine please? It's right over there next to the coffee machine."

"Oh, was that yours? I threw it away. I'm sorry."

"That's alright. I'll pour myself another one. So you really think I deserve employee of the month?"

"Um, sure you do."

"Thanks, hon, that's sweet. Do you want a glass?"

"Um, no thanks. I still have tables," said Jasmine.

"Yeah, me too. Are you sure you don't want some wine? C'mon girl, catch up with me, this is my third one."

At this point a customer comes up to us at the bar even though it should be abundantly clear that we are in the middle of a conversation that she is not a part of it.

"Do you have a restroom?" she asks.

I stare at the dumb bitch because of course we have a restroom. What, she thinks we just piss in a pot? She's gonna interrupt my conversation and cocktail hour to waste my time asking me stupid ass questions? God I hate fucking customers, they get on my damn nerves.

"Yes, ma'am, it's downstairs and to the left," says Jasmine with a smile.

"Yeah, duh," I say and then I take a sip of my wine. "Stupid bitch. So anyway Jazzy Jazz, I would love to be employee of the month. Don't you get some money or something for it? Work your magic. Bring it."

A few minutes later, the lady who had so rudely interrupted our conversation before asks me for her check. As soon as I finish my phone call, play my Words With Friends turns, eat a handful of Goldfish, finish my wine and update my Twitter, I take her check to her.

"Do you need change?" I ask.

"Yes," she says all curt like I have inconvenienced her by asking her a simple little question.

I go back to the bar, check my Facebook and email, tell the bartender about a funny video I saw on You Tube and then take her change to her. She acts like she's been waiting forever. What is her problem, anyway? Why is she such a bitch? Man, I hate customers.

The meeting where the voting for Superstar Employee of the Month happens was on Thursday. It's a mandatory meeting, meaning everyone absolutely under all circumstances has to attend. I didn't go. I had cramps. Later that night I got a text message from Jasmine. I don't know what time she sent it because I was too busy watching three episodes of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" that I had on my DVR. Plus, I had cramps.

"Congrats!! You won!"

I reply, "How much money do I get?"

"Your picture goes on the wall and you get $100! Way to go!"

"Right. Gotta go. Honey Boo Boo's back on."

So tomorrow, I will carry my head shot to work to put inside the Superstar Employee of the Month frame. It could all be a ruse and when I show up with my picture and my palm out asking for my hundred dollars, they will all laugh at me like I'm Carrie and then someone will dump a bucket of pig blood on me except it won't really be blood, it will just be grenadine. Even if it doesn't really happen, at least I'll know that for a few short hours, I at least thought I was the Superstar Employee of the Month instead of the lazy bitch that I am.



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Friday, October 5, 2012

Take This Gum and Stick It

What in the hell is up with the chewed gum that I keep seeing in places other than mouths? The only other place I should ever see gum is in its package at the store. Don't people have any manners anymore? Look, I chew gum on occasion because I want to make sure my breath is minty fresh when I am all up in the grill of a customer. (That "grill" comment is for you, John Anthony, father of two lovely little girls.) When I am done with that gum, I take it out of my mouth and place it in a trash receptacle. I don't spit it out on the subway platform or onto the sidewalk or stick it under a table and I certainly do not put it on the edge of my plate at a restaurant. People who chew gum and stick it on the edge of your plate at a restaurant: stop it.

When I am clearing plates from a table, nothing is more disgusting than seeing some tired ass used up piece of gum stuck on the rim of the plate. With the gum there, I can't stack plates and the plate is going to need special attention when it gets to the dish room because that gum isn't going to slide off the plate like a french fry or a leftover hamburger bun. The gum is going to need to be physically removed by someone and if it's not me then it's going to be Julio the dishwasher and Julio has enough to do, what with emptying grease traps, cleaning toilets, dragging trash cans to the back to be sprayed with a water hose and doing my roll-ups for an extra five dollars. Customers, I ask that you deal with your own used chewing gum.

The disposal of gum has always a problem. I never understood why we were not allowed to chew it in high school until one day I crossed my legs at my desk and my knee brushed up against some Bubble Yum ruining my Jordache jeans. That was not the look I want to know better. I heard Oprah say once that there was no gum allowed in her studio because she hated it so much. She told a story of how she had someone over to her mansion for dinner of squab, escargot and gold leaf quiches when she noticed that the child of her friend put her used gum on the edge of the plate. Oprah, being all Oprah, was completely bleched out and had to throw the plate away because she knew she'd never want to use it again. Bitch please, just have one of your maids or Gayle King scrape that shit off and get over it.

