Monday, 12 January 2009

New Year, same chinless freaks.....

I'm not a fan of guests substituting ingredients, not even little ones. It's very annoying and regularly leads to unhappiness. I may have mentioned this before. I suppress my urge to stab guests with my faithful and only true friend, the stabbing fork, with little obvious changes such as sauces or salads. I really quite amenable if you catch me in the right mood.

what have you got if you take the penne away?
eh?
nothing, that's what!

That said, I had to be physically restrained the other evening...

It was a frightfully dull Friday, as they tend to be at this time of year, and all was well. I was amusing myself by seeing how long I could balance a cork on my thumb for. This didn't last for long as I have all the hand to eye coordination of a blind quadriplegic. Waiter Chum Number Three managed it with ease whilst talking at the same time about, "...this one time....and he said...and I was all like no way." Or something like that. Manual dexterity is wasted on the youth.

What tables we had were all in their happy places and required nothing in the way of waiterly assistance, which was a good thing. I was tired and frustrated, mainly by my cork/thumb exertions but also because I had been on all day. I sent Waiter Chum Number Three off on a walk-round of the floor. This was under the guise of checking the tables but mainly because her perfect cork balancing thumb was getting right up my....well it was annoying me. I am so childish it's a wonder people speak to me.

"Your table of two are ready to order", she says.

"I have a table of two?" This was news to me.

"Yeah I seated them 'bout five minutes ago", says she in that perky happy unjaded by life sort of way that only a sixteen year old can.

"Right....", I lifted my slumbering mass off the bar and tossed the cork that had been vexing me into the bin.

Wearing my, "HI I'M HAPPY TO BE YOUR WAITER. AREN'T I JUST LOVELY?" face I reluctantly sauntered my way round to the surprising, to me, table of two.

I opened with, "Hi...", it's the expected greeting "...you folks ready to order?"

"Yes I'll have the ....", standard issue pause as she really doesn't know what she wants "....I'l have the eh...um....er.....no I'll have the sea bass with a mixed salad."

"Beautiful madam, good choice." I cant stop myself from saying shit like that. I do it all the time. As if the guests gives two fiddlers fuck what I think of their choice.

"And sir, what will you have this evening?"

He was a thin, bookish looking sort of chap, the sort that has to lie down in a shower to get wet. He stroked his face were normally most people have a chin but where he had only a bump. He wasn't hideously deformed or anything, I'm not that cruel, he just didn't have a chin. Don't people normally have chins? Anyway he was stroking his, "chin" and studying the menu like he was reading The New England Journal of Medicine's latest study into cures for men with no chins.

"I'll have a Kirk Doulas please"

Okay maybe not.

"Yes...I'll....have...a...", this was like pulling teeth.

You'll have a what?

What will you have?

MMMMM?

A chin? Would you like a chin you chinless twat?

".....I'll have the pasta."

Yippee! The pasta. Ten thousand points for you for making a decision. I know I'm a waiter and I'm meant to wait but sometimes I just don't have the patience. All that contem-fucking-plation for pasta.

"Very good sir, the penne pasta. With bread sir?"

"Yes bread would be nice but no penne."

What's this?

"Scuse me?", I turned sharply with my mouth open in full fly catching mode.

"I'll have the pasta but with no penne", confirms the chinless one.

"No penne?"

"No penne please."

Now one has to be careful not to embarrass guests in situations like these. I mean I don't normally correct people who ask for a bottle of Merlot and pronounce the "t" and that sort of thing. It's not conducive to the getting of good tips. But at the same time this guy wasn't exactly a teenager nor did he have the appearance of your average Joe either.

"Ah eh.....eh sir the penne is the pasta."

"Yes that's right. I'll have the pasta without the penne."

Is he taking the pish here?

"No sorry sir the penne is the pasta. We only have penne on this evening. It's the only pasta we do."

"Yes, that's fine...", says he "...I'll have the pasta but with no penne." And he said the last bit nice and slow so that I would understand what he was saying. Yeah because I'm the idiot here!!

I said it again but this time towards his wife, maybe she was the intellectual wing of the table. Alas this was not the case. I got down on my knees beside the chap and using words with only one syllables in them I explained, again, that the pasta was the sodding penne. Penne? Word had lost all meaning by the time I had finished. So I just gave up.

I was back on my feet and had collected the menus and wiping the sweat from my brow calmly said,

"So that's a sea bass and salad for the lady and a penne pasta with bread with no penne for the gentleman." And off I walked, muttering and rueing the day I decided I wanted to become a waiter.

With a tremendously heavy and somewhat saddened heart I rang the order up without making any substitutions or omissions. Twenty or so minutes later I served one sea bass with salad and a pasta dish resplendent with penne (as it's the fucking pasta) and a side of bread.

"There you go madam your sea bass. And sir, your pasta, minus the penne as requested." And I walked away and died a little more.

The worst bit of the story? He loved it, the skinny chinless freak loved it, penne included. You could say the penne never dropped.......

38 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

AHAHAHAHA!
Fab.
I once went into a Burger King in Dodge City and asked for a Whopper with cheese but without the beef.
It took some time to explain.

Manuel said...

