Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Thee Tenors...

Before I describe to you the events of last Thursday evening you need to understand that the "Thee" from the title is the Belfast pronunciation of the number three. So for example if you were asking a person to count to three he or she would say, "Wan, two, thee", wan obviously being the number one. It's a delightful dialect and in no way like a chainsaw through the head. Here endeth the lesson in how til speak Norn Iron like.....mate.

It was late on Thursday evening and I was all pooped out, that is to say I was done in, tired, exhausted. I would hate to give you the impression that I had been enduring under a heavy case of the Eartha Kitts, because I wasn't. I am still in full control of that region and touch wood, fingers crossed for sometime to come yet. That said I was feeling rather shitty. The Snow Patrol crowd, who had filled all my seats with their jeaned bottoms earlier, is an unforgiving crowd and a lot less bed wetty than you might have expected. They had me run ragged chasing cars and getting them chocolate. And beer, lots and lots of beer. Well you would wouldn't you.

But as I say it was now late and order and balance had returned throughout my 100 seater universe. There was little left to do and I was clearing the many bits of paper, corks, bottle tops and half sucked aniseed balls from my pockets in preparation for going home. I was thinking about the big bowl of chicken and chickpea curry that I would soon be shoving down my pie hole with disgusting haste. I dribbled a bit. But I was snapped out of my curry-licious musing by what can only be called a kerfuffle at the door.

In fell three chaps, literally fell at that. Whilst the wee one picked himself up off the floor the tall one opened up with, "Aw reet der mate. Are table ready en er wah?"

Balls, fuck, shit and Sandler I had forgotten about these delightful chaps. They had arrived earlier and as I didn't like the cut of their jib or their complete lack of a neck I gave them the old run around telling them we were full and that would have to come back later, much later. Off they popped and I was sure that by now they would either be deep inside an alcohol induced coma or just inside, a jail. But bugger me they were back. Don't you just hate it when well thought out plans come back and bite you on the ass?

"Ah yes......right....eh", as you can tell I was all over this situation.

"We'll jus sit over der", grunted the tallest and loudest of the three men.

"Oh no you won't", replied the oldest and grumpiest of the waiters, that is to say me. I quickly had to make this sound less combative than it came out as the tall one was quick to detect the less than welcoming tone in my voice and was staring at me with a head smashing look in his eyes. Crikey.

I directed them to a table much closer to the bar where I could keep an eye on them and where the phone is should I need to call in the long and coffee addled arm of the management. These chaps were quite squiffy and I wasn't sure if I should get them the bottle of Ree-oh-jah (Rioja) or not. I also thought that correcting them on their pronunciation of this decent bottle of Spanish red would be wasted and probably leave me lying on the ground with claret pumping from my lovely head.

They were loud and boisterous and fidgety and more importantly they were doing my head in. They looked at their menus for what seemed like ages but when I went ot get their order it was like they had been reading something else entirely.

"I'll hawve a burger mate. Youse do chicken burgers aye?"

"No, no we don't do chicken burgers, mate." Now for some reason I had decided to throw caution to the wind and inject some cheek/sarcasm into my responses. Why I was playing fast and loose with my mortal existence is beyond me. I am too young to die. Whilst they were being sort of jovial at that moment I had a very ominous feeling it could change at anytime.

"OOOOh..", says chicken burger man, "....we don't do chicken burgers.....too good for chicken burgers." Actually he did a good impression of me.

"Fuck up you, just let the fella do his jab...", said the tall one and I assume the leader of this trio, "...give us the duck mate with chaps and spuds and vegetables. Reet? Thee ducks?"

Ah balls. Oh how I was lamenting the recent decision to remove duck from the menu.

"Nay duck? Fuck me wha...Jaysus Christ....nay fucking duck....you wanna get some duck mate, ever have duck?", there then followed a five minute interlude as they discussed the fun times they have all enjoyed eating duck. Sweet suffering mother of Gordon Ramsay my curry was disappearing into the distance.

And on it went. They would stare at the menu, think, for a bit and then select something we don't do. I had to peek at one of their menus just to make sure they had the right ones. In the end they/I ordered thee differing meals for them as they requested and another bottle of Ree-oh-jah. Five minutes after they ordered their food they started with the,

"Ere mate is are dinner ready yet wha? Fuckin starving til death ere you know."

It was a blessed relief when the food finally did arrive. They were silent for about two minutes as they set about their plates like men just rescued off a mountain. But then again I suppose you do gain an appetite when you have been beering all day.

I stood with my mouth open watching them eat from the relative safety of the bar. Food, fluids, both bodily and other, and wine was sloshing around the table like it was a medieval feast. It was as entrancing as it was hideous. There was food on the table and food on the floor and food on their sleeves and food on their faces. No wonder they were hungry when so little manages to make it down their pie holes. As expected the burp chorus took place the moment they dropped their cutlery. Parp, parp, parp went the three bon vivants. Only the tall one managed to clear his plate, probably why he grew up so big, strong and have the ability to burp louder than your average hippopotamus.

