Friday, 29 August 2008

It's rude to stare!

me and Steve....

Most guests like to take their seats with the minimum of fuss - conversation suspended, laughter suppressed for a brief moment, mobile phones silenced. It is just good practice and demonstrates a respect for other guests.

I say most because not all guests are so considerate. Some people live in their own bubble, metaphorically speaking of course. Although that said the idea of containing a few of them in a soundproof container is very appealing. Something like the Superman vortex thingy would be cool. For some guests the sight of people eating quietly and conversing at a moderate level seems to be nothing more than a spur to them. Much like the "Silence" sign at the library makes you wanna scream The Ace of Spades at full tilt with air guitar actions thrown in for good measure.

I detest people walking through the restaurant shouting into their phones. It's boorishness at it's worst. I know sometimes it cant be helped but listening to you tell the babysitter you have arrived in the restaurant is such a frightful fucking pain in the arse when people are trying to chow down on their linguini. Some people seem to want to announce to the rest of the restaurant that they have arrived. Their wild hand gestures, coat flinging, and too loud by half laughing just screams, "LOOK AT ME AREN'T I JUST BLOODY LOVELY!"

Attention seeking a-holes.

And then there are those who by their very presence alone cause a stir. Local celebrities tend to cause a stir (and not much more than a stir either), not that we are over flowing with celebrities in this part of the world. Heads will turn and the volume of chatter will rise as the star of local news takes their seat. Necks will stretch and crane as the great unwashed strain to see what Frank the Weatherman orders for his din dins.

"Look Brian he's having soup!"


"Oh I'm gonna have the soup too."

"Soup eh. Who'd a thought it, soup? Just like we eat. Huh."

Oh yes there can be quite a stir when someone off the telly shows up. But it's nothing in comparison to the stir nay chaos that can be caused by the arrival of a "proper" celebrity. A proper celebrity being a soap opera star, a contestant from a reality TV show or a famous footballer. Forget about it if you cured a disease or wrote a book. I mean the first sight of an Eastender or a former Big Brother contestant can cause mild hysteria and borderline panic amongst the the normally reserved dining public. They'd shit on Frank the Weatherman to get to see Big Mo up close and personal. Yes we are that starved of celebrity here in Northern Ireland. For fuck sake our terrorists pass for celebrities here!

But you don't have to be a celebrity or even a weatherman to cause a stir in a restaurant. Beautiful people can cause a ripple of interest too just as those ripe fruit who have fallen from the ugly tree can. I mean you'd put the fork down if a John Merrick-a-like strolled past you on his way to the table in the dark part of the restaurant. It doesn't take much to cause a stir in a restaurant.

And then there was Steve. Not his real name. Steve caused both a stir and a hubbub and maybe even a ripple too when he ventured into the restaurant last Saturday on his own. He certainly caused many heads to turn. For you see Steve is huge. Steve is a very huge man. Huge in every respect. Tall like a basketball player and broad like a house, maybe a row of houses. Steve cares not that the world watches him as he, very slowly, walks past. His slow precise movement is reminiscent of a Diplodocus.

He is an impressive sight to behold. His presence is awesome. He is such an awesome sight he needs his own theme tune, probably something with a tuba. People stopped mid chew, forks were left hanging, wine was set down as to a one everybody in the restaurant took in the majesty that was this leviathan. I was shuffling slowly behind him with what seemed like a tiny menu. My own gargantuan frame looked almost waif like against this man mountain. Almost. Our relationship was akin to moon and Earth. I couldn't seat him where he was booked. No normal sized table for one would do for Steve. I orbited past him and switched him to a table for four.

He was out of breath and unable to speak for a moment. I waited with baited breath. The restaurant waited with baited breath. The chair creaked. Out of his pocket he produced three coloured tablets, I was thinking magic beans, and between pants and wiping the sweat away he asked for some water. I rushed to get him his water. I told him I would return to take his order when he was ready. Steve didn't need to look at the menu. This wasn't Steve's first time.

"Caesar [pant pant] salad.....large [pant pant]"

"Certainly sir and for your main course?"

"No main course......just salad. I'll have some cakes after."

That's right, cakes with an s. Legend. Big Steve didn't care. Big Steve knew everybody was watching him but Steve didn't care. He pulled out a book and read quietly to himself.

Steve, eater of salads and causer of stirs and indeed hubbubs. Nice.

16 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

I'm always happy to see solo diners with a book. I always wonder how you can get through a meal on your own without something to read.
So I assume he's some sporting legend?

Manuel said...

Medbh: god no! Unless eating has become a it was just his massive bulk that impressed the masses. I cant stress enough how massive this guy was......

Silverstar said...

But Manuel, you should know that the Caesar salad absorbs and passes through all the calories from the "cakes with an s." Or anyway that's what I tell myself when I have a candy bar or bowl of ice cream with my diet cola.

Native Minnow said...

I wish I had silence bubbles that I could just throw out at people who annoy me. I'd need an endless supply though as I'd be bound to run out too quickly otherwise.

sheepworrier said...

Im tempted to say stephen nolan, but i know he isnt that tall... go on, who was it?

Conan Drumm said...

Did the floor roll under him like the deck of a schooner, so all present were at sea?

That's how you put it my head, it's captured there forever.

boy_wonder said...

waif? wafer more like, wafer with ice cream and sprinkles

James J Botherington said...

The man sounds like a rotter, a cad, and a bounder. He should exercise some self control. Cakes? Indeed.

Jill said...

I'd creak to get a peak of Frank The Weatherman.

dave said...

"He is such an awesome sight he needs his own theme tune, probably something with a tuba."

Manuel, is that something straight out of a cartoon? Family Guy if I remember correctly?

savannah said...

was he wearing a track suit, too? or does he go against the stereotype and dress well? xoxo

Lottie said...

Yip - cakes + Salad cancel each other out. It's like having a Diet Coke with your Happy meal.

MJ said...

I wouldn't crane my neck for anyone less than Dot Cotton.

That Frank fella...I'm sure it's his glossy great bowling ball forehead they were staring at.

You can advertise your restaurant on there and still have space left over.

Anonymous Boxer said...

So I'm not the only one who orders a salad for dinner (no dressing) and then a huge dessert.

Maxi Cane said...

I served Tommy Tiernan a coffee once.

What's that?

Who's Tommy Tiernan?

Only the loudest sugar packet shaker and coffee slurper in the world since the history of forever.

That's who.

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