Tag Archives: restaurant

49er Fantasy

No, not the football team.  Euw.

The miner kind of 49ers.

I’m from California, and the Gold Rush of 1849 has always been one of my most favorite periods in history.

The other day my daughter and I were watching a documentary of the pioneers and the Gold Rush.  It told the story of a family who went west to seek their fortune.  Usually men went without their wives and children and just hoped to make a bunch of money to bring home, or send for their families later.  But this family took off together.

When they arrived, the lady found that the miners would pay five dollars to have a meal cooked by a woman, which of course was a lot of money back then.  Well, maybe not to a guy who just found a bunch of gold nuggets in a creek and has blown phenomenal amounts of cash on booze and prostitutes.  Five bucks for a “home cooked” meal would be nothing.

But anyway, these miners had gone so long without being fed by their womenfolk, not to mention even seeing a woman up close, that she was greatly appreciated.  So much so that she was able to open a restaurant and make a tidy living off her culinary skills.

Now I know that some people fantasize about being Eddie Van Halen, or Angelina Jolie, or maybe even Bill Gates.  Having fame, fortune and glory is a commonplace desire.  But I haven’t felt as envious of anyone’s life as I felt hearing about this woman feeding all those men, winning their innocent affections and being compensated handsomely.  

I imagine, being her, I would feel like the most beneficent goddess mother, appeasing the boys’ stomachs and comforting their loneliness (she had her husband there, so I’m assuming that she was relatively safe from untoward advances.  Either way, nothing inappropriate figures into this particular fantasy of mine!)  They would adore me, looking up at me with their sad, scruffy, hungry puppy dog faces as I set before them some stew and biscuits still hot from the oven.  It would fill their bellies and warm their hearts and their homesickness wouldn’t sting quite so badly for just those few moments.  After their many months of perilous journeying, miserable gold panning, lousy food and rough male company, just the swishing of my clean skirts as I went to fetch the coffee would be like music to their ears.

Silly, I know.  But if a person’s fantasies reveal their essence, then I am all about food, earning a good living and being an adored mother-figure.  

I can live with that.

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The Best Fortune

Yesterday, in addition to having the best Chinese buffet lunch I’ve ever had, I got the best fortune in my cookie that I’ve ever gotten.

(This is more impressive if you bear in mind that I waited tables at a Chinese restaurant, which for the record had no buffet, for seven years and we were allowed to eat as many broken cookies as we wanted, so I thought I’d read all the fortunes anyone had ever come up with.)

Considering how many blessings I’ve been fortunate enough to receive in my lifetime, four of which were sitting at the table with me, I almost cried when I read the little piece of paper:

“The best times of your life have yet to be lived.”

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The Buck

Good morning boys and girls!

As part of our continuing series investigating wildlife at the Greasy Spoon, today Professor e is going to teach us about an elusive creature known as The Buck. All too often The Buck lives a solitary life, found on a dirty table once occupied by stingy, over-demanding diners who leave the helpless Buck to face the Wrath of the Waitstaff alone.

Sometimes found in groups of four or more, these herds are commonly referred to as A Decent Tip.

The Buck is distantly related to the Fiver, a rare breed known to cause many waitstaff to break out in a satisfied smile.

An even more remote relation, commonly called the Ten Spot, is presently on the Endangered Species list. An enounter with the Ten-Spot causes a chronic condition known as Guaranteed Good Service.

While the Buck is generally regarded as harmless to humans, as well as being near useless, it has been known to be occasionally booby-trapped with a sticky glob of Somethingorother on its back, so Table Bussers are encouraged to handle them with caution.

Also, Professor e strongly advises that Waitstaff resist the temptation to hurl a pot of hot coffee after the chintzy customer who escaped with the rest of the lonely Buck’s herd.

She reminds you that there will be ample opportunity to inflict revengefully poor service should the offending party ever return to the scene of the tragedy.

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Before being seated…

[This is a piece I wrote a few years ago when I was waiting tables and needed to let off some steam…]

Customer Service Contract
In the true American spirit of litigation and red tape, we have developed the following service agreement to serve you better!
Please take a moment to sign this and return it to the hostess.

I, the undersigned, do solemnly swear to adhere by the following rules and regulations:

Item #1 — I agree that I am not the only person in the universe. I agree that there are other customers in this restaurant who want attention as much as I do.
(ATTENTION: If you regularly tip more than 20%, you may disregard the previous condition and consider yourself the only person in the universe.)

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