Imagine, if you will, a house of horrors filled with the most unthinkable things imaginable. (Okay, that was a total oxymoron, because if you can imagine them, then they are thinkable, but whatever.) No matter what your mind can conjour, nothing can be as frightening as my restaurant has been to me of late. It is Halloween and time for evil to come out of the shadows and sit in our sections so they can leave coupons and Jesus pamphlets as tips. (Click here for blood-curdling scream.) Evil is a thing we servers know all too well. Horrifying is also too familiar for us and if you have ever picked up a ketchup bottle filled with bubbles, you know that at any moment it can look like a crime scene when that ketchup bottle explodes all over the damn place. But last week, I saw the most disturbing thing I have ever had to see in my restaurant. I shudder to think about it.
It was a dark and stormy night and at one of my tables was a sweet little 4-year old girl with blond hair and blues eyes. She looked like a little kewpie doll that someone would win at Coney Island after successfully tossing a ping pong ball into a vase. She looked like the perfect little angel. Beside her was her little brother, not yet one, who was in his baby carrier, his eyes full of wonder and innocence. They looked like the height of sibling love. More than once, I saw her caressing his tiny pale face in a loving manner or kissing his fat little cheeks. Oh, the love that she showed him was enough to melt my bitter enlarged heart, but lurking underneath that sweet facade was evil, I tell you, pure evil.
As their parents ate their meals of grilled salmon and pan-seared cod, I saw this delicate child begin to pick her nose in a very disturbing manner. It was if she was digging for something that she had to retrieve or else that thing would burrow further into the recesses of her skull. With such determination this girl prodded her own nose, her finger going further than I would have thought humanly possible, desperate to pull something out. I stood nearby, mesmerized at her intensity. I wanted to turn away from the sight, but it seemed that she had cast a spell upon me that required me to watch her every move. I felt hypnotized by this evil, satan-child. Was she a witch?
At long last, she found her reward. She slowly removed her finger from her nose and as she did, a grin slinked across her face and settled on her lips. She looked at her finger tip and on it was the biggest, scariest, spine-chilling booger I have ever had the displeasure of laying eyes on. She studied that booger with joy and pride, but what I saw her do next will haunt my dreams forever and give me nightmares from this day on.
With her thumb, she rolled that booger over and over and over again until it was perfect little ball. I expected her to drop it onto the floor, never to be seen again as it fell into the cracks of the hardwood floor, but this demon child had other ideas. Again, I tried to walk away from the sight, but I found my legs were heavy and my feet were nailed to the floor. I had no choice but to watch what she did next. All the demons of hell flew into this girl’s hand as she moved it slowly, ever so slowly, towards her little brother. Her blue eyes glanced at her parents and then flicked in my direction, but she cared not that anyone saw what she was planning to do. Her finger inched closer and closer to the boy who loved his sister and had no idea that he was wasting that love on a monster. The booger, stuck to to the tip of her tiny finger, was now an inch away from this innocent boy’s mouth. With a quick movement, more deft than a ghost slipping through a wall to avoid being seen, I watched as she stuck her finger into his mouth and fed that booger to her little brother. Not knowing any difference, the boy willingly licked her finger clean and smiled at his evil sister. The little girl smiled back and touched his cheek in a way that could be seen as either a loving gesture or one that was meant wipe booger and saliva off her finger. She then carried on with her mac and cheese as if nothing had ever happened. Pure evil incarnate, this child was.
It is Halloween and I can only hope that you do not witness anything so hair-raising as what I have just described. There is evil in the air today. Beware of ghosts, witches, goblins, monsters and especially little blond girls with blue eyes, for they are truly the scariest thing to walk this earth.