A strange and funny lunch
Many years ago (around 1980), I went with my adopted Aunt, Darlene Naylor, out to get some things for the family guest house here. While out, the trip took longer than usual and so we decided to get what we thought would be a quick lunch, but wasn’t, but certainly interesting, funny and frustrating.
We walked into this small restaurant at 11 AM for an early lunch. At first it seemed kind of strange there. The tables were arranged in such a way that you thought they were being stored there; there was neither rhyme nor reason for how they were laid out. Some were close together, others spread a bit. It felt like a very large walk in closet. So we sat down and waited.
In a few minutes a young woman came out. She was 18 or 19, certainly no older. Very bubbly with a fixed smile on her face and seemed happy to be working there. It turned out this was her first job, and that day, there was only her and the cook working. Also she never waitressed before, so she was learning, and we were her first…. which did not bother me or my Aunt at all….until a little later.
So we ordered. I got a half a sandwich with soup and an order of french fries, a small salad and a coke. So we sat there and stared at each other, looking around, and waited for 30 minutes. So I said, “Aunty, lets go somewhere else, something is not right here”. But she being a very nice person, said “we should wait, because the poor young girl was learning, and they were understaffed”. How that affected our simple order for lunch, and since we were the only customers, was something I did not understand. Also I was so hungry I could have eaten road kill at the time.
So finally she came out, and with a flourish put down our orders of french fries and walked out of the room. Strange, french fries, without anything else. Darlene just looked at them and said, “I don’t think I have ever been served French Fries as the first course” and then she laughed. I leaned over the table and whispered “Look for cameras; this has got to be some kind of a joke”. She laughed and started eating her French Fries. So I reached for the ketchup, shook the bottle and turned it over to pour….the cap came off and half of the bottle covered my fries. “Well shucks I said”. The girl came out and looked at my fries and said, my you like a lot of ketchup and then started talking about how her dad put it on everything except for ice cream. She left. So I hate my soaked fries and waited for something more. Ten minutes later she brought out the sandwiches with no soup. So I gently asked her where the soup was. She giggled and said, “Oh I knew I forgot something”. I thought, ‘this girl needs to get into another line of work’.
Well she brought out the salad instead and left some dressing. So I decided to be patient, and poured some dressing over my salad. It was watered down and spilled over onto the table, my half of the table. No napkins, so I could not clean it up. Darlene was enjoying the show. The girl came out and looked at the mess and gave me a look like how did they let me out at all. So she cleaned it up and left and then brought out the soup, which we ate without incident. We were actually finding this funny by this time, and I still thought there had to be a camera somewhere around here. Then just before we left, she brought out the water. When she brought us the bill I think she wanted some comment on how she did on her first day as a waitress. I just smiled and said fine. Actually it was entertaining, in spite of the soaked fries. I did leave her a good tip, since I believe she would not be there long and would need the money. While waiting for Darlene to finish her water, I kept looking for that camera. But nothing…..as we were leaving I turned to Darlene and said, she did not bring out our cokes!