9:15 AM

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How May I Serve You?

Mister Nizz

bullet rocket


..doesn't strike me as a movie I would bother plunking down a lot of money for (not when I haven't seen SERENITY yet, buh-day!!!). It looks like a typical sophmoric first vehicle for a comedian (the great Dane Cook, in this instance), like Meatballs was to Bill Murray and The Jerk was to Steve Martin. Like as not I'll buy the inevitable DVD when it hits the budget bins (and it will, it will). I don't mind sophmoric, scatalogical comedy and I giggle like a school girl at dick jokes with the best of them... it's just we've seen it all before. Good looking guy as sympathetic lead. Cast of oddball losers supporting him. The faceless, corporate "Man" is their oppressor, and wacky hijinks ensue. (caff caff caff... OFFICE SPACE caff caff cafff...). Sorry, frog in my throat.

I did see Dane Cook on the Leno Show the other night, and he was doing his best to pimp the movie for his corporate masters. Dane's a funny guy, and his segment went well (starting with .. literally... kissing the delectable derriere of Charlize Theron, the lucky bastard). He got to telling anecdotes to Jay like a good guest does, and mentioned that at one point in his life, HE had been a waiter, and HE had done some of the stuff depicted in WAITING... Notably, he had once dealt with a very nasty senior citizen demanding her drink by taking it behind the bar and stirring it with his penis (I'm not doing the story justice, it was hysterically funny-- "that's a STIFF drink! Har har har!").

I know that I like to lapse into the anecdotal from time to time on this blog, which may give the casual reader the idea that *I* did all the stuff written about on here myself. I want to state up front, I've never sabotaged food. It's too gross a concept, even for a guy with notoroiusly elastic standards like myself. So with that in mind, I'll recount the harrowing tale of the "Floating Teabag".

If I were to give young men a little bit of survival advice if they are hobbled by finances in their college years, it's this: Get a waiting job. Seriously. You can pay your rent on what you make (well you could then), the job isn't brain surgery, not horribly physically demanding, and the best part of it is you can eat at least two meals a day, get free drinks, take home leftovers and work hung over with no questions. So there I was, aged 18, a college sophmore waiting tables in a restraunt chain you have likely eaten in at some point. This chain specializes in disposable concept restraunts, from the "T.J. McGoodpeckers" of the 1980s to the ultra chi-chi Tapis and brewpub style restraunts of today. Back then, I worked in a sort of "fern-bar, brass rails, green walls" joint which was a xerox of a lot of similar themed restraunts you saw in the 80s. One of my pals was a struggling actor living in D.C. (as was I at the time). His name was Richard-- which is all I'll tell you about him (to avoid any prosecution). He was a real smart ass.. given to practical jokes of the worst sort. He was no Dane Cook, either, but not a bad comic actor (I saw him in El Grande De Coca Cola and got a lot of chuckles out of it). On one memorable morning shift, many things were going wrong. One of the cooks had flaked off, so the orders were coming out slow. The busboys (all of whom spoke multilingual polyglot lingo from the gazillion nations they hailed from) all seemed slow on their feet, like Honduran zombies. It was tense-- the tables needed bussing and we had a crowd waiting. Richard had a difficult customer, a huge lady that insisted upon skim milk. There was one jug of it in the walk in. Richard served it in a glass. She tried it, then started snapping her fingers to get his attention (tip for customers: don't do this. It's an asshole trick taht will turn your waiter hostile). She complained, loud enough for ME to hear across the floor, that the milk "tasted funny". Richard was courteous and moved the milk back into the kitchen. He couldn't find any more. Panic set in. The lady got impatient and snapped her fingers more. The floor manager ran across to Safeway to buy some skim milk. The lady complained about having to wait. Richard tried to be nice. She got nastier. The milk arrived. Richard served. She took a sip and said "This milk tastes funny, too!" Richard rolled his eyes as the floor manager goes out to placate her and ensure that a frech glass of skim milk was on the way. Richard whisked back into the kitchen. I came in with my tray and and a new order. Richard was next to the walk up with a small crowd of waiters. I told him that Table 12 was about to walk out on him. He said over his shoulder "I'm pouring milk right now!" Since everyone was laughing I had to be in on it too... and that's when I noticed that Richard had unzipped his pants and placed his testicles in the lady's milk. "You think that tastes funny? Try this!" I was a bit shocked (being new to waiting tables) but the expression on his face as he "dunked the teabag" makes me laugh just remembering it to this day, and that's many years later.

The epilogue: She drank the third, ball-tainted glass of milk, expressed satisfaction, and left Richard a fifty cent tip to "teach him a lesson". What's the moral of the story, children? Don't mess with someone who has even temporary control over something you are about to ingest. There's no future in it.

I know, this is a gross-out story, and I usually don't post 'em, but I consider it a cautionary tale-- stuff like this does transpire from time to time, and it's not all Hollywood. Be warned!

(Update: Phlegm Gobber from Hell)