Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day Meal Massacre

The following story is told at the behest of Zinger, who I think still has nightmares about this particular Valentine's Day . . . I doubt my paltry words can do justice to the horror (or the hilarity) of this particular Valentine's Day excursion.

One year back in the Stillwater days Zinger, Pooh, Coronela, and I headed over to a restaurant in the neighboring town of Perkins for dinner on Valentine's Day; if I recall correctly, Pooh had heard good things about it from someone in one of her accounting classes, so we decided to give it a try. And thus began one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life.

Things started out fine; the restaurant wasn't even close to being full and we got seated fairly quickly, albeit without any menus. Things started to go downhill once our waitress arrived at the table and informed us that there was a very limited menu that evening, consisting of steak and . . . well, steak. We all thought it was strange, but didn't question her too much; after all, who doesn't love steak . . . plus, she quickly struck as the type of person whose head might implode if she had to conjure up an actual thought. So, after having her repeat the limited menu (which she read off of a very worn looking post-it note), we gave her our orders and visited with each other while we waited for our food to arrive.

And waited.

And waited.

And finished off our drinks.

And waited.

And waited.

And watched as other people around us were served meals which most definitely were not steak.

And waited.

And waited.

And wondered if our waitress had fled the country.

And waited.

And waited.

And saw the long-missing waitress just standing in the kitchen when one of her more industrious co-workers happened to open the door.

And waited.

Finally, our waitress appeared, bearing our unusually-restricted-selection orders; we questioned her about why others around were eating non-steak items, and she looked at us like we were speaking a foreign tongue. She then went off to get us some refills, and we started to dig in to our meal. It was at this point that Pooh discovered that her steak was cold. If we had been in a movie, there would have been a big "dun-dun-DUN!" musical cue as lightning flashed in the background. For you see, out of all of my many, many outspoken friends, there is none quite as prepared to rip off your head and punt it into the sewer if she feels she's been mistreated or cheated as Pooh, as many a hotel clerk, contractor, city official, and other unfortunate incompetants can attest.

So, we all sat there, waiting for the waitress to return with our drinks and demonstrate if she had even the barest glimmer of a survival instinct. When she eventually came back, Pooh informed her of the chilly nature of her food; the waitress looked at her quizzically for a second, trying to translate the news into something her brain could comprehend, and then grabbed the plate and headed back to the kitchen saying "I'll go nuke it for you."

Unsurprisingly, the idea of microwaving the steak until it was warm went over like a lead balloon, but we were all too stunned at the prospect to say anything before she had disappeared back into the kitchen. Pooh declared she would not be eating it if it had just been nuked, and we began to postulate about what else could possible go wrong with the evening. Zinger made a crack which struck me as particularly funny (something about how with the way our luck was going the restaurant wouldn't accept cash, check, or credit card, instead forcing us to pay in beads from Argentina) which was unfortunate, as he had made the crack just as I took a drink, causing me to spew Coke all over poor Coronela. Luckily for all involved, when the waitress returned it was obvious someone had saved her from herself, for Pooh was not presented with a microwaved slab of meat.

The capper to the evening came as we were exiting the restaurant; Coronela was walking out first, head turned towards the rest of us, so she never saw the huge sandwich-board blocking her path until after her collision with it brought her to the ground. Now, you must understand that, by this point in the evening, having suffered through the inept ministrations of our waitress (who, I'm pretty sure, got a pretty lousy tip that evening) we were in that giddy state of mind where even the smallest thing can prompt gales of laughter; watching Coronela's tumble nearly brought the rest of us to the ground as well.

Schadenfreude: it's not just for Germans anymore.

Meal-wise, it was one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had; entertainment-wise, think it ranks up there as one of the top 10 "laughed so hard my sides hurt" experiences I've had.

1 comments:

coronela said...

Thanks for allowing me to relive this experience. I'm going to lie on the floor in the fetal position now...