Now you know I loves me some old people, because I am practically one myself, but some old people are able to crawl right up my asshole and stay there until they have chewed the last nerve off of my prostate and that is exactly what happened last week at work. (You can click here if you want to come see my show and hear a whole song about how I feel about old people…) I have some regulars who come in every couple of weeks. They seem to have been married for decades and decades and they are really old. Like, it would not surprise me to learn that he proposed by hitting her over the head with a club and then dragging her by the hair back to a hole in the ground. Their wedding photo is probably on the wall of a cave somewhere and they registered at Bed, Bath and Brontosaurus. They are old.
Every time they come in, they ask for bread as soon as they drop their creaky asses onto the chair. They always tell me they don’t need bread plates and refuse to let me put them on the table. The thing is though, they do need bread plates. They are the messiest eaters I have ever seen and if my boss would let me tie bibs around their neck, I would. I’d tie them tight too, like asphyxiation tight. But no bread plates for them and I watch them eat the bread like a couple of cartoon beavers chopping down tress for a dam, crumbs flying in all directions and landing everywhere except their mouths. When they leave, it usually looks like a sawmill just took a dump on the floor. This time, I was ready for them. I had the bread basket and two plates ready when they made their way, very slowly, to the table. I placed the bread in front of them and the woman said, “Take that away so we don’t eat it.” It’s almost like she said she didn’t want it just so she would have something to complain about.
They always need everything with no salt and no oil or butter but every time I place the food, the first thing they ask for is a salt shaker. One time she complained that the sautéed spinach was dry and had no flavor. Ummm, there’s no salt, oil or butter, lady. If there is no such thing as Shaken Old People Syndrome, I am about to create it. The two fossils order food to share which is fine with me, but when the man orders a decaf and I see both of them drinking it and asking for refills, I want to put an ear worm in his hearing aid. And, yes, for the third time, it is decaf.
The woman drinks so much water that I have to fill her glass every time I walk by the table. It’s like she’s a camel stocking up for a three-day trip through the Sahara desert on her way to an oasis full of non-salted spinach and oil-free food. In her attempt to be helpful, she hands me the glass each time rather than let me pour the water as it sits on the table. It’s sweet of her, but the glass is covered in grease and crumbs. It’s slippery and I don’t know where the oil is coming from since I didn’t serve her any. I can only assume that she secretes some type of old-people juice that comes from her fingers and ends up on her glass, consequently getting on me. I don’t need your old-people juice, ma’am.
When they are finished, the floor is a blanket of food with at least one fork, spoon or knife. The table is covered in sauces, balled up napkins, crumbs and the occasional toothpick. They always tell me they are in a hurry for the check, but based on how slowly they move, they do not know the meaning of the word “hurry.” Besides that, I can’t imagine what they could possibly be in a hurry for. Trying to outrun the grim reaper? My money’s on the reaper. The tip is always about 12%.
“We’ll see you next time,” they say.
“Only if your cataracts slow down, “ I think.
I smile. I am never anything but kind to them and I save my true thoughts for this blog. Off they go, into the night, back to their home that is probably a sea of leftover bread crusts and used hearing aid batteries.
“Have a good night,” I say. “See you next time.”