Sometimes, life imitates art. I was reminded of this the other day when Tara and I went out to dinner. We were at Red Lobster, taking advantage of a Facebook coupon that gave us $10 off two Lobster Fest entrees (hurry – this is a limited time offer), when we encountered a character straight out of a Seinfeld episode.
Our waiter was a Low Talker.
You remember the episode, right? Jerry and Elaine are having dinner with Kramer and his new girlfriend Leslie, whom they dub a Low Talker because they can’t understand a word she is saying. Jerry mentions that he is making a guest appearance on The Today Show to promote a benefit for Goodwill, and inadvertently agrees to wear the Puffy Shirt that Leslie has designed. “You can’t wear that,” Elaine says. “You look like the Count of Monte Cristo.” Here’s a clip.
God, I miss Seinfeld. Pure comic brilliance, I tell you.
Anyway. That was our waiter Monday night. He introduced himself and might have talked about the daily specials. Or perhaps he was mentioning the weather, or telling us to kindly go $%#@ ourselves. We couldn’t tell, because we had no idea what the hell he was saying. Just like in the Seinfeld episode, we were all “What?” and “Excuse me?” And also, just like in the Seinfeld episode, we got to a point where we just nodded our heads and agreed with him. “Mmm-hmm,” we said, regardless of the fact that we didn’t have the faintest clue what he was saying or asking or suggesting. Fortunately, our food was delivered correctly, though he did initially overlook applying the coupon.
And then, to make matters worse, there was a lady in the booth across from us who was a character straight out of a Rob Reiner film. Specifically, she was the title character played by Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. The female title character, of course, a real-life version of Sally Albright. Remember how particular Sally was when ordering food in a restaurant? She was notorious for ordering in the most complicated manner possible, and liked things “on the side.” Here’s a clip from that movie.
Hilarious stuff. But fake. Not so on Monday night.
“I want the shrimp,” this lady told the waiter (who fortunately was not the Low Talker; there’s no telling what would have happened if those two worlds had collided). “But I want exactly four ounces, no more and no less. And I want the broccoli, but I also want four ounces. That’s a total of eight ounces. And I would like a salad with ranch dressing, but I want the dressing on the side.”
I kid you not.
The poor, frazzled waiter had to check with his manager to see if this was even possible. He came back and told her the shrimp weighed something like 4.3 ounces before cooking, but would shrink down to 4 ounces by the time it hit the plate. She was apparently satisfied, but if you ask me, I wouldn’t be surprised if the chef hawked a loogie in her clarified butter. There’s picky, and there’s picky verging on ridiculous. This woman was way beyond both. So, after we paid our bill, I told Tara I was going to walk right by her table on the way out and call her Sally. Sure enough, I made a detour, passing by their booth. I looked at her, she looked back, and I said, “Bye, Sally!”
That was immensely gratifying. I have no idea if she made the connection – I high-tailed it out of there right after – but, come on. She had it coming. If you’re that particular about the food you eat, don’t go out. And if you do go out, don’t sit across from me. I am not afraid to call you out on it.
Joie de Vivre, folks.
Nothing To Crow About
Last week I was reading a blog by The Paranormalist – Renae Rude, in which she sang the praises of crows. I replied that I have a love/hate relationship with the creepy black birds, only minus the “love” part. She then challenged me to write about my hatred of crows while she would take the opposite approach and talk about her love for crows.
Don’t get me wrong: there are some crows I can stomach. Like Counting Crows. (But mainly their early stuff, “Omaha” and such, not the Shrek dreck). But the birds? No way. I can’t stand them. Ms. Rude calls them “smart” and “mischievous” and that is precisely what I hate about them! I am creeped out by the idea of a smart bird plotting ways to mischievously take a dump on my just-washed car (or worse, my just-washed hair). Most annoying of all is the fact that crows are loud. And they’re not just loud, they’re loud at inconvenient times, like 5:00 in the morning. Many a time I have been awakened by their godawful caw caw caw caterwauling outside my window. Once, I even sat up, pulled back the curtains, and yelled, “Shut up!!!” at a bunch of crows making a racket, but they didn’t listen to me. Because crows are so smart, I am convinced they are completely aware that they are bothering sleeping humans with their cries, and take great pleasure in doing so. Which makes them smart and mischievous AND ALSO evil. Oh, and I think they’re ugly. Please don’t pull the race card and say it’s a black thing either, because I love ravens. But ravens are not crows. How do I know this? Well, have you ever heard a crow say, “Nevermore?”
Didn’t think so.
(Please note that I like ravens, but not the Baltimore Ravens, because they beat my Denver Broncos in the playoffs last year and can go take a flying $&^# as far as I’m concerned).
Often, I’ll be driving down the road, and will see a crow or two digging into somebody’s discarded fast food bag. This actually happens a lot, which makes me wonder if tossing your not-quite-empty fast food bag out the window when finished, instead of finding a proper trash receptacle, is a “thing.” Who knows. Anyway, whenever I see crows in the road eating cold french fries instead of worms, I always step on the gas and try to swerve and hit ’em. Oh yes, I do. I’ve never been successful – they always fly away at the last possible second – but one of these days, I will be responsible for “a murder of crows.” And I’ll probably feel good about it, too.
In summation: Seinfeld good. Real-life Low Talkers bad. When Harry Met Sally good. Real-life picky-as-hell Sallys bad. Crows: the devil’s spawn.
Feel free to comment on any or all of the above.