Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm droppin' Broccoli! I'm droppin' Broc-oh-lye-hiiiii

In an ancient SNL skit, Dana Carvey sang about choppin' broccoli. The song rang through my head most of the evening.

It's Monday, my weekly serving shift. Starts off slow, and builds into a furious, unexpected pace. It's hard to get into the zone after playing cards with the wait staff for the first hour of the dining period.

My first table is a cute deuce, two ladies, one making certain to mention the other one's birthday to me.
We don't sing here, but there's a free cheap birthday cake in it for ya if you let us know.

At the end of dinner, one has cleaned her plate, and the other has meticulously separated all of of her grilled-tilapia-no-pasta-double-veg into neat stacks of cut, uneaten fish, cauliflower remains and untouched broccoli. I'm thinking that the stacks are a bit obsessive-compulsive. "Would you like me to box that up for you?" I inquire, trying desperately not to raise a tell-tale eyebrow. "Just the broccoli," she replies.

I'm in the kitchen, scraping broccoli into the box, while one of the bussers tells a story about his weekend that has most of us in hysterics. Wiping tears of laughter from my eyes, I look at my styrofoam box and realize I've scraped at least one half of her meticulously-stacked broccoli onto the floor.

I panic for a moment, and then decide just to cellophane the remaining, likely precious broccoli into a box. I'd rather just give her what's left than box up veggies that hit the floor, however momentarily, during a funny busser moment.

Hours later, I imagine that if she really is as obsessive as she appeared, she's freaking out about that broccoli right about now. "Bitch ate half my broccoli," she's thinking. I'm actually concerned about what she's thinking.

After the shift ended, while digging through my chic bistro apron for breath mints, I retrieve a greasy, withered stem of broccoli. It lathers my hand, and of course my apron, in oil and veggie-smell. I pretty much deserved it.

Overall, a decent evening. I enjoyed my last four-top; an animated, Latin-accented woman literally held court, telling her tablemates fascinating tales of her recent trip on the notorious, CNN headlined
Cruise From Hell. Apparently, she'd ditched the boat in Charleston on Sunday. Before you knew it, most of the wait staff and other customers were huddled around her stories.

She was a delight, and they called me "darling" and "adorable," and left far more than necessary as a tip.

There are worse ways to spend a Monday evening, my friends.