Last night, apparently, was bring an idiot out to dinner night. I didn't get the memo, but I sure did wait on the idiots. Since my mouth tends to spout off snappy sarcasm in response to obvious instances of moronic thinking, waiting on a string of idiots can get me fired.
Last night, I had three in a row.
1. I walked up to a table, greeted them, offered them tea or Coke to drink and the woman looked at me and said, "Something smells good! Whatcha cooking?" I admit I stared at her for about ten seconds of silence, trying to think of something I could say that wouldn't sound like I was accusing her of being ... well, an idiot. I mean, seriously? We're a restaurant. With one of the largest menus in the business. Whatever she's smelling could be any one of 120 items or a combination of several. I finally patted her menu and said, "Take your pick. We cook them all." She said, "It smells like chicken." I nodded wisely. "Then it probably is chicken." She nodded back. "Probably so."
2. My next table was no better. The woman looked at me and said, "I can tip you very well." She winked like we were in on some sort of conspiracy together and leaned closer. "I'll tip you well if you'll do something for me." I politely inquired as to the nature of her request and she said, "I really want the Sunday chicken. If you get that for me, I'll take good care of you." I blinked at her for a second and said in my most reasonable voice, "But ma'am, it's Wednesday." She nodded. "I know. But I want the Sunday chicken special." I nodded right back. "Oh, I'm sure you do. But, you see, it isn't Sunday. It's Wednesday. All the money in the world can't change that."
3. The very next table, the man ordered a meatloaf dinner. I always bring ketchup to the table when I serve meatloaf because I was raised by a man who drowns everything on his plate in ketchup, especially meatloaf. I placed everything on the table and asked if they needed anything else. The man said, "Yeah. Can I get some tomato sauce to put on top of this meatloaf?" I pointed to the bottle of ketchup. "I brought you some ketchup, sir." He glanced at the bottle (labeled "Kraft TOMATO Ketchup" and said, "But I want something made out of tomatoes."
It took me several seconds of rapidly rejecting every single response that flew into my head before I could calmly say, "Yes, sir. Ketchup is made from tomatoes." And then I walked away as fast as I could because it's generally considered very rude to laugh yourself silly at the customer's expense while he can still hear you doing it.