“Good afternoon gentleman,” I say greeting them cheerfully, “How many in your party?
The guys don’t acknowledge my presence and walk towards the middle of the restaurant.
Annoyed, I follow behind them. “How many people in your party?” I repeat.
The leader of the pack, a skinny guy with a goatee, doesn’t bother to turn around and talk to me. Instead he holds up three fingers.
“Three? Right this way gentleman,” I order forcing them to turn around and walk towards the front. I give them a sub optimal table on the aisle.
“I want to sit in the back,” Goatee sniffs.
“Back’s closed,” I say placing their menus on the table. I have less and less patience with these arrogant types lately.
The men shrug and sit down. Beth, whose working lunch, saunters over to the table to get their drink order.
“Hello gentleman,” she says, “may I get you anything from the bar?”
Now I’ve mentioned before Beth is a lovely girl. Unwanted attention is nothing new to her. But this trio starts eyeing her up and down like she’s working the pole at a strip club. How déclassé.
Sensing their eyes running over her body like a wet slimy tongue Beth lowers the politeness level.
“Can I get you guys a drink?’ she snaps.
Goatee smirks at his companions eliciting some juvenile laughter.
“Yeah, I’ll take a Peroni,” he says.
“I’m sorry sir; we’ve run out of Peroni. Would you care for a Moretti?” Beth says. It’s the truth – the delivery guy forgot us yesterday.
“What? You don’t have Peroni?” Goatee blurts.
“That’s what I said,” Beth replies through clenched teeth.
“I’ll take a Budweiser then,” Goatee says dismissively.
“Thank you sir,” Beth says looking towards me with a “Thanks for seating these morons in my section look.” I shrug.
Beth takes their order and returns to the back. Goatee and his friends almost sever their spinal cords craning their necks trying to watch her walk away. Class act guys. Class act.
Their food comes out and they attack it loudly without any semblance of table manners. “Were these guys raised by wolves?” I think to myself. They’re all well dressed and appear prosperous; probably associates from the law firm nearby. Ah – I think I’m right about the wolf thing.
The door chimes and in walks one of my favorite customers – Mrs. H. She’s in her forties, polite, sweet, and drop dead gorgeous. She’s meeting her friend who’s already seated in the back nursing a midday Cosmo.
The trio stops in mid chew and ogle her. I mean it’s that obvious.
“Your usual table is ready madam and your friend has already arrived,” I say pointing to the back. Mrs. H smiles at me, asks how I’m doing, and transits the length of the Bistro towards her companion. Goatee and his friends heads spin like tops attached to their necks.
Now I would be the biggest hypocrite in the world if I said I’ve never stared at a woman’s derriere as she passed by. Heck, I’ve looked at Mrs. H’s backside a thousand times. But, there is a way to do it and a way not to do it. Goatee and his trio don’t know how to do it.
What’s worse they start talking trash.
“Yo Yo! Did you see the ass on that chick?” Goatee sneers.
“She’s a fucking MILF yo,” one of his friends concurs.
Now I think any white guy who uses “yo” in public conversation should be kicked in the balls at least once a day. I pray these guys ease up on the language – but they don’t.
“She reminds me of that girl from………” the other idiot says, going on and on. He uses the word “pussy” and several other choice terms.
I take a deep breath and try and get my temper under control.
Suddenly another customer, an older gentleman lunching with his wife, speaks up,
“Watch your mouths guys; you’re in mixed company here.”
Goatee laughs the old man off.
Now I’ve been a young man. I’ve done many of the stupid things these guys are doing. I pray for patience. But I remember when I acted like an idiot someone, my father or another older male, smacked me into line. I walk over to the table.
“Hello gentleman,” I say cheerily, “are you enjoying yourselves?”
“Yeah,” Goatee giggles.
“Good,” I reply, “But I have to ask you gentleman to watch your language.”
Goatee bursts out laughing.
“Or I’m kicking you all out,” I continue.
Now they’re looking at me.
“Excuse me?” Goatee asks in shock.
“Find your manners sir…..” I start to say.
Goatee starts to blush.
“……and find them now.”
The boys are quiet.
“Thank you gentleman,” I say departing the area. The old man nods gratefully,
The trio keeps it on a low level the rest of the meal. Goatee glares at me contemptuously once or twice. Oh well. Life’s tough.
They pay the bill and leave. The tip they give Beth is less than spectacular.
“Those guys were really creepy,” she says looking in the checkbook.
“At least they’re gone,” I sigh.
“Guys like that never meet girls.”
“Gee – I wonder why?” I muse.
“They acted like teenage boys,” she observes.
“Worse,” I add.
“I’ll bet none of them has a girlfriend.” Beth says.
I think about when I was Goatee’s age. But then again I was never like that at his age. I remember what a friend of mine used to say and smile.
“Beth?” I start to say.
“Yes?” she replies.
“Those guys couldn’t get laid in a Bangkok whorehouse with a fistful of hundred dollar bills.”
Beth laughs, “You’re right.”
“Screw ‘em,” I say. Beth and I go back to work.
We all look. We all joke.
But guys – there’s a limit.