This is a wacky time of the year to be working in a restaurant. Actually it's a wacky time of the year full stop. Not like the old days all the same but there is still a certain something in the air. Smells like....smells like culture. Culture in this town is a very messy thing. Best avoided at all times I find. But our unique culture means that the town is empty and so are the restaurants. Still there was enough to keep me busy, especially with my trusty stabbing fork.
The first challenge of the evening came in the shape of two young businessmen. You know the type, pin stripped suit, blue shirt, pink tie, "hilarious" cufflinks (tonight's being The Simpson's on weenie number one and pint glasses on weenie number 2) all topped off with the obligatory spice boy haircuts. It didn't get off to a good start when weenie number one cracked a joke about the place being quiet. It was ten minutes after we opened and it was lashing down outside. Hardly likely to be a high point in the day. So I pissed directly on his chips, not literally of course that really would get me sacked, by checking the, empty, booking sheets and taking my time about it. I showed them to a table.
I didn't like the smug smart arsed way he joked about us being quiet. It got my back right up. I asked them if they wanted a drink.
"No, no I can't drink tonight. Driving. I'll just have a coke, a diet coke." And with that he tapped his BMW car keys and winked at me. Dodgy wink and BMW car keys aside when did coke, diet coke get removed from the drinks list? And what's with the Bond James Bond way of asking for a fucking diet cola. Weenie number one was annoying me. Weenie number two just asked for a sparkling water without the need to wink at me or show me that he had a flash motor.
I gave them sometime to peruse the menu returning to their table ten minutes later. The menus were closed and set to the side, standard "we're ready to order" signal. Except they weren't.
"Oh no sorry man, we were just talking there. Work, doesn't end at five for us."
Man? Did he just call me man? Get the fuck outta here! I wasn't sure if he was trying to be down with working class or just a knob end. I veered towards the latter.
"Riiiiiiiiiight." I said. "Yeah work only starts at five for me. You take your time there .....man."
And off I wandered. This guy fancied himself for a Belfast, "Patrick Bateman". More American Idiot than American Psycho. But after a bit I returned to the table. I knew they were ready this time by the return of the annoying wink. Winker.
Steaks, what else, were ordered. Weenie number 2 had been quiet and up until now had failed to register on the list of people to get it in the back with the stabbing fork. Weenie number 1 occupied the first five places. But with one simple request he managed to go straight in at number 2.
"Man..." Man again? Are you fucking kidding me? "...can I get the fat cut off my steak and instead of putting the sauce over it can you put the sauce on first and then put the steak on top of it and I'm not joking about the fat I'll send it back if there is any on it.....man."
I sort of stood there for a moment considering what weenie number 2 had said. It wasn't the request per se, although it did sound more than a little like weenie number 2 is no stranger to the world of OCD, but rather it was the way he said it. It was an order, not an order in the way most people order their food but rather in the way an army major bosses their subordinates. For a moment I considered lifting their menus and telling them to get the hell out. No explanation, no fuss, just get the fuck outta dodge.
But I didn't.
I just left the table but not before weenie number 1 explained that weenie number 2 was getting married in a few weeks and had to "look trim for the photos." Well isn't someone about to make the greatest fucking mistake of her life?!
The food was served and as requested with the fat cut off and sauce underneath. I checked on them half way through to make sure everything was cool for them and to see if they needed more drinks.
"Drinks? Man are you trying to get us drunk, we're driving tonight, just some water please." And again the odious little bollocks tapped his car keys. Sweet suffering Christ this guy was inches from getting beaten to a merry and bloody pulp.
"Yeah I get it, your driving. I'll get the water, dude." I said with more than a hint of sarcasm and rage. Hell if he was calling me man I was gonna call him dude.
They finished up and refused the offer of puddings, "Man, I've already been measured for my suit."
I brought the bill.
"Man..." weenie number 2 had his wallet out and handed me his card. "....take this will you."
It was a Halifax Switch Card, for an "Easycash" account which is like on the lowest level of bank accounts available. Tremendous. Just as I suspected, mutton dressed as lamb or rather Millhouse's dressed as Patrick Bateman's. I bet there is nothing in their freezers but mini-twister ice lollies and a half bag of frozen peas.