I’m a nice guy. Ask anyone. I rarely get ugly, and I try to treat people as I would like to be treated.
Until a point, where my face turns pink and I turn into the scarlet Hulk. Reason and logic get scattered to the four winds and the almost insatiable desire to wage war overcomes me. In those moments of incomprehensible rage I imagine myself on a large horse, galloping headlong into the midst of my foe, sword slashing as they flee in fear. Trust me, it’s a great vision.
Fortunately, regarding the first incident I managed to overcome it with humor.
I tried a new place to eat. I had heard good things about it. But as I am prone to believe now, people often won’t be honest about somewhere they’ve eaten. It’s almost as if it is a mortal sin to admit eating at a bad restaurant. Either that or people just LIKE bad food and service. Or there is a conspiracy to make me eat bad food. I don’t know
“How was your dinner at Chez Alpo?” I ask a pleasant woman as she walks toward her car.
“Oh it was wonderful,” she inevitably replies. “The turkey kibbles were delicious and Mark had the beefy feast. It was good wasn’t it Mark?”
“Yes…..delicious,” replies Mark, stepping from the shrubbery, still heaving slightly.
The place was pleasant enough, but not busy at around 1(Clue #1). I was seated immediately, the waitress took my order and I sat quietly awaiting what I expected to be a delightful meal. Great, because I am famished, and my order of blackened scallops with green beans and apple sauce should hit the spot. A few minutes later my food arrives. Even better! It’s quick.
I wish I had taken photos, because I simply cannot describe this adequately. Suffice it to say that scallops should be larger than a dime, they should NOT be cooked to the consistency of my truck tires and they should NOT be swimming in oil, ever. It was a travesty. A single piece of garnish thrown hastily on the other side of the vast plate.
What the hell is it with parsley? Has it become some universal law that you must place a sprig on every plate you serve? It’s a culinary cliché. It’s a calling card for comestible laziness. It’s been done. Whoever is teaching this, please, stop. It doesn’t make slop more interesting. Parsley is the duct tape of bad cooks everywhere, only it doesn’t fix anything.
But that’s fine. I was hungry, I can make it through that. My life in the military prepared me for it.
The wait and kitchen staff stood around the corner apparently discussing pregnancy. Not the glowing part or the wonderful facets of one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. I gathered that one in particular was not happy with the amount of gas she experienced each day. Her friends agreed. Great.
Still. I can make it through. My history in dealing with the public and life in general prepared me for it.
Apparently my waitress was also suffering from some gastrointestinal distress since she snatched my plate from under me before I was half done and I had to almost chase what was left of my gruel down. Not only does my food suck, I have to fight to keep it.
A muttered apology and I was granted a few more minutes in which to eat, accompanied by more discussion of bodily functions.
Still. Reminding myself that this is a new year. I am coping in different ways. I suppress the anger, mutter a few quiet phrases of calming self assurance, and ask my waitress where the corporate office is.
You see, I do a lot of business with restaurants and small businesses. It pays me to know these things. However, I am not involving either Quick Draw or her friend the Flatulent One in my reasoning for asking.
“Ummm,” she says. “I don’t know but if you want to complain you’d probably better do it here.”
Well, okay, though I am not going to. At this point I am just not returning, but I do want to talk to the manager. Hey, I might want to COMPLIMENT the place, you never know.
“No, I don’t want to complain,” I say. “I’d just like to know.”
She offers to go ask the manager who might just know who employs all of them. At this point, it is anyone’s guess.
The waitress returns. “She wants to know what you want.”
Still, I persist and tell her, just because I am not going to be deceptive about it.
“It involves my business and I’d like to speak to whoever makes the decisions here,” I say
Waitress hustles back to the kitchen while I stand bathed in the glare of the Flatulent One. She is not amused.
Waitress returns. “She said she’s not interested,” and turns back to her friend.
Apparently my incredulous look did something as she managed to squeak “Sorry” before turning and completely ignoring me.
I hear the galloping of hooves, the panicked cries of them scattering as I bear down upon them on my mighty steed, my vision dims with blood lust, and then, I realize something. A soothing calm envelops me.
“That’s quite alright,” I say.
But silently I am thinking, that’s okay, because you don’t know who I am
I have a BLOG. And I will write about you.
And besides that and Urbanspoon and a few other social media outlets, what am I going to do? Not much. But I will be honest about my experience, and I will try and save someone else from spending their money wastefully in your establishment. And really I am your worst enemy. I am the one that walks away quietly. But that doesn’t mean my silence will last.