"Good evening", the matire d' said.
"Table for four?"
"Yes, thank you".
"Smoking or non"?
"Would you prefer to dine
indoors or outdoors this evening"?
"I guess indoors would be
"Very well, Sir", he
said. "Would you like to be seated in the main dining room, the enclosed patio
or our lovely solarium"?
"Uh, let me see ... uh
"I can give you a table
with a lovely view in our lovely solarium".
"I think the solarium would
be lovely", I said. We followed him there.
"Now, would you prefer a
view overlooking the golf course, the sunset on the lake or the majestic mountains to the
recommend", I said. Let him make a decision for a change, I thought. He
sat us by a window facing the golf course, the lake or the mountains. I couldn't
tell which because it was dark outside. Then a young man, better dressed and better
looking than any of us, presented himself at our table. "Good evening, my name
is Paul, and I'll be your waiter this evening. Would you like a few minutes before I
take your order"?
"No", I said, "I
am just a meat and potato guy, so I'll have the filed mignon and baked potato".
"Soup or Salad"?
"We have a mixed-green
salad, hearts of palm or a very fine endive salad with baby shrimp".
Just a mixed-green salad,
"Whatever you say, Sir,
I didn't want to make another
decision. "Whatever you've got will be fine".
We have creamy Italian, Bleu
Cheese, Vinaigrette, Thousand island, honey Dijon, Ranch......
"Just bring me one.
"Creamy Italian is our
house specialty. Would that be all right, Sir"?
"Yeah", I was curt.
I was done with civility.
"And your baked
I knew it was coming.
"I just want a baked potato dry, you understand? I don't want anything on
"No butter? No sour
"No! Don't you understand
English?", I shouted. "I don't want anything on it. Just bring me a baked
potato and a steak".
"Would you prefer the six-,
eight-, or 12-ounce steak, sir"?
"Would you like that rare,
medium, medium well or well done? Or, if you prefer, we can butterfly it for
"Pauly Boy", I said,
"You are really starting to get me steamed".
"Which brings up the
vegetables, Sir, Would you like steamed broccoli, creamed corn, saut'eed zucchini, diced
"That did it. I threw
my napkin on the floor, stood up, put my face Right in his arrogant kisser and said,
"How'd you like to settle this outside"?
"Fine with me, Sir.
Would you prefer the parking lot, the side alley or the street in front of the
"I prefer right here",
I said, and sucker-punched him.
He ducked, then encountered with
a left hook right under my eye. It was the First time all night he hadn't offered me
a selection. I collapsed, semiconscious, into my chair, as someone in authority
rushed over an berated Pauly. I felt my tie being loosened, my collar unbuttoned,
hands slapping my face. When I regained my senses, I saw the very concerned matire
d' right in front of my nose. He apologized and offered to buy me a drink, call the
paramedics -- whatever I wanted.
"No, no", I said.
I'll be all right. Just bring me the glass of water".
"Yes, Sir, right
away", he said. "Would you prefer imported mineral water, sparkling water
or club soda with a twist of lime"?