Medbh: yeah but at least you knew that the beef was there....! it was a very traumatic incident...

wendy said...

..the penne was there too....

great stuff, Manuel. Makes me wish I wasn't unemployed... I miss the stupid people. Not really...

Manuel said...

wendy: unemployed? sorry bout that......still you could go to your local restaurant and just watch the freaks......!! cheap entertainment

Manuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
savannah said...

wise man, you are, sugar...wise man! sometimes, i seriously wonder wtf people are thinking... xoxoxo

Manuel said...

savannah: thinking, saying.....breathing...!!

daisyfae said...

penne for your thoughts? oh, wait... you've just given them to us...

Tuesday Kid said...

You're a better man than me manuel. I'd have left him scurrying about on the ground trying to gather his teeth up. I hope he tiped you.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

That was beautiful Manuel. What an idiot. That guy's brain must have been where his chin was.

psychoknitter said...

By the way, I actually nominated you for the "humor" category because your stories never fail to make me laugh.

And scratch my head at our wonderful human race.

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

I feel your pain, on Sat I got a phone call for an order of lasagna with no pasta as she doesn't like it? I told her it wasn't possible to get lasagna without pasta(what does she think lasagna is) as it's pre-made to which she replied "oh, so you don't make it yourselves?....... ahhhhhh!

PRyin said...

Fair play to you Manuel, and the chef too. I'd have resorted to violence, but between you both, you realised the penne is mightier than the sword. [Sorry about that.]

Daily Spud said...

Chinless probably also thought that the Emperor was wearing those new clothes, too. Definitely delusional.

JimBob said...

I would have brought the chap an empty plate and a side of bread.

Manuel said...

daisyfae: ha!

tuesday kid: he did or rather his wife did......still I really did want to throttle him......with a chair

steve: ha! yes, it probably was

psychoknitter: cheers!

lorraine: ahhhhhhrrrggghhh! beyond bloody words.....

PRyin: boom boom

spuddie: ha, very good

JimBob: damn man I was tempted.....

Conan Drumm said...

So, as far as he's concerned penne's the Italian for boney-little-fish-things and you left them out of his grub... or their mates on the other table were getting it all on video.

Manuel said...

conan: don't think I didn't consider such a thing....I was looking for jeremy beadle until I remembered he's dead.......poor jeremy.....

Anonymous said...

you are losing your balls Manuel -I would have done one of the 2 things

1. brought out a a few uncooked penne and a little cup with some already made sauce in it and shown the man what he actually was ordering by dropping the penne into the sauce.

2. brought him a bowl of just the pasta sauce WHILE charging him full price for the order

your situation reminds me of folks who want caesar dressing without the anchovies which of course makes it faux caesar dressing which doenst taste right

Manuel said...

anonymous: am I losing my balls......crikey hadn't considered that....that from the guy who goes under the name anonymous......sake......but actually I think you may have a point.....I would have handled this all so very differently as a younger waiter....super crikey...

dave said...

Working in an off-licence years ago, I was once asked for a bottle of Bucks Fizz without the orange juice.

I feel your pain man.

Manuel said...

dave: beyond words man, beyond words...

bendersbetterbrother said...

You really need to start bugging the tables. I'd love to have a transcript of the conversation they had after your visits.

bendersbetterbrother said...

Is he getting penne and capers mixed up?

Manuel said...

bbb: I KNOW! I mean he actually thought I was a mentalist.....FFS.....no I really do think he just wasn't getting that penne is a type of pasta......

red leeroy said...

perfectly penne. And the thing is, I didn't even see it coming.

Manuel said...

red leeroy: neither did I until I hut the big button....ps I'll email you laters.....

Native Minnow said...

You should've just given him a bowl of some sort of sauce. It'd serve the chinless freak right.

Mudflapgypsy said...

I am laughing my ass off!
Fucking magic!!!!!!

Belfast Plate Carrier said...

So another night at the coalface and another happy(ish)Belfast Plate Carrier. That is until literally first table of the night. We do seabass with thai style coconut curry. And noodles. Not with mashed potato. That would be disgusting.


Guess what they ordered.


Sometimes I think they do it on purpose

B said...

"the day I decided I wanted to become a waiter"

That sounds like a potentially interesting story cos from my experience the only things people ever want to be are:
1. On social welfare(went to a primary school in a bad location)
2. Musicians/Directors/Arty Sh!te(basically a roundabout way of saying unemployed)
3. Teachers(the opposite to number 2 in every way, including constant employment)
4. (and if the have very pushy parents) Doctors

...unless you had the idea of a blog about it from day zero.

Manuel said...

b: no it was the day I just gave up on everything else.....

B said...

you wasted a post there!

Manuel said...

b: there's already a post up about how i started.....cant remember what it's called though

Lisa said...

I can't remember the last time anyone's post left me laughing so hard that I had to stop and wipe my eyes and reassure the cats. I was sure you were going to give him only sauce, but bringing the pasta, sans penne, was a master stroke. Too bad about the cork balancing, though

The Sexy Pedestrian said...

"A chin? Would you like a chin you chinless twat?"

I love you.

Manuel said...

lisa and sexy: thanks.......!

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