Irish coffees were next up and as I served them they began with the "singing". Oh my. Now, normally I wouldn't be standing for such palaver but like I say they were the only table left and they were all much much bigger than me, even the wee one.

I was treated to a truly truly awful version of Maggie May by Rod Stewart, "Wake up Maggie I think I've got something to show you", they all grabbed their crotches. Nice. Then there was Sam Cooke's, "Twistin' the Night Away", which was bastardized to become "Fistin, fistin, fistin the night away". My desire to make it stop was in sharp contrast with my desire not to die without having gazed one last time upon my Little Miss Manuel.

The Thee Tenors carried on until the tall one called a halt to the proceedings, by punching his chums on the side of their fat heads. He wanted a star solo role. Adopting a sombre mask and with the other two quiet, for the first time, maybe ever, he began to sing, "Workingman's Blues" by Bob Dylan. He did it justice too. Oh so very odd, ironic too as i'm sure he has never done a full days work in his life.

The Thee Tenors left a wee while later having tipped like......having tipped like men with an unusual form of income that is probably best left unquestioned. All the class has gone from this job, seriously...

27 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

Best not poke the drunk dudes lest they turn violent.
The fisting medley would have been like red rag to the bull for me.
Yack.

Manuel said...

medbh I hear ya......that's when it stopped being funny and I wanted them gone....ruined that song for me now too......hideous fucks....

wendy said...

...there was class to that job to begin with? meh

Manuel said...

wendy: hell yeah......i ooze it....

silverstar98121 said...

Charming chaps. Good thing they didn't foist that on a female waiter chum. But then, she might have got away with fisting them. On the nose.

Manuel said...

silverstar: too true...i've worked with a few in the past who would have taken them apart for that alone...

sassysundry said...

I'm laughing too hard to comment.

haaaahaaaahaaa.

Oh Maggie.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Sounds like a trio from Pirates of the Caribean. Odd fellows indeed. Sometimes when you get a table like that and it is your last table I feel like paying them to leave so I can go home.

MJ said...

Would The Thee Tenors understand me if I said "Póg Mo Thóin"?

Native Minnow said...

I don't know how you do it. I could never tolerate drunken dickwads who think a restaurant is a karaoke bar. Or do you work at a karoake bar?

bwahahahaha

Jimmy Bastard said...

Aye.. and I'm sending them back every Friday neet until we agree on my usual protection fee.

Le Nord said...

Poor Manuel

Conan Drumm said...

Belfast Joe Pescis? Cash payers? Working in 'security' perhaps?

Manuel said...

sassy: you shoulda been there......!

steve: ahahahaha.....steve I was heading that way...but they tipped so well I would have no hesitation in doing it again......

mj: oh they would have understood......and probably acted upon it

minnow: that just hurts me.......

jimmy: no!!!

le nord: not as poor as you'd think....they did tip well...very well

conan: more sales than security......if you know what I mean......[taps nose]

Jill said...

Thee feet high and rising? Did they sing that?

Manuel said...

Jill: you are once twice thee times a lady....!

Michelle said...

I don't even know what to say! So funny! I can't even imagine...glad they tipped well!

Manuel said...

michelle: it's the old quandary......do you want nice guests who are a joy to serve and stiff you on the tip or total douchebags who leave you a fortune......the answer is number two obviously...! what ya gonna do......!

Old Knudsen said...

Thee? I don't know it must be a fenian/Irish thing or ting, something to think or tink about.

I know they change all 'o's box becomes bax, shop/shap and top/tap.

Then in Ballymena: What do the farmers have after sex? their dinner.

Manuel said...

old k: and then there's the whole crips thing.....cris....a packet of cris please mate....

problemchildbride said...

Makes you wonder why people like these three tip so much. Is it becauuse they can and they're just being flash? Is it because they want to in some sort of strange atonement for their ill-gotten gains way? Is it because they knew that it wasn't really on, fisting the night away like that, and the large tip was by way of apology to you? Or is it because they have to to prove themselves? Or mabybe their maths is just shit and they can't calculate 15-20%.

Killer said...

your empressions are very good!!!

Pickyknitter said...

I took an order from an Irish client once. He said the address was on "Turd street". Pardon? I said. "Turd street!" Pardon? I said, now feeling like an idiot. "Turd street! First, Second, Turd!!!!" Ohhhhh, I said. Now I can fake an Irish accent as long as I warm up by saying Turd Street a few times.

ellie said...

not to forget fordy as in fordy thee.

Manuel said...

sam: the tall one made a big deal out paying the bill......I think he thought that I thought that they were gonna do a runner...I was thinking that thought....so when he paid the bill he was acting the big fella......cash everywhere...

killer: yes, yes they are...

pickyknitter: ha! quality....

ellie: read that as fortee..as in "for to"

aoife mc said...

Fistin'! Jayyysus. Hilarious.

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