Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dinner with Dory

I met 14 people from about 5 countries, checked out the Day of the Dead exhibition at the Bath House museum, and had a completely bizarre dinner that I fear very likely ended with a fired waitress. It's been a busy day.

I'll elaborate on the first two in subsequent posts. Dinner is just too crazy to pass over. Anyone remember Dory, the forgetful Regal Blue Tang from Finding Nemo?

So three of us beeline to a beautiful wooden deck to sit under a tree we're very fond of at a local bar. The night is beautiful and we're starving, very much looking forward to the amazing goat cheese and artichoke pizza that lured us there.

Our giddy waitress is thrilled to find out all we want is three sodas and two identical pizzas.

"Oh, thank you for being so easy!" she says.

She returns and has gotten one of the drinks wrong, but who cares? Soda is soda. We're fine.
Then she comes back with a pizza in each hand...

One of the pizzas slides half off the dish onto the table as she lowers the plate, oozing boiling hot cheese onto my friend's lap. So our waitress casually grabs the fallen, melted slices with her bare hands and slides them off the dirty outdoor table back onto the plate, gingerly piling the cheese back on.

We're laughing of course, shocked but still in a good mood. She asks if we need anything else. She's kidding, right?

Trying to hide my shock and laugh a bit less, I suggest we need another pizza. Her response was hysterically ridiculous.

"Well, it's up to you if you want another one. It's the plates. I mean this is, like, the third or fourth one I drop today. But it's up to you."

I request, still smiling and giggling a bit, that we really needed a clean pizza. She leaves, doesn't take the fallen, mangled pizza, and returns with plates, napkins, and a few other outrageous requests that we made.

As she stands swaying with three more drinks in hand--our refills apparently, though we're not even half done with what we have in front of us and she got one entirely wrong--she's spilling all over the floor. I try to point this out, but realize she's not really hearing me.

Drinks distributed, she stands before us smiling and asks, "Can I get you anything else?"

Clearly she didn't think we were serious about sanitary eating conditions, so I remind her of the pizza. It was as though she were hearing the request for the first time. She asks with a big smile if we want another. It's up to us.

"Well, a replacement pizza, yes, please."

By now we're thinking "just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

My companions suggest she's brand new or having a bad day. I've come to the conclusion that our waitress is high.

She returns to ask if we want our pizza to go.

Uh... what? No, not at all. We're still eating the first un-dropped pizza, having our drinks, and confused by her question.

Away she goes, and we're graced by the presence of a new and normal waiter who pops in to clarify whether or not we want our pizza to go. She's managed to confuse the kitchen as well!

We explode laughing and tell him our story, wondering all the while what is going on with our odd server. He shrugs, apologizes, and goes to find our pizza.

When he comes back with our food, we're still laughing and speculating whether telling her our drinks are wrong won't have her slurping off our straws to determine which is which.

"Please," I say to her replacement. "You can't leave us wondering like this. What is up with our waitress? We don't want to get her in trouble, but we feel like we've landed on Mars."

He laughs, looks around to make sure no one is listening to him, and replies, "I think she's hammered."

In the end, the manager decides on her own to wave our bill. We left a fat tip for the sober waiter and got a good laugh. I'm just glad it wasn't a client dinner!


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