How I Got My Limp
Last night was an absolute nightmare. The sous-chef sent an entire truckload of tomatoes back to the supply company because the delivery truck was half an hour late. He kept yelling something about how you had to keep those delivery people in line, or they'd walk all over your ass with new golf shoes.
I'm pretty live and let live, so I don't know too much about that.
But still, the kitchen staff had a hard time putting together salsa without fresh tomatoes. They had to use the leftovers from the last shipment. And that meant that all us waitstaff had to hop double-time to make sure that our guests spent as little time with the free chips and slightly moldy salsa as possible. So needless to say, half way through the Friday dinner rush, I was pretty pooped.
Now, not a lot of people know this, but very late at night, there's sort of a second, minor rush. It happens after all the plays get out and the actors want to grab something at the bar before they go home to sleep or get stoned or whatever. So we had these guys who would come in, they were from the stage version of El Dorado. We're a Mexican restaurant, so they liked to come in their costumes sometimes. Well, last night was one of those nights. We had some freaky-haired natives, who we would graciously allow to break our "shirt required" rule, because they were regulars, and a decent bunch of guys who make good tippers for artists. We had the conquistadors, with their pointy helmets that I've always wanted to try on, but never had the moxy to ask.
The point is this: I was dead tired.
So I'm trying to get the actors to order. They order the same thing every time, but they like to look over the menu, as though they could suddenly change their minds, just to throw me for a loop. The longer they go without ordering, the longer they have to possibly notice the crappy salsa, so I've got to get them stuffed or drunk before they notice enough to complain.
Why not skip to dessert guys? It's Friday...
Mistake. So now I have to wait another twenty mintues while they argue over the dessert menu. The dessert menu sucks. When it comes down to it, there's only one real Mexican dessert: fried ice cream. That and maybe fried bananas, but in North America, fruit's only a dessert if you're on a diet or vegan or something. Luckily, one of them wanted to start the booze fest early, which gave the rest of them the idea to join in. At least now they're not gonna care how much nasty-ass shit is in that salsa. Only problem is now I've got drunk South American natives and conquistadors arguing over dessert choices.
PIE! QUETZALCOATL DEMANDS PIE!
PIE! GOLDEN PIE FOR SPAIN!
Pie. Fine. Pie.
I'm coming out with their stupid "golden pie" and thinking of sweet tip money, and then one of the conquistadors looks up at me and tells me that the salsa tastes like shit. I start to wig a little, but his buddies try to calm him down, tell him he's had too much to drink. But now he starts acting all indignant, and he starts yelling something about the salsa and how bad it is, and I'm looking around to see if my bosses are hearing this when he turns to look at me.
And then, before anyone can stop him, he grabs the salsa dish, and tosses it at me. Just like that. So I jump out of the way because I have, you know, reflexes and stuff, but I can't quite support the tray of pie while doing this, and next thing I know, I'm facing some angry, drunken, lemon maringue-coated conquistadors and some pretty restless natives.
Well, they all jumped me. I'm rolling on the floor with pretend Spaniards scratching my face and throttling my neck, and pretend Peruvians or something scratching my legs. Well, I blacked out, but it was kind of cool, you know. It was like, right before I succumbed to the abuse my body was sustaining, it was like I just stopped feeling anything. Like drugs or something. And I was seeing, like, glowing spots or stars or something, since the one maringued conquistador was smacking his pointy helmet into my skull. Last thing I remember was seeing some purple-wigged native guy trying to twist my foot off at the ankle.
But you know what the weirdest part was? Weirder than the purple-wigged native twisting my foot off. Weirder than the sensory deprivation. Weirder than the lemon meringue-coated conquistadors lacerating my face. This whole time, all I could think about was how I was going to finally fill that one nodeshell. I must be one sad puppy.