Monday, March 19, 2012

Delay at the Diner

You're so hungry when you enter the diner, the aroma of burnt grease almost seems appetizing. Watch the hostess scowl at your group's size and then demonstrate her apathy by seating you next to the swinging kitchen doors. The only time she cracks a smile is when she announces your server will be right with you....because she knows that's not going to happen anytime soon. Lady Gaga will have designed and worn new attire from all of the remaining food groups before anyone utilizing a pad and pen makes an appearance at your table.

Once seated, nearly poke the person next to you in the eye with the cumbersome menu. Wonder if the size of the menu is inversely proportionate to the quality of the food. Swap stories about who at the table is the hungriest, with each person offering reasons such as skipping lunch and/or ingesting only a single cornflake all day.

Ask a friend what she's going to get. Announce you will try something new because you always order the same thing every time you go to a diner. One entree looks enticing........if they will let you alter the preparation of two main ingredients, serve the sauce on the side, and substitute the salad bar instead of cooked carrots. 

Take a sip of the complimentary water and try to ignore its metallic aftertaste. Glance up at the TV screen above the lunch counter on the opposite side of the room.  Lady Gaga is performing in a new green bean mini skirt and french onion hoop earrings. Debate whether the chicken in your new entree should be grilled or breaded.

Catch your reflection in the chrome napkin box. The woman at the make-up counter was wrong. You are not an Autumn. You look more like that rogue week in early October when you're overanxious to wear a chunky sweater, but the temperature and humidity spike back up to 80, causing blotchy skin and frizzy hair to ensue. Vow to never again allow yourself to be viewed under vintage 1960's flickering light fixtures.

Another friend passes his smartphone to share the debut of a new Lady Gaga video featuring a rigatoni sundress with whole grain spaghetti straps and parmesan cheese wedge shoes. Announce with great finality you will order your adventurous new entree grilled.

Everyone at your table is now sighing in exasperation and craning their necks around to search for a server.  Your group remains invisible to wait staff. A friend gives you a questioning look. You had not realized you'd been idly building an intricate tower of sugar packets. A competent-looking waitress walks right past your table and takes orders at the one next to you, although that party was seated after yours.

After three more songs play on the kitschy jukebox, your group's collective stomach growls finally attract the attention of a young waiter. He holds up his iPod and asks if everyone would like to see Lady Gaga performing live in a new wicked awesome bikini comprised of Frosted Pop-Tarts strung together with strawberry licorice whips. He offers to fetch the drinks first and give you guys a few more minutes to decide on your orders. "No!" you all respond in famished unison. He takes out his notepad but seems to have misplaced his pen. He'll be right back.

When he eventually returns, order the same thing you always get.

Actual Time Spent Waiting to Order: 23 minutes
Real Feel:  forever + 1 day
Chance Lady Gaga Might Ever Wear a Pop-Tarts Ensemble:  50-50
Are Pop-Tarts a Legitimate Food Group?: Yes, it says "baked with real fruit" right on the box.

What's the longest you've ever had to wait for service at a diner or restaurant? How did you handle it?

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