Angels and Getting My Swerve On

If you work in a restaurant and can’t get laid you have a problem.

Think about it. You are surrounded by young, mostly unattached people, in a high stress close contact situation where alcohol is plentiful. Hooking up is not only inevitable – it’s endemic to the profession.

Hostesses bang the owners. Waiters bang other waiters, customers, bartenders, and anything else that moves. The entire restaurant is a cauldron of lust. You had better knock before you enter the linen closet unless you want a free show. It can be that crazy.

Such was the situation that greeted me when I left the business world and began my first waiter gig at Amici’s in the Jersey burbs. Corporate America, with its puritanical work place dating rules, girls following the time old pattern of marrying economically appropriate boring men, combining with office politics, made my sex life there, well, almost non existent. Amici’s was a shock. It was like being in college all over again. Except this time I had a car and my own apartment. I took to it like a fish to water.

Regan, twenty years old, looking like a younger and cuter version of Soledad O’Brien, is crazy about me. She works at the liquor store attached to the bistro. Being twelve years older I hesitate to take up her offer of a drink after work but who am I kidding? Her cute face, firm ass and pert breasts are too compelling to resist. After shift we go over to TGI Fridays for a beer.

Soon we are pounding back Bass Ale, laughing, touching under the table and having a good time. We talk about art, politics, music and all the other things people talk about while figuring out how to get into one another’s pants. Just when things are looking up, the good angel alights on my right shoulder and begins whispering in my ear,

“She’s too young. This is not right. Give her a peck on the cheek and take her home.”

Not to be outdone the bad angel also appears. His advice is more direct,

“Close the deal! Get some!”

While this eschatological conflict is raging we pay the bill and leave. Outside Regan pulls me into a side alley. Pressed up against the wall, kissing wildly, hands fumbling under clothes, I think we are going to do the deed there and then.

After a few minutes, Regan looks up at me wide eyed and says throatily, “Take me to your place and fuck me.”

The bad angel reaches over and decapitates the good angel, spinning him of into the aether. I break every speed limit driving home.

We get out of my car and the clothes start coming off before we get into the house. (I find her blouse in the bushes the next morning.) We stumble to the door, I fumble with my keys, it opens, and we tumble in.

Soon we are almost naked, kissing passionately, hands roaming all over each others bodies, preparing for, ahem, sexual congress, when Regan looks up at me, with wide brown eyes in which a man could lose himself forever, and says……

“I think I am going to be sick.”

……and proceeds to do a Linda Blair all over me.

I spin her around into the bathroom and place her face over the toilet, holding back her hair while she pukes up her body weight in vomit. Bass Ale recycled; she slumps to the ground, finding relief by pressing her cheek against the cold tile floor. She is crying softly.

The good angel materializes, reattaches his head, hurls the bad angel back to the nether regions, and resumes his litany.

“What are you doing? Think about it. She is too young. Look at the poor thing.”

Sometimes I really hate that good angel.

I clean Regan up and put her in my bed. I place a bucket on the floor in the event of a relapse. I take the couch. The next morning we wake up early. I throw coffee and toast down her throat.

“I have to get home before my Dad wonders where I’ve been.” she says looking very hungover.

That’s just great.

We get in the car and head out. I feel like a dad taking his daughter to school. Driving up her block I have a terrifying vision of a wrathful father peering at me through a telescopic sight muttering, “A little closer motherfucker, just a little closer….” his finger taking up the slack on the trigger.

I stop a few houses away.

Opening the door to leave, Regan turns around and asks me anxiously,

“Did anything happen last night?”

“Not a thing.”

“You’re a very nice man.”

“Not really.” I say watching her slink back into her house.

Driving away I realize I have dodged a bullet.

Later at work I am telling Rizzo about my little experience. He just laughs saying,

“When you’re too old to pick up a girl at her father’s house my man, well you’ve turned a corner, haven’t you?” How true.

I am not saying this experience turned me into a saint. Far from it, but I learned a valuable lesson that night. To quote the novelist Ross MacDonald,

“When a man gets older, if he’s smart, he likes his women older too. “

Its only a flesh wound!

It’s Friday night and I’m waiting on some real assholes. Two middle aged couples, so busy bad mouthing absent friends, I wonder what they say about one another in private. So animated is this little hate fest that I’m shooed away every time I approach the table. After half an hour I finally get the wine order. It’s the cheapest white we sell.

I open the bottle, go though the tasting ritual, and pour the swill into the glasses. I begin parroting the specials when one of the men looks alarmed and says,

“Waiter you’re bleeding.”

I look down. I must have nicked my finger on the foil opening the bottle. There is a small bit of blood on my finger.

“Oh dear.” I say

The man looks like he is about to jump out of his seat. He is really freaked.

“I am a doctor. I insist you put a band aid on that finger NOW!”

I want to say my case of Ebola is in remission; but before I can say anything a drop of blood slides off my finger.

The entire table tracks the path of my hemoglobin as it plummets down, down, PLOP! into one of the bitch’s wine glasses.

I have tuned chardonnay into rose blush. Voila!

The ladies look like they are about to faint. Marcus Welby is out of his seat.

“Take this wine away; get a new bottle, and GET A BAND AID!!!!!!!!!!”

The busboy removes the offending glasses and bottle. I run into the kitchen, wash out the wound with vodka, get a bandage and return to the table with a fresh bottle of vino cheapo.

The entire table looks like they are about to throw up. The doctor tells me to skip opening the bottle.

“We have lost our appetite. We’re leaving.” He says shaking his head disgustedly.

“Sir I am very sorry for what happened. This bottle is on the house.” I say trying to rescue the situation.

“No we’re going. You are a terrible waiter. We are never coming back here again.”

All this fuss over a simple accident. Now I’m pissed. As the couples walk past me I inject a Scottish burr in my voice and pay a small homage to Monthy Python,

“But sir it’s only a flesh wound!”

“You’re an asshole” the doctor counters.

Oh, THANK YOU SIR! Have a wonderful evening.” I reply obsequiously.

The couples storm out the front door. The owner gives me a “What the fuck?” look. I shrug. He shrugs. A new table takes the assholes’ place in under a minute,

Here’s the kicker. The new table’s bill came close to a thousand bucks. I got a $200 tip.

If you prick me do I not bleed?

Cheap wine would have tasted better with my blood in it anyway.

The Waiter & the Spoon

A friend emailed me this. I just had to post it here!

A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization…

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, “Why the spoon?”

“Well,” he explained, “the restaurants’ owners hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.”

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare.

“I’ll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.”

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter’s fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, “Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?”

“Oh, certainly!” Then he lowered his voice. “Not everyone is so observant.”

That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the rest-room. By tying this string to the tip of ‘you know what’, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the rest-room by 76.39 percent.”

“After you get it out, how do you put it back?”

“Well,” he whispered, “I don’t know about the others, but I use the spoon.”