I almost committed murder last night. Or manslaughter. Assault maybe? What would the charge be if I violently attacked a man with a ladle because he wouldn’t shut up and get the hell out of the restaurant 45 minutes after we closed? Could I claim self defense? Or a kamikaze mission if I killed him and myself in order to save the lives of my co-workers? It didn’t matter anyway, because I suffered through this horrible event and today I am a stronger waiter because of it. Bitchier, but stronger.
The place I work has lots of regulars who sit at the bar and talk. And talk. And talk. Some of them have a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth and I would give anything to offer them a bottle of Pepto Bismol. And I don’t require that the bottle have any medicine in it. I just want to cram the bottle down their throat until they can no longer utilize their vocal chords. Is that so wrong? Last night at work was pretty busy, but it died down at just the right time. Fifteen minutes before closing, there was only one table left who was paying their check and they left at exactly closing time. The only people remaining were two regulars sitting at the bar talking about mundane crap that nobody cares about. They don’t even listen to each other; they each wait until there is a pause in conversation so they can take the opportunity to speak endlessly about whatever is floating through their brain at the moment. My sidework was done at five minutes after closing time. I was ready to go, but couldn’t because these two yappity yaps had not paid their bills and the bartender couldn’t close his checks so I could do the paperwork. My blood pressure was climbing as they continued on with their talk, completely unaware that the only reason we were there was because they felt the need to discuss very important things.
“You know what show I liked? What was it called? It had a female comedian in it. It was really good.”
“No. I don’t remember what it was called. Good Grace or Grace Under Pressure?… I loved it.”
Tell me they were not talking about Grace Under Fire which was canceled in 1998. Am I really sitting here twenty minutes after we close so he can try to remember Grace Under fucking Fire that hasn’t even been on television for eighteen fucking years?
“Grace Under Fire, that’s it! What was that woman’s name? Grace something? No, it was a man’s name. Erin? She was really funny.”
I wanted to scream out “Brett Butler, now get the fuck out!” I couldn’t do that though because the owner/manager was there and he seems to be fine with just patiently waiting to go home. The two guys did a Google search to discover her name and then they moved on to their next topic.
“Did you ever see Samantha Who? It had Christina Applegate in it.”
“Really? It was great. It had that lady from Designing Women on it? What was her name? The Southern one? She played Christina Applegate’s mom. You never saw that?”
“It was really funny. It was about…”
He went on to give the entire plot line of a sitcom that was canceled in 2009 as I slowly became covered in cobwebs and my bones turned to dust. I kept looking at them with disbelief. My mind was racing. Are they really that unaware that the only reason we are still here is because of them? Do they know we closed thirty minutes ago? Why won’t the owner kick their asses to the curb? If I puncture my own throat with a pen will I die immediately?
After an explanation of why one of them does not like to listen to Broadway musicals out of context (his favorite is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, in case you were wondering) they finally decided to say good bye. We had been closed for 45 minutes. I raced through the paperwork and punched out. As I walked home, I saw one of the guys ahead of me walking slower than a doped up sloth who just woke up from a nap. Urgency was not a priority for this guy. I passed him on the sidewalk and made my way home. He didn’t notice me as I passed him. He was surely lost in his thoughts about why News Radio wasn’t still on the air and trying to come up with a better ending for Hill Street Blues.
On the off chance that you are the ones I am writing about: No disrespect but please leave after we are closed and by all means please understand that no one gives a shit about Grace Under Fire. Thanks.