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Monday, February 4, 2013

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Back in the 80's, I remember being fascinated by something called biorhythms. Biorhythm is an attempt to predict various aspects of a person's life through simple mathematical cycles. Most scientists believe that the idea has no more predictive power than raw chance. (Thanks, Wikipedia.) Since in the 80's there was no such thing as an "app for that," the only way to keep track of such important information was to buy a little paperback book that was about a dollar and was always at the grocery store checkout lane right next to the gum and tabloids. That is also where I bought my monthly horoscope and a book on lucid dreaming so I could learn how to make myself fly in my dreams. I never really got the hang of lucid dreaming which is probably for the best because if I did, I would just stay in bed all day and dream of bitch slapping customers. Anyhoo, some days, the book told me that my biorhythms were off which would account for the bad decisions or clumsy behavior. Curiously, the same thing could be said of tequila and/or vodka. If I were to still believe in the power of biorhythms, I would say that a few days ago, mine were most certainly off.

I have to work tonight so I am spending the day doing errands and updating Facebook and Twitter statuses. Stati? All was well and good until I go to my kitchen to clean it. In my attempt to move a brand new bottle of olive oil, it tips over and slams against the cold hard quartz counter top and shatters. Have you ever tried to clean up a whole bottle of spilled olive oil? It's not easy. It goes everywhere slowly expanding like a light green puddle of hatred. It gets into every crack and crevice and underneath the coffee pot, blender and salt and pepper shakers. It takes almost a whole roll of paper towels to clean. "Clumsy me," I think.

Later on at work, I am serving a round of drinks; a Kettel One on the rocks with a twist, a Chivas on the rocks in a wine glass, two Pinot Noirs and a glass of water. I remove each glass carefully sliding my hand underneath the tray to maintain the balance. There are two glasses of wine left on the tray and as I take one off, my tray begins to tip over. Because my reflexes are incredibly fast and I have not had my shift drink yet, I catch the last glass of wine before it falls onto the guest, losing only a couple of drops that land on the tray. One person at the table notices it.

"Good save," he commends me.

"Thanks," I say, rather embarrassed.

"Clumsy me, " I think.

As I walk away, I hear a lady say, "Did I almost wear a glass of red wine?"

An hour later, a customer asks for a cappuccino. I usually let the food prep guy make it but I am in a hurry so I run downstairs to do it myself. As I am coming back up, cappuccino in hand, I lose my footing on the steps. Slow motion goes into effect.

My right hand extends as I begin to fall onto my right knee. My left foot is farther behind me than it should be and my knee slams into the step as I try to catch myself with my left hand. I worry that I am about to suffer first degree burns on my hand and arms all because the lady at table 42 wants a cappuccino. It begins to spill at the same time that my knee reacts to the sensation of slamming against the stairs. I outreach my hand to keep the hot foamy milk as far away from the rest of my body as possible. I moan or grunt or make some other embarrassing sound so that my coworkers upstairs will know that there is a server down.

"Call 911! Get a doctor! I am injured! Clumsy me!" I think, but all that comes out of my mouth is, "umphgrggg!"

I am still, lying on the staircase, when I see Liz, the hostess, peer from around the door at the top of the stairs.

"Oh my God, are you alright?"

"I fell," I say as if my position is not evidence enough. "I think I'm fine."

"Hold on," she says and she disappears out of sight for a few seconds. I assume she is going to get a towel to wipe up the cappuccino or ask one of the other servers to lift my banged up body from the stairwell. She reappears with her cell phone.

"I don't think you need to call 911, Liz, I'll be alright."

"Stay right there'" she tells me. "Don't move!"

She squats down looking intently at her phone. My arm is reaching towards her, my legs splayed in a most unnatural position, and the sleeve of my shirt is dripping with a coffee beverage.

She extends her phone in front of her and I hear a click. She looks at the screen and says, "Too dark, hold on, lemme try again." Click. "Fuck, it's too dark. Bummer." She stands up and wanders out of sight.

I haul myself up the stairs and inspect the damage. My knee already is beginning to bruise and the possible burns are nothing to worry about because I made such a crappy cappuccino that it is barely lukewarm. I am okay. Embarrassed and sore, but okay.

I slowly go back downstairs to make another cappuccino and walk up the stairs like I just had two hip replacements. When I finally make it back to table 42, I apologize for the delay and explain what had happened. She is understandably concerned about my well-being and thanks me for the cappuccino. (She does not take a picture of me, Liz.)

The lady leaves me a big tip which I can attribute partly to my wonderful service but mostly to the pity that she felt for me.

