Tuesday, 25 November 2008

This is Belfast, not Lilliput.......

As I posted yesterday, Sunday was a challenging experience. It was the sort of service that makes you wish you'd stayed in school. Honestly I would have thrown myself down a set of stairs just to get out of it if it wasn't for my inability to withstand any level of pain. So with no obvious route to escape the lunacy of the dining room floor one just had to grit ones teeth and try and act professional. Or at the very least not hit anybody. Considering my lovely little restaurant was filled to the bloody rafters with the grotesque, the odious, and the downright repugnant that was always going to be difficult. But I survived, as always. Funny old weekend though.

farmer
not funny people....

You know who's just as difficult to serve as children? Country folk that's who. I should preface this bit by saying that more than half my family is made up with farmer types and people who have more than a passing interest in the weather. So I know about country ways and more importantly country attitudes. But knowing is one thing, dealing with it is something else all together.

In they sloped, twelve rosy cheeked men of the field, about twenty minutes after their scheduled arrival time of 8pm. They had clearly been enjoying a drink or fifteen somewhere else before they arrived. Their spirits were good and they appeared jovial and approachable at first. There was no hint at this point of the hideousness and whinging to follow.

It took several minutes to complete the toilet runs and fidgeting (them not me) before they finally settled and acknowledged my presence. Let me tell you it's difficult for a short fella to loom over a table of twelve men with arms bigger than my legs and with voices that would make Brian Blessed seem reserved. I steeled myself and prepared to make my opening gambit.....

"Good evening gentlemen, can I get you something from the bar?" Show no fear I thought.

"Yeeeeeeeooooowww". You know you are going to have a tough time when the first words from a guests mouth is, "Yeeeeeeeooooowww".

Ignoring it I continued with, "So what can I get you guys?"

"A big blonde with a million pounds", replied the joker of the group PJ or DJ or Cecil or whatever the hell he was called. Everyone from the country is named after their grandfather or father or favourite cow, that's why no one from the countryside is called Shakira or Kylie or Dakota. I'm not saying it's a bad thing but it is worth noting all the same.

I raised an eyebrow and decided that I would forgo with speaking to the group and just tackle them one by one. The first chap was the fine orator who "yeeeeeeooowww'd" my presence at the table. Clearly he had been dressed by his wife or mother, in fact it's a fair assumption to say that they had all been dressed by their wives or mothers. I just don't see him in NEXT trying to decide between the floral shirt with the white collar and the white shirt with the floral collar. He was wearing the former.

"Can I get you a drink sir?"

"Certainly can there fella....Here boys, boy, boys, boys, BOYS...." they all looked round "this fellas gettin' us a drink.......fair play 'til him....I'm gonna get a double brandy seein' as he's buyin'."

"Ah jaysus, great fella ye are...." and so on from the rest of the table. I played along for a minute until I got bored with the fake laughing and what have you.

Bleurgh.....!!! It took ten minutes to secure a proper drinks order from them what with all their shenanigans and boisterous behaviour. But I was sure they'd settle down after a bit, there was a bit of a school trip feel to them, boys away from home and all that sort of thing. Actually there is nothing worse than a group of country boys out of sight of their wives/mothers. They get a bit too giddy for my liking.

But it wasn't their giddiness or obvious jokes or even their insistence on handing me their plate as soon as they were finished a course no matter if anyone else was done. It did rankle a bit it has to be said. No, what gets me about serving country folk is their insistence that everything in the city is smaller than back on the farm.

I served one chap his lamb ramp and asked him if he need anything else to accompany it, meaning sauce or salt or glass of wine, to which he replied, "aye I'd like some lamb with me lamb."

"Excuse me?"

"Jaysus fella that there's a small lamb boy." Shouting up at one of his cohorts he continued with, "Here John Junior, John Junior, John Junior...." John Junior was busy having a similar discussion with waiter chum number one at the other end of the table regarding the salmon which he claimed he couldn't see on his plate as it was "so small". But he persevered until John Junior was finished badgering waiter chum number one.

"What you want PJ, I'm trying to find ma salmon."

"Here, this must bay wan o your lambs?"

"What you fuckin' on abouts?"

"Ah say it must be wan o your lambs, it's that fuckin' small hey...." And with that the table of twelve descended into laughter and swearing and sweary laughter. There then ensued a conversation about the credit crunch and maybe we had served them lamb crunch or credit lamb or something as equally as dull. Obviously it took them about five minutes flat to shovel their food into their pie holes.

