Years ago, I worked as a waitress at a local chain Steakhouse (the
worst). It was Easter Sunday, and the last day of my two-week notice
before I left for my current serving job (a dream come true, by the
way…). I got sat at the table farthest from the kitchen… a family
of four, but the size of a family of eight, if you catch my drift.
Naturally, they all order sweet tea and coke, not that I am the least
surprised. And I don’t even flinch when I’m refilling their drinks for
the third time before they even order. But this… ohhh this…
Nothing could have prepared me for this.
The oldest child, who was about 12 and was closely approaching his
father in size, orders his (adult) meal. He also orders himself a side
salad. I ask, “what dressing would you like on your salad?” (Lemmie
guess. Ranch?) He answers: “ALL I WANT on my salad is: RANCH,
CROUTONS, BACON, and CHEESE.” In my head, I’m thinking, “Jesus,
they’re going to let him eat that way, I guess.”
And then… in chimes his mother…
“He don’t want no lettuce.”
This isn’t real. This can’t be happening.
So I repeat it back. I heard correctly. This kid wants his “salad”
completely devoid of nutrition entirely, and his mother wants to make
sure I understood what he meant.
So I pull a bowl from the chiller, and create a “bed” of croutons, and
cringing all the while, I mound bacon bits atop the crouton hill. On
top of that, I glob the Ranch/mortar over the already colorless bowl
of heart-attack. I then sprinkle thick shreds of cheddar cheese over
this monstrosity, and carry it to the table (after making sure
everyone saw what was about to be devoured by a young child).
On the verge of gagging, I set it in front of his ravenous eyes, and
walk away as soon as the fork hits the bowl.
As I return to refill the teas for the 6th time, I notice the younger
brother, about 7, is having a little tantrum. His mother asks, “Well
what do you want?!?!? The food is almost ready!!” To which the kid
“I DON’T KNOW, SOME BACON OR SOMETHING!!”
Of course I had one of those moments where I saw myself from the
outside, standing there with the big, dark pitcher of tea, in front of
this family that eats bacon for an appetizer, and I imagined how
wonderful my new job would be.