It’s one o’clock and I’m covering a lunch shift for a sick waiter. The Bistro’s empty.
As I’m gazing out the front window, carefully evaluating the spandex covered derriere of a passing jogger babe, the front door chimes. Damn, always when I’m busy.
I walk over to the door. Two attractive middle aged women stand in the foyer.
“Hello ladies,” I say, “Two for lunch?”
“Are you open?” one of the women, a bleached blonde, asks.
“We are Madam.”
“Really?” the woman says, peeking inside. “It doesn’t look like you’re open.”
“We’re really open,” I reply with a winning smile.
“If you say so.”
I motion the ladies inside.
“Pardon me,” Bleach Blonde asks, “But do you work here?”
I’m wearing a starched shirt and a freshly knotted tie. My pressed trousers have a razor crease, my shoes gleam with polish, and an apron’s cinched around my waist. I’m showered and clean shaven. A table crumber and several pens are poking out of my shirt pocket.
“No madam,” I reply playfully, “I like to hang out in strange restaurants and pretend I’m a waiter.”
“Huh?” Bleach Blonde says. She’d look confused if her face could manage it. But she can’t. Too much Botox.
“They only let me play a waiter on TV,” I say, winking.
“I don’t get it,” she says.
Poor baby. You probably never will.
“Just kidding Madam,” I reassure her, “I work here.”
I seat the ladies at a table.
“Can you ask our waiter to get us two 7&7’s?” Bleach Blonde asks.
“Of course Madam.”
Bleach Blonde just stares at me. She’s had one too many benzodiazepines today.
When I return with the drinks the ladies are deep in conversation. The topic? The subject of affluent lunching ladies everywhere – divorce.
“So how does he expect her to live on $150,000 a year?” Bleach Blonde asks.
“I don’t know,” her companion, a bejeweled brunette, answers.
“It wasn’t a fair settlement.”
“And he left her for his secretary,” Bejeweled says, “How original.”
“Yeah, but did you meet her?” Bleach Blonde asks, “She’s got a kick ass body.”
“So do we,” Bejeweled says.
“But she’s fifteen years younger.”
At this point I do a cursory examination in order to ascertain the veracity of Bejeweled’s claim to kick assed bodiness. She’s not wrong. Both ladies are in better shape than a lot of women their age. But, then again, they don’t have jobs.
“Ladies,” I say, gently interrupting, “Do you know what you’d like to order?”
The ladies predictably order two chicken Caesar salads.
“Dressing on the side,” Bleach Blonde says, “And no croutons.”
“And please bring us two more drinks,” Bejeweled asks, clinking the ice in her empty glass.
“Right away Madam.”
The ladies spend the next two hours picking at their salads, prattling about their personal trainers, yoga instructors, preschools, and interior decorators while getting pleasantly and totally smashed. Yawn.
“Would you ladies like some desserts?” I ask as their half eaten entrees are cleared.
“Oh!” Bejeweled exclaims looking at her watch, “I’ve got to pick up Tyler.”
“Is it that time already?” Bleach Blonde says tightly.
“Yeah, we’ve got to go. I was late yesterday.”
“Check please,” Bleach Blonde asks, “I can’t be late either.”
Of course, these ladies are talking about picking up their little darlings from school.
I run the check. The ladies pay and run out the door. As they pile into a cab I send up a prayer of thanksgiving they’re not driving.
I go over to the table and pick up the bill holder. The tip’s lousy. But I knew it would be. Lunching ladies are terrible tippers. It’s one of the reasons I seldom work lunch.
As I ring in my lousy gratuity I remind myself that I’ll never marry a lunching lady type. And no, I don’t care how “kick ass” her body is.
She’d probably bore me to tears.