Maybe some people don't know what to do with their gum when they are done with it. I have some suggestions:
  •  swallow it.
  • collect a bunch of it and place it underneath your child's ass so it will remain seated while in my station.
  • create a Gum Wall anywhere but my restaurant.
  • put it in the hair of the lady sitting next to you on the 7 train who is talking on her cell phone way too loud about the bunion surgery she's saving up for because her "insurance don't cover that shit."
  • feed it to a baby and see what happens.
  • just keep chewing it until it dissolves.
  • wrap it up in the same piece of paper it came in and then drop it into a trash can, you stupid asshole.
  • Or do what Violet Beauregarde does:
"Well, normally, I'm a gum chewer. But when I heard about these ticket things of Wonka's, I laid off the gum and switched to candy bars, instead. Now, of course, I'm right back on gum. I chew it all day, except at mealtimes when I stick it behind my ear. Now, this little piece of gum I've been chewing on for three months solid. That's a world record. It's beaten the record held by my best friend, Miss Cornelia Prince Medal. And, was she mad. Hi, Cornelia. How are ya, Sweetie?" 



Seriously, if you're going to chew gum, please be responsible with it and dispose of it properly. I don't want to see it on the edge of your plate. And I don't want to see it in the urinal either. Somebody has to get that gum out of there, you know and that person has a name.

His name is Julio.



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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Today is National Vodka Day. Drink Up.

October 4th may seem like your average run of the mill day, but to others it is a day for giving great thanks. Sure, everyone knows that on this day in 1957, Leave It To Beaver debuted on CBS, but this day is much more than a side of over-polite beaver. Others may celebrate this day for being the birthday of Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandan who was born in 1946, but that is not what I am talking about either. And as exciting as it being the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Lake Poyang where the Chinese rebel forces of Zhu Yuanzhang defeated that of his rival, Chen Youliang, in one of the largest naval battles in history in 1363, there is yet another reason to rejoice on October 4th. Today is National Vodka Day! Most of you probably already knew that since so many of you are big lushes who let your whole year revolve around October 4th so go get yourself another Bloody Mary with a vodka back because today is your day!

I don't know who came up with National Vodka Day, but I'd like to ask them why on such a special day, the country hasn't done more to recognize the importance of it. I don't see any Hallmark cards about the event and my faucet is still spewing out tap water when it should be releasing Kettel One instead. I still have to go to work tonight and in honor of the occasion, I may have to do away with my customary coffee cup of Chardonnay and replace it with bottom shelf McCormick vodka.

Why do I love vodka so much? How can I not love a liquor that can be infused with flavors as varied as peanut butter and jelly all the way to bacon? I don't like salmon, smoked or otherwise, but I may be willing to try smoked salmon vodka if you put it in a martini glass chilled with a side of Goldfish crackers.

As you may know, I am a big fan of cocktails as is evidenced by the time I drank my way down the West Coast documenting each and every libation along the way. I am not ashamed to admit that I like fruity cocktails, but according to an article at The Globe and Mail, I may be outing myself as an amateur drinker. It says there are certain drinks that are considered passé and sadly, many of those drinks are the ones I quite enjoy. The mojito is passé? Fuck that. Vodka and Red Bull is passé? Fuck that. A Cosmo is passé? Probably, but I like 'em.

But back to National Vodka Day. Rejoice, for this day was created so that you can embrace that wonderful beverage and not feel bad about drinking it for breakfast. The other 364 days of the year, your waiter might judge you for ordering a Belevdere on the rocks with your pancakes, but today when you order it, he will just give you that knowing smile that says, "Ah, National Vodka Day, right? Enjoy, my friend, enjoy."

