“Over-easy sunny-up hard-scrambled soft-scrambled omlette boiled poached. How. Do. You. Want. Them?”
I’m eating corned beef hash for breakfast in a diner in Hell’s Kitchen. My server is angry with me – either because I’m English or because I don’t know how to order eggs, but probably both. I thought “fried, please” was good enough but apparently that makes me a smartass and if anyone around here is a smartass it’s me, honey
You know how some people are destined to do a certain job but all the concentration camps are closed now, and if you can’t do the thing you love why the hell should anyone else have a good time? She’d wiped my table in a way that said “you could totally have just done this yourself, asshole” and set my OJ down on the table with a jolt that made it go not quite everywhere but certainly most places. Some people wake up on the wrong side of bed, I think my server woke up on the wrong side of the law.
It feels as though some time in the past she was transported from a parallel dimension – maybe one where she’d been employed softening catchers mitt leather with her teeth – only to discover that in this universe she was a diner hostess. Where most people would panic or find Jesus, she’d just rolled her eyes, picked up a rag and got on with the job.
There’s a feeling of dread that you’re not supposed to get when asking for more coffee. It’s similar to the one when you realise there’s probably a keyboard shortcut that posts your most recently closed browser tab to facebook. I’m starting to wonder if there’s a chef back there, or if maybe she just glares at the raw food until it fixes itself the fuck up.
There’s this place out in the midwest where the staff insult you from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. It’s part of the gimmick – you’re supposed to play along: “I’ll take the large fries, asshole”, or maybe “I hope your grandmother dies in a house fire before the AIDS kills her, you mouth-breathing whore, and I’ll take the ribeye please”. This is not that place. There is no game to be played here.
I figured this out mostly because everyone else – the hobo in the corner, the guy who yelled because he’d been waiting 20 minutes to order, the woman who changed her order twice – is getting the all-star treatment.
Maybe it’s racism – but against what, the English? Come on.