'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
‘MY NAME IS THE AMAZING KRESKIN, AND I’LL BE YOUR SERVER TONIGHT’
My wife and I love going out to dinner. My wife loves it because she doesn’t have to cook, and I love it because my wife loves it. (You know the old saying: When momma’s happy, EVERYBODY’S happy.)
However, there is one aspect about eating at a restaurant that is really beginning to bug me, and which occurs more and more frequently these days: the waiter or waitress taking our order doesn’t write anything down. By the way, I know the politically correct, gender-neutral term these days is “waitstaff.” But I’m just old-fashioned. I prefer waiter or waitress. The word waitstaff sounds more like the description of a ponderous walking stick. The other term used nowadays is “server,” which sound like either a fancy computer or the person who puts the ball in play in a tennis match.
Recently we were at a restaurant with two other couples, and the six of us gave rather detailed instructions along with our meal choices: salad dressing on the side, medium rare inside but seared on the outside, no cheese, rice instead of pasta, steamed vegetables rather than grilled, shaken not stirred, etc. The waitress simply smiled and nodded as each person spoke in turn. Then she walked away.
“How can she remember all that?” I exclaimed. “It’s only been 20 seconds and I’ve already forgotten what I ordered. Why didn’t she write it down?”
“She must have a good memory,” my wife said.
“Since you’ve already forgotten what you ordered,” my friend observed, “she can bring you anything and you won’t know the difference.”
While waiting for our meals, we discussed the fact that the waitress appeared to be barely 30 years old, which meant she still had a vibrant brain. Unlike, say, my middle-aged brain, hers had yet to be cluttered with useless information, such as volumes of Red Sox statistics from the 1970s and ‘80s. Also, her brain had not experienced a steadily increasing frequency of misfired synapses, which can cause a person, for example, to remember every vivid and painful detail of the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the World Series in 1986, but forget to wear pants when going out to a restaurant in 2009. (When this point was noted in the conversation, I quickly glanced under the tablecloth and was relieved to see that I had not forgotten—at least not this time.)
It’s not that waiters or waitresses (OK, fine, SERVERS) who memorize our orders screw up more than the ones who write it down. In fact, it’s quite remarkable how often the food arrives exactly as we ordered it—for those, of course, who remember what they ordered in the first place. My friend was right, they could set anything in front of me and I wouldn’t know the difference.
Lately I’ve been bringing along a little notepad when we go out to dinner. If the server doesn’t write down the orders, I pull out the pad and start writing everything down myself. Often the server gives me an incredulous glance, which sends the message, “Don’t you trust me, sir?!”
In reply, I shake my head and say, “Don’t be offended, kid. It’s not you. I don’t trust myself.” He or she nods and continues to memorize our orders as I continue to write. When I feel a draft on my legs, I pause in writing down meal requests, glance under the tablecloth, and scribble a note to myself: “Next time we go out to eat, put on pants.”
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|