“So did you see Saw II yet?” Armando asks.
“No,” I reply, “Did you?”
“Yeah. It was pretty good.”
“Good as the first?”
“Nothing could be as good as the first one,” Armando says.
“Are you guys talking about Saw?” Louis interjects.
“Yeah,” Armando says.
“God, that movie gave me the creeps,” Louis shudders.
“I love when the doc saws off his foot,” I say.
“Yikes! That was gross!” Louis shrieks.
Armando makes a demonic sawing motion with his chef’s knife.
“Oh stop already!” Louis cries.
“Hey Boloni,” Fluvio says, sticking his head in the kitchen, “Stop clowning around. Table 23 needs you.”
“On my way boss,” I reply.
I walk over to the table where an Armani clad Yuppie’s holding court.
“Waiter,” he says holding up his wine glass, “This isn’t Shiraz.”
“It certainly is sir,” I reply, “I poured it myself.”
“It’s Merlot,” he sniffs, “I never drink Merlot.”
“Sir, with all due respect it’s a Shiraz.”
“Nonsense,” Yuppie waves dismissively. “Get me the wine I ordered. Or is that too much for you to handle?”
“Sorry sir.” I take the offending and head towards the back.
“Fucking Sideways Yuppie bastard,” I mutter angrily to myself.
I really did give the guy Shiraz. I pour out a glass of Cabernet. Well, I can’t use the Shiraz now can I?
But before I take the glass to the table I open a secret compartment in my watch and take out a white pill.
“Here you go asshole,” I say, dropping it into the wine, “Plop, Plop, Fizz Fizz.”
I return the wine to Uber Yuppie.
“Here you go sir,” I say, “Enjoy.’
The man takes a sip. “Now that’s what I wanted,” he says.
“Have a lovely evening sir”, I say, with a slight trace of menace.
“Don’t ever try and pawn Merlot off on me again,” Uber Yuppie says.
“I wouldn’t dream of it sir………….”
FOUR HOURS LATER
Uber Yuppie groans. Lying on a filthy tile floor, his expensive suit rumpled and torn, he begins to regain consciousness.
“What the hell?” he moans, his eyes adjusting to the light cast by a naked 120 watt bulb hanging overhead, “Where am I?”
The man looks around. There’s nothing in the room but a steaming plate of risotto, a glass of wine, and a hacksaw.
“Mmmm,” the man says licking his lips, “Risotto.”
Uber Yuppie crawls towards the delicious pile of Arborio rice. But he can’t make it. His foot’s chained to the wall – the food just out of reach.
“What the hell?” he says pulling on the chain.
Suddenly a demonic voice fills the room.
“WELCOME,” the voice says.
“Where am I?” Uber Yuppie sniffles.
“WHERE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM.”
“Oh god,” Uber Yuppies whines.
“LETS PLAY A LITTLE GAME,” the voice says.
“What kind of game?” the Yuppie asks.
“IN FRONT OF YOU IS A PLATE OF PORCINI RISOTTO WITH SHAVED WHITE TRUFFLES PREPARED BY MARIO BATALI
“Mmmm,” the Yuppie says licking his lips, “Molto Mario.”
“AND A FINE GLASS OF RED WINE.”
“Must have. Must…..” Yuppie pants.
“IT’S ALL YOURS IF YOU CAN REACH IT,” the voice says
“But I’m chained to the wall.”
“DO YOU SEE THE SAW?
“You can’t be serious!” the man shouts.
“WHAT WILL YOU DO?” the disembodied voice thunders.
The man shakes uncontrollably –the full horror of the situation dawning on him.
“Oh god no…..”
“WHAT WILL YOU DO?” the voice repeats.
The man just whimpers.
Turning off the voice scrambler I turn to my fellow employees gathered outside the “playroom.”
“Ok,” I say, “I got a hundred he saws it off in less than twenty minutes.”
“Twenty minutes?” Louis says incredulously, “The last guy waited an hour before he cut it off.”
“Yeah, but that was for Bourdain’s hanger steak.” I say.
“Remember when the guy ate his own foot instead of eating anything from Ruby Foo’s?” Fluvio says.
“That was a mistake,” I said, “I wanted to use a better place. But Boulud didn’t want to play that night.”
“Remember when we used Ducasse’s scallops?” Louis says.
“Man, that guy sawed off his foot in five minutes,” Fluvio says.
“He was desperate,” I say, remembering.
“We got to get Keller in on this.” Louis says.
“I heard he’s a sick bastard,” I say.
“He’s perfect.” Louis says.
“Hey, Batali volunteered,” Fluvio says.
“Good old Mario,” I say, “He was a little too eager don’t you think?”
“Who cares?” Louis says.
Suddenly we hear the unmistakable sound of steel sawing through bone.
Louis looks at his watch. “Damn, less than two minutes!”
“Looks like we have a new winner,” I say.
I peer through the spy hole. The Yuppie’s devouring the risotto. Since he doesn’t have any utensils it’s quite a mess.
“TRY THE WINE,” my electronically scrambled voice orders.
“Mmmm yes. Some wine,” the Yuppie slobbers.
“DRINK MY PASTY YUPPIE FRIEND DRINK!”
The man takes a swig. His face screws up in disgust. “What’s this?” he asks.
“BOONE”S FARM MERLOT!” my voice thunders.
“Merlot!” the man screams. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
“God, I love this part,” I whisper.
“You’re horrible!” the man cries.
I turn away from the spy hole. “Well Mario’s dish did it in less than two minutes,” I say. “That’ll be hard to beat.”
“We still have to convince Vongerichten to play,” Fluvio says.
“Oh he will.” I say. “Don’t worry.”
“Did you get it all on tape?” Louis asks.
“Got it,” I say, patting the video camera.
“Do you think the Food Network will air it?” Fluvio says.
“This will blow ‘Iron Chef’ out of the water,” I say.
“You’re an evil genius Waiter,” Fluvio says.
Popping the tape out of the video recorder I put it on a shelf next to twenty others.
“That I am.”
“So what we gonna do with him?” Louis says, nodding at the door.
“Same as all the others,” Fluvio says.
There’s silence for a moment.
“Meat sauce!” we all say simultaneously. After a good laugh we go back to work.
I know. I’m a sick bastard,
The lesson here?
Don’t fuck with your waiter.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to call the Food Network people.