Part of the fun of figuring out who I want to be for the next decade is spending a year working in different industries: real estate, restaurant, editorial and bakery. Those are the choices I have narrowed the infinite possibilities down to. Currently, I am working in a restaurant to see if owning one is really what I want to invest my money, life and sanity in to. Apart from a few grumpy customers that couldn’t be satisfied with a free meal, happy ending and new car; it’s been an eye-opening and positive experience that leaves “restaurateur” in the possibilities column. Until yesterday. The day a famous scene from The Exorcist was reenacted in the section next to mine. Clueless kids, suck ass Mom, a puke fountain that rivaled Old Faithful and a captive horrified audience. Oh, and one spinning head accompanied by an “are you fucking kidding me” look (that was me).
They waddled in the door and two servers let out a “oh nooooo” in unison and suddenly all servers were quickly gesturing the index finger to nose universal sign of “not it” over to the hostess. I joined in- preferring to watch and learn rather than be a co-star in whatever epic dinner shenanigans this family had a reputation for. Mom, Boy and Girl squeeze into a booth. Every one gets a Diet Coke and they order hot rolls and a basket of fried mushrooms. Our mushrooms are the size of a tennis ball and I am not even exaggerating a little. They start out as giant mushrooms then are coated in gooey batter (which doubles their size) and then deep-fried. Fifteen of them are served in a basket bigger than my right ass cheek. I shit you not. They also order a platter of french fries covered in melted cheese and bacon which is served with a cup ( as in 1 measured cup) of ranch dressing. They devour every scrap, go through 3 refills of carbonated sugary goodness each and two more rounds of yeast rolls. In the midst of the feeding frenzy, there are now scraps of everything on and under the table. The server is horrified at her future in cleaning up the growing mess and the rest of us are pretty certain we will be entertained for the rest of the evening. And certain we will be losing a co-worker tonight. Bets are placed on if she walks before or after the check is paid. Dinner has not yet been delivered to the table.
We are all baffled as we watch the server wrestle their tray of food over to the table. They all have chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese smothered in white cream gravy. Surely they are going to ask for to go boxes because not even that dude on Man VS. Food could down all of those appetizers AND a plate of southern fried everything bad for you! Our small portion of CFS is about 4″x6″ and 3″ thick. Most men can’t finish it. They did not order the smalls…they have ordered the large portion which is 8″x10″. Three of them. What comes next fascinates, horrifies and scars us all for life at once. The Boy starts crying but since he is facing away from us- we can ‘t see why. The server is facing us and she drops her tray and stares at the Boy because she can see what is about to happen. He heaves, sucks in air and then pukes up a cocktail of mushrooms, ranch, bacon fries, Diet Coke, rolls and chicken friend steak. All over the table, the floor, and their food. We synchronize speed walk to the other side of the restaurant so we can get a better view. We are all staring in shock and awe. The Mom tells the server that she would like her sons food free since he threw up on it . Server says, “yeah, um, let me get my Manager” then quickly shoots us all an under cover bird and goes to download a bitch attack on the Manager and informs the entire place that no way in hell is she cleaning THAT up. Could this possibly get worse? Yes. It can.
The Girl continues to eat her french fries from a plate that has just been barfed on which nearly sets off a human wave of 5 waiters spewing. I look at that kid like she is growing another head and Jeebus just walked through the door to which she reacts to by telling her Mom , “that lady over there is looking at me funny”. No, I’m not looking at you “funny”, I am looking at you like I am trying to choke back my lunch and Venti Cafe Mocha I just had and because the waiter to my right has such violent stomach gurgles that I am pretty certain we are about to see an impromptu version of The Alien happen right before our eyes. I can’t handle seeing, smelling or thinking about puke because it makes me want to puke and this is the worst case of public pukeathon I have ever witnessed. Someone stuff a mop in that kids head already. They get up and get ready to leave and have not even tried to clean up the deep-fried rainbow they slaughtered on the table. Really people? You’re going to leave that there so all of us and the other people eating can look at it and smell it? You’re not even going to try to bury it under a napkin of shame or Haz Mat suit? I have that same WTF face frozen and the Girl announces to every one that I am looking at her. Again. She’d look too if she just saw someone eat a puked up french fry that was just floating in a pool of chunky bile and cream gravy. Mom looks at me and starts to say something but is interrupted by an urgent, “Mom, I have to poop now. NOW!” The server says, “Don’t. You. Dare.” and squarely stares at the Mom and burns a hole of bad Karma wishes into the back of her head as they leave the restaurant.