I have waited on famous people before. I served Hillary Clinton once at a fundraiser in Chappaqua and then another time I served Bill Clinton at a 9/11 event. Once I served the actor who played Palmer Courtland on All My Children. What he was doing at a Houlihan's I'll never know, but the ascot he was wearing clashed with the decor of the room. I was once famously poked by Connie Chung while catering and I gave her husband Maury Povich a cheese ball. I get to add to my list of celebs who have graced my station because The Flying Nun flew into booth number three last week and knocked me over with her presence. Yes, Sally Field lowered her expectations and sat in my station.
When I saw her name on the reservation book, I was excited about the possibility of finally meeting Carrie from Smokey and the Bandit. Once she said hello to me I would only be one degree of separation from Burt Reynolds! At ten minutes before showtime, Gidget herself showed up. At first I thought it was weird that she was carrying both of her Oscars with her but I decided that I would do the same thing if I had two of those bitches. I'd be wearing them as earrings. She plopped them onto her table and then dug into her huge purse. She eventually pulled out three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe and placed them around the table. I gingerly approached her to take an order.
"Good evening, how are you tonight?" She ignored me. "Can I get you anything to drink?" I asked.
She looked at me without a hint of the sweetness I saw in Steel Magnolias and snarled at me. "Don't you know who I am?"
"Yes, ma'am, you're Sally Field."
"That's two-time Academy award winner, Sally Field. And everybody knows what I drink. Go Google that shit and figure it out, you lazy bitch of a waiter." I was impressed that although we had only just met, she knew me so well. "And bring a bottle of Grey Goose for my friends here." She motioned to the awards. "With six glasses. I don't like to drink alone."
A quick Google search revealed that Ms. Field's favorite drink was a double Johnny Walker Black with four and half ice cubes and a twist. I went back to her table with her drink, the vodka and six glasses. "Is there anything else I can get for you right now?"
She fixed her eyes on me and tilted her head in the way that she did in Forrest Gump when she was talking to Tom Hanks. "Yes," she said very softly. "There is something else you can get. You can get the hell out my fucking space, you Muppet-headed asshole."
I backed away and tried to hold back the tears. I have loved Sally Field since I was a little boy. I loved her in Soapdish when she said "I look like Gloria fucking Swanson," I loved her in Sybil when she was crazy as a bedbug and I even love her in her Boniva commercials when she's talking about her bone density. But now here she was in the flesh and she was being horrible to me. How can someone seemingly so nice be so mean? I avoided her table for the rest of the night because I figured if she needed anything she would make sure her presence was known. At one point, she needed to go to the restroom. I told her where it was and she looked at me like she was waiting for me to do something for her. "Oh please don't make me go wipe your butt for you," I thought. She stared at me with glassy eyes.
"Yes ma'am?" I asked?
"Where's my seat-filler?"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"My. Seat. Filler. Whenever I get up to go somewhere, someone is supposed to sit in my seat while I am gone and keep it warm. Jesus fucking Christ, get your ass out there and keep my goddamn seat warm, you lazy bitch of a waiter. " Again I was happy that she really did seem to know me very well.
I went to her booth to keep her seat warm. While there, I touched all six of her awards. The Oscars really are heavier than you'd think and the Emmy's were beautiful. The Golden Globe looked a little cheap but it was still impressive. I noticed that the bottle of Grey Goose was almost empty. She stumbled back to the booth and waved me out of the way.
Finally, it was time to give her the check. I was so ready for this celebrity encounter to be a thing of the past. She gave me a hundred dollar bill and told me to keep the change, meaning it was about a 8% tip. It was disappointing but at that point I just wanted Sally Field out of my life. I had given her so much over the years and all she had given me in return was evil. I mean, I even sat through Punchline in 1988.
After she was gone, we all talked about how unlike her public personae she is. All that kindness she exhibits on Brothers and Sisters is truly just acting. I guess that's why she has two Oscars. Oh well. Thanks for bursting my bubble, Sally Field. I don't like you. I really don't like you.
And now the truth:
She did come in. She was very sweet. When I asked her what she'd like, she said, "I'm so boring. Just a glass of chardonnay. Thank you very much." Genuine, kind, warm and just as nice as you'd hope. And she left me a 25% tip. But the version above was much more interesting to read, wasn't it? And more fun to write.