It’s 8 pm on a Sunday and it’s been raining all weekend so it’s cold and you’ve decided tonight would be a good night to bring your dog and sit out on the patio. If your full sized dog needs a jacket, then it’s too cold for any of us to be out here. But that’s fine, you think, because we have heaters. So you ask the bus boy to bring four heaters to the table. Not one or two, no, that would be too reasonable. You need four. Four heaters, weighing 100 pounds apiece. One for each corner of the table so we can recreate the temperature inside the restaurant and cocoon you in warmth and waste all of our propane despite the fact that you made the decision to sit outside. No sir, you may have two heaters.
You order your dinner, two eggs scrambled. You want them easy. But not runny. You don’t like runny eggs. But you don’t like eggs that are brown. Somewhere in the middle. No problem. And you want a bagel. Poppyseed. Toasted well done. Extra well done with butter instead of cream cheese. Okay, you’re pushing it the littlest bit but it’s slow and I don’t have much else going on so it’s cool. No problem. And you want a side of tomatoes with that. But it’s incredibly important that you get nice, ripe, juicy tomatoes. Sliced from the middle. Not shitty little tomato ends. Because we totally make a habit of serving shitty little tomato ends. Now, you’re just plain pushing it. I’m not even going to bother typing out that memo to the cooks they’ll kill me before your eggs reach the table.
It’s your wife’s turn to order but she doesn’t know what she wants. She’s still looking at the menu and she hasn’t even found the soup page yet and she really has no clue what she wants to eat. I offer to give her another minute to look it over. I can come back, no problem. Because even though it’s slow that doesn’t mean that the bar is empty and I really do have other customers to wait on.
“It’s okay, honey. Shay here is patient. Take your time.”
Excuse me. Please don’t speak for me you may speak for yourself and even for your wife if you please but I can speak for myself and no, not only am I not patient, I am completely impatient and the little bit of patience I had left trickled through the hourglass when you ordered your tomatoes juicy. You may not take your time, at least not while I am standing here taking your order. You had time while I was inside making those lemon drops for table 101 I’m sorry that you mismanaged that time but that is not my problem do not make it my problem accept the fact that you have poor time management skills and let me return at a later moment or just pick something off the menu. Eenie meenie minie mo, why is it that you’re so slow, I am busy let me go, eenie meenie minie mo.
My foot is tapping out the rhythm on the stone floor of the patio and goosebumps are prickling at my bear arms and little shivers are threatening to become big tremors that wrack my body into spasms that somewhat resemble seizures and all the heaters are on your side of the table so you’re perfectly unconcerned about the temperature out here which is fine and all for you but not for me oh have you decided? A burger cooked well done with no bun and sweet potato fries and a side of thousand island and a side of ranch and ketchup and make sure there are no red onions touching the plate or you’ll send it back. I wonder how you two met. Were you both sitting next to one another in a bar one night and each of you ordered an impossibly complicated meal and your eyes met, the little twinkles in their depths aligning, and you realized you were a perfectly nightmarish match made in heaven/hell? What a screenplay that would make. What a love story.
After a few minutes, you come inside to the bar and order an old fashioned. No problem. Easy ice. Okay. I hope you know that that doesn’t mean extra bourbon because that isn’t free and we both know what you’re trying to do here, easy ice means your rocks glass gets filled only ¾ of the way don’t act surprised when I serve it to you that way. But in case you think I didn’t get the extra bourbon hint you say, “Go heavy on that bourbon pour, I’ve had a rough day.”
Listen, I already make a generous drink that will have you buzzing with the first three sips don’t insult me.
I bring you the standard three ounce pour with easy ice and two minutes later you’re back inside with the drink in your hand telling me you want a Cosmo.
“I’m sorry, was there a problem with the drink?”
“You garnished it with a lemon and it’s supposed to be an orange.”
Okay, I get it. You like the orange. No problem. I can get you an orange. It’s just that I much prefer to garnish my drinks with a cute little twist all curlicued and fancy but I can get you an orange. Every bartender makes their drinks in a slightly different manner and the citrus crop is terrible right now and all the oranges are dried out and look like shit but that’s fine, orange it is. No problem.
“It just doesn’t taste like an old fashioned.”
Okay. Okay, I’ll get you that Cosmo. Meanwhile your eggs have been delivered to the table and in about thirty more seconds as my hands are busy shaking your martini you’ll come back in, eggs in hand, asking me to have them reheated and I’m wondering if you understand that the moment I put your eggs back on the grill they will become brown which is exactly what you didn’t want which means I have to have your entire order remade and there are starving people everywhere you really should have accounted for the fact that you’d be sitting outside tonight.
Here’s your Cosmo. Extra lime. Extra cranberry. Easy vodka. Enjoy.