Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to get your waitresses' attention (and make her move REALLY fast)

I’m sure it’s happened to every parent: You screw up the courage to take your kid(s) to a restaurant. You somehow make it through the ordering and dicey waiting-for-the-food-to-arrive period. Your kids (sort of) eat what they’ve been served, and just when you’re feeling like you dodged a bullet, the wait staff disappears at the end of your meal.

The seconds tick by and your newly-recharged children seem to be gaining strength by the second. Any moment now, you expect one of them to screech loudly then jump out of his chair and run wildly through the restaurant.

You feel powerless. You look anxiously around, but your server is nowhere to be seen.

Finally, he or she usually shows up right about the time your beloved child spills an entire glass of water onto the floor, or rips open six packs of sugar at once sending a shower of sweetener flying across two tables (not that I’ve ever had *that* happen).

:::whistles and looks up at ceiling::

Well, today I discovered the surefire way to get out of a restaurant quickly.

It was lunchtime. I picked Loaf up from school and had an hour and a half before Peanut was released. Feeling adventurous (and being utterly starving) I decided to take her to a local diner.

Once inside, the waitress handed her a cup of crayons and she spent the first several minutes happily coloring while I perused the menu. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and side salad, figuring we could split them between us.

While we waited for the food to show up, Loaf and I happily filled the back of her placemat with butterflies, flowers and letters.

The food came quickly and we dove in. Her grilled cheese had a healthy side of fries, so I squirted a small mound of ketchup on her plate. I started eating the salad.

Not three minutes passed when she leaned her head against my arm and whined, “my tummy feels funny.”

I stopped chewing and looked at her.

Oh no way. I thought. No freakin’ way. Not now.

Not really wanting to ask, but knowing I had to, I whispered to her, “Are you going to throw up?”

She shook her head “no” vigorously, but covered her mouth with her hand. I’ve seen this maneuver before – about 30 seconds before she spewed vomit all over me, the couch, and two-thirds of the living room floor.

Panic took over.

I spied our waitress at the far end of the counter, leaning lazily against the end of it and chatting with another server.

“Um Miss,” I called, raising my hand like a kid in elementary school.

She slowly walked toward us. And I mean S-L-O-W-L-Y. Like a friggen’ three-toed sloth probably would have beaten her there.

“Everything OK?” she asked, though given the bored expression on her face, it was clear she really could not care less whether things were OK or not.

“I need to take this all to go,” I said. “She just told me she’s not feeling well.” I motioned toward Loaf and then followed the waitresses’ eyes as she slowly took in the scene.

Unfinished food.

Small child with her hands clasped firmly over mouth. Eyes as big as saucers. A little green around the gills.

Then, it was like an alarm went off in her brain.

“OH!” she said in alarm.

She turned on her heel and was gone in a flash. She returned not five seconds later with the printed check, two takeout containers, a plastic bag and a man who I think was the manager. Her first order of business was to shove the plastic bag at Loaf’s face.

I didn’t get why she was handing it to her at first, but then it dawned on me.

Ahhhhh. Barf bag. Smart.

They both quickly began dumping our uneaten lunch unceremoniously into the containers. She slapped the check on the table and the manager asked, “Do you need help getting her coat on? Do you need help getting out to the car?”

He might as well have just come right out and asked, “Can you please get the fuck out of my restaurant RIGHT NOW.”

And I don’t blame him. A small child tossing her cookies in the middle of the lunch hour is not exactly a boon to business. In addition to the gross factor, it probably gets people thinking, “did the food here do that to her?”

But still. This was just plain funny. Not a minute ago this woman was moving like molasses dripping down an icicle and now she was apparently attempting to win “world’s fastest server award.”

I quickly paid and Loaf obediently walked out the door with her barf bag firmly held under her nose. The whole exit occurred in less than five minutes.

Now, the whole situation was nerve-wracking, and I’m eternally grateful that Loaf didn’t puke (not at the restaurant and not later either), but I came away with a newfound knowledge: you actually aren’t powerless in these situations. Just unleash the power of the possible puke and poof! You’ll be in the car and on the way home in minutes.



Blogger Kate said...

Puke and poof! ha ha ha ha ha!
That cracked me up.

Glad Loaf is ok.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I wouldn't eat in that restaurant again. Is she okay now?

3:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

A diner. Syracuse, Indiana. Girl threw up, right in the booth. (Fortunately, tile floor, wipe-down seats). We can never go back.

You're smarter than I am, though. I am totally going to use that maneuver! So funny.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

This is hilarious! Motivation indeed.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Remember though that barf in the diner is so much better than barf in the car. You can never get that smell out!! ;)

5:40 PM  

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