I work at a restaurant from time to time. It’s actually a reasonably nice one. I wait tables. This is what you do when you are trying to "make it." It’s an old cliché I feel comfortable fulfilling.

Fun group at a restaurant table
Polite, well-behaved, generous tippers. The table that only exists in movies.
It’s also the most lucrative job I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a career job before. But lucky for me, a lot of my standup goes into waiting tables. I have little taglines I deploy in certain situations. I make conversation about anything from weather to boating (the restaurant’s on a lake so a lot of patrons arrive via boat) and about how awful the president is.

People, who own boats, excluding those residing in Hyannis Port or something, generally aren’t Obama supporters. Little do my costumers know, I’m a left-wing-atheist-socialist. But that’s okay, they make overtly racist statements about our president, I do my best Rush Limbaugh impression, and they tip me 25%. I can live with that. On top of that, there is no better job for an aspiring performer to have. You have to feed and entertain a group of strangers for an hour or so and your pay is determined by their satisfaction with your entertainment. So it’s a good gig and great practice.

That all being said:

  • Please stop dipping every food item you purchase in ranch. You don’t need it. Why do you want your $24 steak to taste like buttermilk salad dressing? If you were concerned you wouldn’t meet your daily caloric intake with only an appetizer platter, a pound of fries, and a cheeseburger we bring you on a pallet jack, don’t sweat it, you crossed that finish line after the first gulp of milkshake. So easy with the dip.
  • "How spicy is the _____?" is not a question I know how to answer. I don’t know, like how many BTUs does it yield? Or shall I answer your question with a question? "Well madam, have you ever poured boiling coffee from a pot directly on your face? Well take that and turn it down about 80 degrees then try some Tabasco sauce and tell me how spicy it is because I don’t know how to answer your exclusively subjective question."
  • I know you would really like me to refill your kid’s Coke but I think the 4th put him down. He’s rolling around the floor in a diabetic coma with his eyes drifting into the back of his head. Why don’t we switch to water, or maybe a morphine drip… oh, you need more ranch?
  • And finally, I’m tired of people making powerful assertions about what we carry. "Yeah I’ll have a Mr. Pibb and my daughter will have a Mountain Dew: Code Red with no ice." Wow, really? Not, "Excuse me, do you have Dr. Pepper, I know it’s a stretch." I’ve lived on planet Earth for almost…ten years now, and there is no way you can be that confident in your acquisition of the rarest soft drinks in the world. No one carries Mr. Pibb or Mountain Dew but this is always followed by the inevitable, "Well I got it the last time I was here." I want to tell them, "Oh you got it the last time you were here? Let me open up the secret soft drink ice locker and grab you some from the owner’s collection! First off, no, you didn’t have it the last time you were here because we, along with the rest of the world, have never ever carried either of these. Second, we don’t and will never carry Mountain Dew: Code Red because it tastes like embalming fluid and Kool-Aid concentrate, and because there is a colon in the title. It’s soda, not a Batman sequel."
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But beyond that, it’s easy enough work.