Recently, many of you have asked me about my new moonlighting job. I have gotten questions like, “Michele, what’s up with the bartending gig? Aren’t you a graphic designer?” And I really don’t have a direct answer for you. I think I actually enjoy it, to some degree. I actually enjoy being around people. I actually enjoy taking orders. And the stories I come home with are wonderful.
On Saturday, a couple walked into the bar for brunch. The male-unit of the couple had a word written on his forehead.
His female counterpart had a word written on there as well.
Together, they were perfect. But I couldn’t help but wonder why such a perfect couple would come out into such and imperfect world. Surely, they were bound to always feel left down. And I guess my job was making that come a little easier.
I sat them at the lover’s booth. This was the name given to me for that particular table by one CCLB. Immediately, she began to complain.
Where is that draft? Is there a draft? I feel a draft.
Well, you both just walked in. I think it’s from the door. Once it closes all the way, it will warm up.
I am cold. Are you sure?
Knowing that this wouldn’t get any better and that she would pull out her “I WAS RIGHT” card later, I decided to change it.
I’ll tell you what, let’s move you two near the kitchen where it’s warmer.
They agreed and were settled. I handed them both menus and went to get them some water.
Excuse me? Can I get some coffee with 2% milk? No half-and-half. I don’t like that stuff. And I want my water with no ice.
“Anything to keep you less frigid.” I thought.
TEMPER wanted his water with ice. I went to retrieve one glass of water, neat, a glass of water on the rocks, one coffee and some 2% milk. They were content.
I let them look over the menu while I took care of the 8 other tables I had. After a short while, I returned.
What can I get you two?
I think I will have the special. And I want free-range eggs with that. I’ll pay extra if I have to. Also, is your salmon farm-raised or is it wild?
I found out that our salmon was wild. We didn’t waste time any pussy-bred, farm-raised salmon. I guess that was a good thing, because MENTAL actually smiled.
Fine. Great. I’ll have the special with wild salmon and some free-range eggs.
I was finished with her and moved on to TEMPER.
I can’t decide if I want the special or some pancakes. What kind of fruit do you have?
Today, we have blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and raspberries. We also have candied walnuts and chocolate chips.
I’ll have two pancakes with everything.
His girlfriend must have nudged him, because he suddenly began to rethink this near pancake blasphemy.
Am I overdoing it again? I am, aren’t I? I’ll just have blueberries and strawberries.
His girlfriend giggled and sipped her iceless water.
What kind of meat would you like with that?
Are your sausages patties or links?
They’re patties. We make them ourselves.
I mashed my hands together as if preparing Silly-Puddy for a homemade newspaper photo-copy.
I’ll have the sausage.
I put in their order and began to take care of the other tables again.
After a short while, the bell rang letting me know that their food was ready and I walked back to retrieve it. I placed it before them and watched them rub their hands together in unison in search of something, ANYTHING, wrong. They found nothing. But I knew it was only a matter of time before their other sense, the sense of taste, stepped in to make sight’s failed point.
I went to give table 3 their check, turn over some mimosas to table 6 and serve food to table 10. TEMPER then called me over.
Yeah, is there any way I can get grits instead of this sausage? It’s too hard and chewy and dry. I don’t like it.
I went back to the kitchen to check. They agreed because they knew exactly whom I was dealing with. I went back to share the good news.
Yes, we’ll do that for you.
MENTAL began to speak again.
Can you take this away? We don’t want it here.
I looked down at her napkin. There, sitting like a lifeless turd, was the slab of sausage.
Yeah, just get rid of it.
He handed me the turd-sausage and I tossed it into the trashcan.
After I served them their grits, I totaled up their bill and left them be for a while. Why bother making sure they were all right when I knew that NOTHING would make them feel all right? Plus, I had seen larger tips inside hidden Easter eggs.
The bartender on duty called me over to make sure everything was O.K.
What’s going on with those two?
I told her about the draft, the free-range eggs, the free-swimming fishes, and then the freeing of the meat-turd. The bartender rolled her eyes.
Why even bother coming out?
My thoughts exactly.
Finally, I was finished with their table. I put down the bill and walked into the kitchen to check on other things. As I walked back from the kitchen, I noticed that MENTAL was hand-rolling a cigarette. Silently, I judged.
You see, apparently, in Mental’s world, fishes need to swim freely and in iceless water. Chickens need to give birth on expansive land surrounded by cows that gave off nothing but 2% milk. Imperfect sausage patties are sent flying though the air on a white napkin into a trashcan. Drafts due in from Mother Nature aren’t welcome at all. But she can pollute the world with her second hand smoke and her cigarette butts just as long as her tobacco was raised free-range.