Now I know these country types have big appetites what with building barns all day and getting cows pregnant at night and practicing for the ploughing competitions at the weekend but I know our portions are generous and can floor your average everyday punter. But these chaps make out like they have entered the Kingdom of Lilliput such is their whinging and insisting that everything is "fuckin' small".

Obviously the bill isn't small though. You can bet your tiny city ass every time you get country folk that they want to negotiate about the bill.

"And what's a service charge for? Is that fer youse waitresses."

Oh I got that dig loud and clear. You see in the country, men do men jobs, digging holes, filling in holes, cow tampering etc. In the country men don't wait tables unless of course they own the place and name it after themselves.

"Jaysus if I thought I was gonna have til pay that I woulda carried it meself."

I said nothing. Eventually he produced a wedge of notes, no doubt he lifted it from under his mattress before he came out, thicker than an elephants trunk and asked me how much I wanted to settle the bill. I read the total again as it was printed on the bill.

"Aye I see that but how much will yis take?"

This went on for a further five minutes until he realised I wasn't for bending on the issue. I hate serving country folk, obviously........

Jesus, or rather Jaysus wept.

23 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

daisyfae said...

Q: why did god invent women?
A: sheep can't cook...

might have gotten a laugh... but then again...

savannah said...

i hate to ask the obvious, but did he leave a tip? xoxoxo

Medbh said...

That's shameful behaviour from country folk who should recognize hard work when they see it.
Think how painfully dull their lives must be to explain that kind of nonsense.

Maxi Cane said...

"I just wanted to eat here, not buy shares in it" is another knee slapper.

How much wil yis take?

Try asking him that same question next time you're around seeing his sister.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I must have served someone like that the other day when this what looked like a farmer ordered a green salad with only tomato and ketchup! I had to ask a second time if he was just jokin' or what.

Old Knudsen said...

How dare he question yer questionable manhood I'd like to see him carrying heavy plates and bottles for 8 hours. It could be worse hey boy you could be a nurse.

Old Knudsen said...

Oh I've cum to the conclusion that yer restaurant isn't as upscale as you'd like us to think.

sheepworrier said...

Ah god bless 'em - 'Yeeeoowww' and indeed 'go on ya good thing'!
Did they all order apple tart for dessert?
I'm probably related to at least 2 of them.

red leeroy said...

Let it be linked. Yeeeoowww

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyKvD-4IxOY

Conan Drumm said...

Plain (fer sure) ordinry folks, born to haggle and complain even though their houses are paid for, their land is paid for, their tractors are brand new and the EU's giving them money for nuthin.

Manuel said...

I'm having such a bad morning you wouldn't believe.......sake.......talk later......

MJ said...

Another bad morning ?

Do you need a hacksaw?

sheepworrier said...

He's probably just stubbed his toe or summat, the big drama queen...

Conan Drumm said...

Have you more leaks? Did you take some excercise by mistake? Was the butter rancid? Did the cousin do something... inappropriate?

Silverstar said...

I do believe he said sake. As in Japanese rice wine. Which will give anyone a bad morning.

It could be worse Manual. I used to live with these jokers, and waited tables for five weeks with them. And yes, they tipped. They had to. With a table that large, there would have been an automatic service charge. Which I believe one of the party was bitching about. Nevertheless, whatever it was, twice as much wouldn't have been enough.

Manuel said...

all good again.....back from the doctor who reliably informs me that my carbon monoxide levels are down from 14ppm to 1ppm .....sweet.......super sweet.....I'm having a bun to celebrate......oh and sheepo I'm watching you.....

sheepworrier said...

"oh and sheepo I'm watching you....."

*closes bedroom curtains*

Manuel said...

sheepo: drama queen is it......I haven't been so enraged since I lost the remote control and smashed up the house in an attempt to find it.....

A.B. said...

Irish Rednecks. Who'd thunk.

AnFearBui said...

Sounds like it was Mart day..

Anonymous said...

At least they didn't bore you about the GAAAH!(G.A.A)

Nil Zed said...

A.B.: Irish Rednecks are a surprise to you? Where the heck do you think they immigrated from in the first place? (well, there and scotland. Southern U.S. phone listings are just chock full of McThis and MacThat.

and 'what will yis take for it?', I'd open with double and see where it goes.

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