Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Manuel and the case of the Dutchman's missing shalmon...

So the wonderful doctor has reliably informed me that my carbon monoxide levels are down from 14ppm to 1ppm. Which is nice. Nice, but still not enough. I wonder if I can trade my personal carbon monoxide levels with India or something. Reduced carbon monoxide levels, whilst surely a good thing, still don't stop you sweating like an addict in a tobacconists when you have to run round a restaurant all night in search of a Dutchman's Sheshame Shalmon.

where is the shalmon?
there it is!!

Sheshame Shalmon? Well that's what he said to me. It's another tale of control freakery gone mad.

"Excuse me?" I was looking at him and he was looking at me and the rest of his chums were looking at the space where there should have been a delightful plate of sesame salmon, apparently. Now this wasn't my table so I had no earthly idea what the hell was going on. After a tense moment of staring and incomprehension and bewilderment and raised eyebrows (me) and pointing and staring and speaking Dutch (him) he eventually piped up with,

"My friendsh all have their dinnersh but I have no sheshame shalmon. Maybe the shefsh forgots about me? Maybe the shalmon got away, eh?"

His pronunciation of "chef" made me giggle, but there was no time to dwell on it. He was a large, jolly chap - much like Santa minus the beard and other Santa related paraphernalia. But I guessed this jolliness wouldn't last for much longer if I didn't make with his sesame salmon quick pronto like.

"Okay let me just see where your salmon is. It shouldn't be a moment", I assured him and off I ventured looking for Waiter Chum number one who was serving them.

I tracked her down to the back corridor where she was drinking blackcurrant juice. I was all a fluster and she was not.

"Where'stabletwo'ssesamesalmonhehasn'tgotitbuttherestofthetabledo. Ithinkhe'sgettingpissedoff?" I asked without stopping to breathe in my usual calmness under fire excitable voice, to which waiter chum number one replied,

"What?", obviously.

"Where'stabletwo'ssesamesalmonhehasn'tgotitbuttherestofthetabledo. Ithinkhe'sgettingpissedoff?" I added extra vim to it this time thinking that would clear things up.

"What are you saying? Gimme it one word at a time. Go ahead first word", she was as perplexed as I was stressed.

"Table two..."

"Yes", what about table two?"


"Yes there is a man on table two. And?" She also made reference to Lassie and Flipper but I chose to ignore that.

" his salmon."

"Ah right. I'll get it for him now then." And of she flounced without a care in the world in the direction of the kitchen. Turns out she had held it back, to stop it going cold, as he had been out smoking when she brought the food to the table originally. I had a pear to calm myself. Seriously I can get myself worked up over nothing in a second. Did I mention I am a control freak?

So ten minutes, and one pear, later and I found myself walking towards the happy Dutch folk when I spotted the formerly jolly Santa-esque chap looking a whole lot less jolly than before and with still no salmon. "Mother of jebus what now", I thought as I stuck my nose into someone else's table again.

I stared down at the still empty place setting wearing an expression of someone who has just discovered they had trodden in dog shit and trampled it through their mother in laws carpet. That is to say I was mortified.

"Sir, still no salmon?"

"No sheshame, what am I to do eh?"

Partly losing the ability to speak I stuttered, "I...I...I...I....I'm soooo sorry sir, let me get this sorted. I can only apologise. I'm so so sorry."

"Itsh okay shir, I jusht wants my shalmon." By the way it's hard to do a Dutch accent without bursting into Sean Connery.

I stormed off bypassing waiter chum number one who again was nowhere to be seen and headed straight to the source of the problem - the last bastion of the strange, the refuge of the aberrant, the kitchen. Never a safe place for a waiter with a fiery temper and a missing salmon.

"Where the fuck is table two's salmon?", I asked with my usual tact. Shouting in the kitchen is like flicking the nose of an angry dog, not smart and likely to leave you without a head.

"It's nat 'ere", replied little chef.

"Where the fuck is it then?"

Attempting to look behind him little chef hits back with, "Dunno, it's nat up my ass that's for sure."

"I swear to fuck I'm sick of you pricks fucking things up all the time."

"OI......" It was the head chef who I thought had gone home ages ago.


"...your salmon isn't here, now get out." He may have called me a fat something or other but again I chose to ignore that as he is off the smokes too.

I walked away muttering and swearing and promising vengeance, under my breath of course. Chefs have big knives and little respect for human life at the best of times. But this still didn't solve the riddle of the missing salmon. I got back into the restaurant and headed towards the Dutch table only to discover the jolly Dutchman happily chomping through his salmon. He looked up and saw me peering at him.

"More sheshame, it's good eh?"

"Yeah.....really good." I was so utterly confused, had it all been a dream? Was I imagining complaints now? Had I crossed a gateway into a strange and unknown place where I make up problems? No apparently I hadn't. He had quite innocently sent his salmon back to the kitchen to get more sesame added to it.

And as waiter chum number one said,

"You just need to keep your nose out of tables, and salmons for that matter, that don't concern you."

Sheesh, as the Dutchman may or may not have said, that's me told.

19 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

belfastyouthworker said...

i'm confused..was the salmon there when he spoke to you the second time or not? weird...are you sure your carbon monoxide levels are okay?

Manuel said...

byw: waiter chum number one had it and as I was in the kitchen fighting with the dark forces therein she was serving it....except no one told me that....and where have you been recently?

Medbh said...

I was thinking Sean Connery, too.

It's a pain in the tits to have to wait on someone else's guests, as if you don't get enough grief from your own.

Manuel said...

medbh: yeah but sometimes/all the time I go looking for it....

Anonymous said...

My response , unless it is to get steak sauce or something simple I can do , is listen and go tell the waiter controlling the table what he wants and they go and get it.If their complaint takes more than 5 seconds to explain I just say I will get your waiter.In your instance you went and got the waiter told them and then you should have just forgot about it. The problem is you probably look like the manager/owner so everyone is looking your way when chum waiters are out smoking.Ooops.Forget I said that!

MJ said...

What is it about the pear, above all other fruit, that you find calming?

Anonymous said...

Are you more of a control freak since you quit smoking?

Manuel said...

steve: you're sort of right but like I say sometimes I go looking to stick my ore in....

mj: i just love a good pun intended....honest

psychoknitter: I would have to say there is no change....honest!!

sheepworrier said...

The Salmon of Doubt...

*gets coat*

AnFearBui said...

More like "open Sheshame" & it appeared.
....Can't find Sheepworrier......just a second there.

Tuesday Kid said...

Aw, and you only trying to help him out. Damn those nasty chefs.

sheepworrier said...

*legs it down the street with AnFearBui's coat*

red leeroy said...

I have never had Sheshame Shalmon but a friend runs a cafe and every day a dutchman orders 'en-am-n-cheeesshe-toashdee-and-uh-glesshe-o-melk'

sheepworrier said...

red leeroy: Did the dutchman live in Cork long?

AnFearbui said...

Don't think I'll want that sheepskin coat back after all somehow........

belfastyouthworker said...

you know me, i've been around, all i do is keep the beat and the bad company...

MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

I hate to say it, Manuel, but waiter number one is right. You see the beauty of waiting tables and not managing is that you have 4 or 5 tables to entertain & keep happy. The trick I use in a busy dining room is I only look at the floor or my tables. Nothing else puts money in MY pocket...and since that's why I'm there... dutchie, you're on your own!!!

harried_dad said...

So you didn't feel the need to offer him a pipe and a crap?

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