At work the other night a true honest to goodness legend graced my presence and I am completely humbled. As I started to light the candles and get the ice out, my co-worker told me that the original Mrs. Lovett/Mame/Jessica Fletcher/Bedknob and Broomsticker, Angela Lansbury was coming in. Ah, a customer! My immediate response was to get some flowers, maybe daisies to brighten up the room. Don’t you think some flowers, pretty daisies, might relive the gloom? But then I decided that we would just lower the lights so that the candle wax on the carpet wasn’t so easily seen. I simply could not believe that someone of that stature would be breathing the same air as I do. Now ordinarily, I don’t give a flip about celebrities (case in point, here), but this lady is kinda amazing. She has been on Broadway fourteen times, has five Tony Awards®, three Oscar nominations, eighteen Emmy nominations and six Golden Globes. Not everyone can claim that. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, that is some major shit. As we got ready for the shift, we couldn’t help but wonder which station she would be in. We were both a little scared, neither one prepared, but we were going to do our best to serve this elegant grand dame of a lady. We could pool our resources, by joining forces but it was going to end up that only one if us would get to be her server.
At last the moment arrived. I was standing at table 19 taking the order for six gay guys when they all simultaneously had the wind knocked out of them when Angela floated by on a cloud made of holiness, graciousness and Actor’s Equity cards. A hush fell over the crowd as they tried to comprehend what amazingness they were witnessing. I see crowds, I hear yells, there’s a parade in town. The room broke out into applause and Ms. Lansbury simply smiled and bowed her head and then gestured to the stage as if to say save it for the performer they came to see. Cool lady, that Angela. She did not sit in my station which was probably for the best. The last time I served a big time Tony Award® winner, my hand shook as I handed the non-alcoholic martini to Joanna Gleason. Besides, I could potentially obsess on Angela and end up telling her “try and you’re gonna see how you’re gonna not at all get away from me.”
After the show was over she was one of the first people out. Wait, what’s your rush, what’s your hurry? Did she need a stronger hand? Did I give enough, did I give too much? But before I knew it, she was gone. Like a vision. All that was left was her empty Pelligrino bottle. I have it now. At last, my right arm is complete again.
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