So were my biorhythms off this day or am I just getting clumsy in my middle-age? If only I had my little paperback book from the grocery store to know if I should have been more careful that day. I blame it on my biorhythms or the fact that gravity was extra strong that day.



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16 comments:

Taryn said...

Sorry you fell! Ouch!....BUT that was a very funny and well-told story so I laughed pretty hard despite your obvious discomfort!

Firehorse said...

Today I slipped down stairs leaving my ass looking like I got a good paddling from a strict Mistress, then later, I bent down and when I stood up I bashed my head on the 1930's wooden door knobs in my house. I blame a total lack of booze.

Mary A. said...


Ow. And olive oil? PITA to clean.

Sorry dude!

Leah said...

I am sorry you fell - but people falling is funny and you made me smile. Still can chuckle over a fiend falling out the bus door (wasn't going fast) 20 years ago. The spill I took at the shopping centre before Xmas tho, not quite as funny LOL ;)

KC said...

If I were you, I'd watch Liz like a hawk until she did something stupid and then 'click' got ya bitch!

Rogue Wino said...

Huh, I never made that connection with the rhythms thing. My boyfriend is the absolute biggest klutz and his sleep schedule is all over the map...
I haven't broken a bottle of olive oil before, but I did shatter a glass jug of whipping cream on my tile floor one morning. It was the most miserable spill I've ever cleaned

pheezer said...

Lay in bed all day dreaming of bitch-slapping customers! Yes!

I fell once at work, in a very loud, very public way. I had just cleared a 5-top, and they had all shared the seafood platter to start. I had shells and forks and little dipping bowls all balanced expertly in my grasp, but as i rushed back inside, the tip of my toe caught this itsy-bitsy little bitch of a step and like you said, slow motion went into action. I belly-flopped the floor, unable to put my hands out to catch myself, and watched as oyster, snail and crab shells, all mixed with broken plates and squeezed lemon quarters went sliding all over the floor. Luckily, I kept my head up, and since I have really big boobs, just sort of beached-whaled it for a second, so I wasn't hurt too badly. But man, my ego was wrecked! Everyone in the restaurant heard and saw me flop to the ground. Thank goodness this was in the days before smart phones and youtube!

Love ya, Bitchy. Keep us laughing.

Jersey Girl said...

Love all your stories. You make my day. Keep them coming.

anne marie in philly said...

awwwwwww, poor bitchy! please be careful; we need your voice in this shitty world! hope your knee is not bruised too much. :(

Jordan B said...

I was once carrying a tray "Italian nachos" (don't laugh, they were delicious) to the 4 old ladies that were, of course, in a hurry. The restaurant had an open kitchen, and I was walking directly.through the middle of the restaurant, which you could see from anywhere in the entire building. And of course, we were quite busy. This entree came with a plate full of nachos, stacked on top of another plate, because the top plate was extremely hot. I'm about 5'5, and weighed about 110 at the time. I got to about midway between the kitchen and the table, and felt the tray that probably weighed more than me start to take over my balance. Slow motion kicked in, and before I knew it, there was broken.glass and food everywhere. All eyes were on me and the place got dead silent. Finally I heard someone say, "don't just stand there, help her!" And other servers came to help. Needless to say, the old bitches weren't sympathetic and just huffed and puffed about how they were gonna be late and stormed out. Most embarrassing moment ever.

Anonymous said...

I feel you with the olive oil thing. I am always spilling random stuff all over my kitchen. Chia seeds are also a bitch to clean up. I also once dropped a pink frosted cupcake face down on my beige carpet. Good times!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your fall. It happens to all of us. Liz sounds like a total twat though.

California Girl said...

Once upon a time I'd find it hard to believe she took a photo instead of helping you ; that is, until my husband was upended by our dog who'd seen a bear in our yard. My husband went down, snapping all 3 knne ligaments which loosened his kneecap. As I scrambled to call 911, my youngest whipped out his cell and...took a picture.

pheezer said...

@jordan - italian nachos sound AWESOME! my best friend makes a mean mexican lasagna. and why are old people always in a hurry? are they going to be late for work? for their nap? for their afternoon saop opera? or do they have a pressing date with death? no worse service in my restaurant than sunday lunch. it's like going to church reminds them they only have so many afternoon strolls left to take.

Sabrina said...

I'm so sorry you tripped up the stairs..we've all been there at some point,glad your alright though. Liz really needs to watch out for that bitch named karma.. I must say I was selfishly thinking through the story "I hope this doesn't mean he won't be able write for a while"..Sorry..I'd miss your blog though.

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