Category Archives: gone With the wind

I Served Scarlett O’Hara

Someone must have invented a time machine because Scarlett O’Hara was in my station last week. Or maybe it was major case of reincarnation and Scarlett was simply living in a new body, but the drink that was ordered was definitely from another era. And Scarlett O’Hara had sexual reassignment because the person I served was a man. I approached the table ready to write down Cosmopolitan, Dewars on the rocks, Amstel Lite or some other non-descript drink but I was taken for a loop instead. The man, with his deep voice and manly stubble thought long and hard about his beverage of choice. After a laborious ninety seconds of hemming and hawing, he said, “I’ll just have a mint julep.” I waited for him to crack a smile and say, “Nah, I’m just joshin’ ya, dude. Gimme a beer.” I waited in vain because he was as serious as the civil war. I looked under the table to see if he was wearing a hoop skirt and a petticoat. I looked at my watch to see if we had flash backed to 1861. I saw no confederate soldiers nearby so I knew that it was still New York City in 2011. Who in the fuck orders a mint freakin’ julep at a bar? This ain’t no Kentucky Derby party, Colonel Sanders.

What I said: I’m sorry, we don’t have any fresh mint tonight. What else would you like?

What I thought: Are you for real? I don’t know nuthin‘ ’bout birthin‘ no babies and I sure as hell ain’t gonna bring you mint julep. Those things are nasty anyway, all that bourbon and sugar water? And do you really think we have those silver plated mint julep cups? You’s lucky that your glass ain’t all chipped up. What the fuck other stupid ass drink are you gonna order, Miss Scarlett?

He went into a little tizzy at learning he would have no mint julep that night. He caught the vapors. So I asked his girlfriend what she wanted. (Yeah, I know…he had a girlfriend. Surprised me too.) “I’ll have a Manhattan on the rocks, thanks,” she said assertively. It was Scarlett’s turn again. He twisted his face up and finally came up with his new drink choice. “Give me a Singapore Sling then.” I could practically hear his girlfriend’s eyes rolling to the back of her head as she started to formulate her “It’s not you, it’s me” break-up speech.

A Singapore Sling? Now he think he’s Rita Hayworth? I thought he was about to light up a cigarette, put it in a long black holder and saunter up to the piano to drape himself over it and sing a torch song.

What I said: One Singapore Sling coming right up.
What I thought: You’re a real pussy, aren’t you?

Of course we had to look up the recipe for a Singapore Sling because it hasn’t been made since Rita Hayworth made The Lady From Shanghai in 1947. “It calls for cherry brandy,” said Tom the bartender. “We don’t have cherry brandy.” I responded. “Aww fuck it, just put some regular brandy in it with splash of grenadine and call it a fucking day. She won’t even notice.”

He loved his Singapore Sling. I expected for his second beverage he would ask for a banana daiquiri or a Bahama Mama, but he only ordered a bottled water. “One Singapore Sling is my limit,” he said as he patted his chest. I offered my condolences to his girlfriend via sympathetic smile. As they left, I wondered how Miss O’Hara planned on getting home. The F train wasn’t running that night and the N/R was running local, so it was going to be a long horse and buggy ride back to Tara. Fiddle dee dee. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a fuck.

And for another Gone With the Wind reference, click here.

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The Clean and Melodramatic Lemon

Dirty lemon bitch

It has been said in the past that some of the fruit in restaurants may not be as clean as it should be. Or clean at all. Particularly lemons which come out of the box, onto the cutting board and then into your drink. Those lemons are covered with the fingerprints of every migrant worker from Southern California and beyond. I have written about that before, here. But I want to retract part of that statement and say that sometimes lemons are supremely sterile and sanitized. It does happen, but sometimes it’s an accident.

At my job, we don’t have someone who washes our dishes. We put the glasses in a rack and carry them downstairs to the dishwasher and run them ourselves. Since it’s just a cocktail place, it’s not that big of a deal. I dumped a glass into the rack and saw a lemon wedge fall into the bottom of the rack and assumed that it fell through the cracks and into the bus tub below. When I carried the rack downstairs, I noticed that the lemon wedge was still at the bottom of the rack when I put the glasses in the dishwasher. “Oh well, it’ll fall out in the wash cycle,” I theorized and pressed the start button. A few minutes later when I was unloading the hot, clean glassware, I noticed that the lemon wedge was still there. It had survived the wash cycle and was now the cleanest fruit in the place, with the exception of a couple of performers who are pretty fruity and probably pretty clean. But it was definitely the cleanest lemon in the place. I could have reached down into the rack to pick up the lemon and toss it into the trash can, but I decided to leave it there and started refilling the rack with more dirty glasses. Again, it went through the dishwasher and the lemon persisted. Throughout the night, that damn lemon wedge went through the dishwasher at least seven or eight times and it just kept on hanging’ on. This is what I imagine the lemon wedge to be saying and you should pretend that it is being performed by Meryl Streep ala Sophie’s Choice or Scarlett O’Hara in her big “I’ll never go hungry again” moment in Gone With the Wind:

I am lemon. I was dirty but now I’m clean. Lost, but now I’m found. I shall make up for all my dirty brother and sister lemon wedges and will represent clean drink garnishes for everyone across the land. Every other lemon and lime slice that tonight went into a Cosmo or vodka/tonic was unclean, but I have suffered 182° temperatures, soap, steam, darkness and the fear of the unknown so that someday I can go into a serving of iced tea and not contaminate the side of the glass. I am clean, hear me roar. Take me, oh server, and let me rest inside a Diet Coke so that I can enhance the taste of it while not adding filth and germs. For my uncleanliness has been washed away along with the shame that I carried for being such an unclean lemon wedge. I have been sanitized. I have been sterilized. I have been Jet Dried. As God is my witness, I’ll never be dirty again. (cue: orchestra music.)

At the end of the night I threw that tired soggy ass lemon wedge into the garbage can and dragged the bag of trash to the street.


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