Vodka isn't just for drinking and there are dozens of stupid household hints that use vodka in other ways. I don't know why anyone would use vodka for anything other than drinking, but in case there are some people out there who want to know, here are some tips:
  • Use vodka as an alternative to using chemical cleansers and spray glass panes with diluted vodka, then wipe them down with a lint-free cloth. Or just use fucking Windex and drink the fucking vodka.
  • Rid tile and caulk of mold and mildew by spraying them with vodka. Let sit for up to 30 minutes, scrub with a grout brush or old toothbrush, and rinse thoroughly. Or ignore the mold and drink the fucking vodka.
  • Shine chrome, glass and porcelain bathroom fixtures by soaking a soft, clean cloth with vodka and wiping. Or use the Windex you just bought and drink the fucking vodka.
  • Spritz undiluted vodka on clothes to help remove musty smells, then hang-dry them in a well-ventilated area. Or use Febreeze and drink the fucking vodka.
  • If you have a rusty screw, you can leave it in vodka for just a few hours, then wipe to get rid of rust. Or just buy a new screw for ten cents and drink the fucking vodka.
  • Save your bouquet by mixing a few drops of vodka with a teaspoon of sugar to inhibit the production of ethylene, which makes flowers wilt. Or buy some plastic flowers and drink the fucking vodka.
  • Dip a clean cloth in vodka and rub it on fabric to help take out stubborn stains caused by ink, grass, and some foods. Or buy a Tide Marker and drink the fucking vodka.
Okay, I can't anymore with those tips. it was hurting my heart to imagine people taking perfectly good vodka and dumping rusty hardware into it or spraying it onto toilet handles. The best use of vodka is to put it in a shaker with ice, pour a little bit of olive juice in it, shake that bitch up and pour it into a martini glass. You then do it again for a friend and the two of you clink glasses and say, "Happy National Vodka Day!"

Please share this so the whole world will know how important October 4th is.




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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yeah, I Hate Happy Kids Too. So What?

Children all over the world are the same. Whether in a Queens restaurant or at an outdoor cafe in Paris, they find a way to crawl under my skin and nestle there like an unwanted splinter from a centuries-old wooden banister that may or may not have been used by Quasimodo. The child doesn't have to be in a restaurant to do their number on me.

While riding the world famous Eurostar on my way back to London from Paris, I am sitting across the aisle from a happy little girl of about two years old. The train ride is two hours and twenty minutes which doesn't seem that long until you consider that it will be followed by an almost eight hour flight back to the States. My day of travel is just beginning. The child across from me has dark curly hair, not unlike the freshly sprouted of pubes of a teenage werewolf and she speaks a language I am not familiar with. I do not recognize it to be French. Her mother is of Asian descent and her father appears to be from one of those vague Eastern European countries that excels at producing gold medal winning gymnasts and superintendents of buildings in New York City. The little girl has the beginning of a very successful uni-brown and her voice is husky and deep as if she needs to clear her throat of a colony of frogs that took residence amongst her tonsils. She is laughing, cooing and talking with the occasional foray into a gleeful scream. She is a very happy child and she does not shut up the entire train ride.

"Well, a least she wasn't crying," some would say. I'm not so sure about that.

When a child cries, most parents do their best to get them to stop. When a child repeatedly screams with laughter, most parents see no reason to stop them despite the fact that the person across the aisle from them has blood dripping from his eardrums. Mixed with her Brenda Vacarro-like vocal cords, it is unbearable. This little girl has a future doing Harvey Firestein impersonations. She sounds like Suzanne Pleshette after gargling with a glass of Bea Arthur. She needs a Ricola or a throat transplant, whichever is easier to find halfway between Paris and London. "Wheeee," she coughs out as she walks past me for the fifteenth time, this time with her backpack, I assume to be full of unused Throat Coat Tea. I look at her pigtails and flash a fake smile so her parents will have no idea that I am typing about their offspring at this very moment.

She returns to her seat and burps a few times, each burp having the inexplicable sound of a rhinoceros trying to clear its throat while under water. It hurts to hear it and I look over to make sure she hasn't just coughed up a piece of James Earl Jones' leftover vocal cord. She hasn't. She laughs at her belch. Her mother tells the girl something and the little girl repeats it. And then burps again and laughs a throaty laugh that reminds me of Elizabeth Ashley after smoking two packs of Camels.

I have twenty minutes left of my train ride and I am thrilled when I see the family get off at Ebbsfleet instead of staying on the train all the way to London. The train is quiet at last and I relish the silence knowing that once I get on the plane in just three short hours, I run the risk of experiencing it all over again.

Yes, kids are the same all over the world and no matter what language they are whining in, they get on my nerves. I understand that traveling with children can be very stressful for parents which is why I would never ever say anything to someone. I suck it up and deal with it knowing that at least my time with the kid is temporary. But it does give me great pleasure to write a blog post about them and know that maybe someday the parent might see it and think, "Hmmm, I think he's talking about my kid." If your kid is about two years old and has a voice like sandpaper and you were on the Eurostar on September 27, 2012, yes I am talking about you and I hated your little girl. Make her drink some honey and shut the hell up.



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