Another Little Restaurant Story
aprés bike ride.
and I are sitting
at a window table at
The Dead Fish
in Crockett, enjoying a plate of deep-fried olives and a stunning view
of the Carquinez Straits below. I like The Dead Fish: in spite of the
grisly moniker, it's a fun little restaurant. It manages to be elegant
without pretension ... trendy without lapsing into weird or gimmicky
... true to its crab-house origins, without forgetting that *some* of
us don't eat stuff that used to swim (or float, or paddle, or scuttle
along the ocean floor).
it's dark in here.
Nobody can see my big Spandexed butt.
waiter has been hovering over our table like a hyperactive hummingbird
for the past forty minutes: refilling our mint water, bringing us extra
bread, asking us endless questions about today's bike ride (twenty
miles around the fog-shrouded swamps of Grizzly Island). Ordinarily I
don't like overly attentive waitpersons -- I find them more annoying
than insects in my arugula -- but this waiter has a pleasant
fresh-scrubbed demeanor and an appealing Boy Scout sensibility. If we
were in TicTac, I would probably be trying to give him my daughter's
phone number, right about now.
we're launching into
our entrees, we see him scurrying towards our table, carrying a small
bottle of something in his hand.
this," he says cheerfully,
handing David what appears to be Tabasco sauce. "It's hot, like your
I swivel around
in my chair and gape at the little waiter. 'It's
hot, like your bitch' ... ??
What the hell kind of thing is THAT
to say to a couple of middle-aged paying customers?? Mind you: I don't
mind being referred to as David's 'bitch.' I realize that it's probably
meant as a compliment. (Frankly, I find it a whole lot less offensive
than 'Ma'am.') I'm just stunned to hear this sort of language
out of the mouth of our sweet little choirboy waiter. It's like going
home for Christmas dinner and having your grandmother call you 'Dog.'
the waiter seems
completely oblivious to any offense. He's standing there, beaming
beatifically at us both, waiting for our reaction. For that matter,
David doesn't seem to be at all surprised or offended by the remark:
he's holding the bottle of hot sauce in his hand, peering intently at
the list of ingredients on the label.
he says. "This
looks very interesting." And he obligingly unscrews the cap and
sprinkles a few drops on top of his Crab Melt.
am flabbergasted. What
kind of world is this, where a waiter can suddenly break character this
way and your husband doesn't so much as BLINK?
Feeling vaguely disturbed, I reach for the bottle of hot sauce. The
label features a cartoon of a buxom motorcycle babe, draping herself
seductively over the handles of her Harley.
label reads "Hot
Biker Bitch Sauce."
think I'll try some
of that," I say. And smiling sweetly at our nice little waiter, I tap a
couple of drops into my tureen of Tuscan Bean Soup. next