January 20, 2003
Another Little Restaurant Story

ytd: 72.12

Saturday afternoon, aprés bike ride.

David 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).

Plus it's dark in here. Nobody can see my big Spandexed butt.

Our attentive little 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.

As we're launching into our entrees, we see him scurrying towards our table, carrying a small bottle of something in his hand. 

"Try this," he says cheerfully, handing David what appears to be Tabasco sauce. "It's hot, like your bitch."

Say WHUT????

Shocked, 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 coming 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.'

But 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.

"Wow," he says. "This looks very interesting." And he obligingly unscrews the cap and sprinkles a few drops on top of his Crab Melt.

I 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.

The label reads "Hot Biker Bitch Sauce."


"I 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. 

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

come to think of it ... i wonder if he's single?