It's funny. I didn't realise how white trash the clientele at restaurant #1 was -- until summer hit.
Out come the wife-beaters, the Tevas, short shorts, old-looking pink dresses with Birkenstocks, and so-on. One guy who I've seen dressed conservatively in colder times, showed up yesterday wearing a long tank top over short-shorts. He's mild looking, thin and pale with hair neatly cut and glasses, and....with a fanny pack. Pouch forward. The fanny was cinched tight around his waist -- and just like that -- his tank top metamorphosized into a mini-skirt.
This man drank a glass of red wine in the afternoon with his wife while they ate a delicious buffet lunch. I chatted briefly with them about unemployment and how it sucks. He said he was in sound editing, so he was used to it. She wasn't used to it, but seemed to be riding on his confidence (which seemed high to me. He was wearing a skirt) Later that day he came back with a buddy who had a beard, mirrored sunglasses, and apparently a day off midweek (probably also not working). They drank five Molson Canadians each, and smoked about twelve cigarettes. He did not smoke with his wife, nor did he ask for an ashtray, which was the first thing he asked me on his second visit.
I also served another tank top. This salmon-coloured garment was almost to the guy's knees and he was about six-four or five -- big tank. It looked well used. The fabric over the shoulders had dwindled, and he really only had thin spaghetti straps left. Parts of the back and bottom were frayed. He had on some shiny kind of warm up pants that tapered down so that his ankles seemed to be swelling, and he had a kind of slipper-shoe on that I've never really seen before and find impossible to describe. His hair was long and extremely frizzy and he'd managed to fit one clump into a small ponytail. His posture was extraordinarily erect and he reeked of B.O. He was about 32 years old. He also challenged me several times.
He asked for a drink, then paused and asked if there were free refills. I said no. Then he turned back to the veal in the steam tray. "Would you like a drink then?" I asked. He shot around, fast: "I would have told you if I wanted one. Okay? I'm good like that. Okay? Okay?" He wouldn't leave again until I said okay. It felt weird to acknowledge that he was indeed: Good Like That.
He told me he used to be a waiter, but he only tipped me forty-three cents. I asked him what he did now, and eighth-jokingly he said he'd been demoted to busboy. His wallet was an old, stained envelope.
I also served a guy with no shirt and no teeth. My initial suspicions about him as a customer were confirmed when he stiffed me on the bill. He only ordered one Corona, and then decided not to pay when it turned out to be $4.87. This 35-40 year old man was screaming at me in the restaurant about his rights. "Don't I have any rights as a citizen?! Are you telling me I don't have a right to have a Corona at three dollars like it is anywhere else in Toronto?!!!" Well first of all no. And it's not three dollars anywhere else, and if $1.87 is going to encite a political standoff, you should just ask how much it is before you fucking drink it. All I wanted then was his five. I couldn't wait. Even after he told us that his father was the new "premier of Toronto" and that the restaurant would be shut down by the government before Saturday, I refused to give in. People like this don't even deserve five dollars.
Anyway, he got out, because of a miscommunication between me and the head of the kitchen who was standing there -- he managed to confuse us long enough that we let him slip back outside.
When things like this happen, I kind of feel sad for all the great people in the world.Posted by King at Junio 13, 2002 02:13 AM