Source Municipal Redux

“Hello and welcome,” I say to my new two top. “Would either of you care for a cocktail?”

“I think we’ll just start off with some water,” the husband, a bald man in a open collared silk shirt, replies. “Maybe we’ll have wine with dinner.”

“Very good sir,” I reply. “Might I interest you in a bottle of Pellegrino or Panna this evening?”

“You don’t have Perrier do you?”

“I’m afraid not,” I say. “But we do have good old Source Municipal.”

“What’s Source Municipal?” the man’s wife asks.

“The waiter’s being funny, Alice,” the man replies. “He’s talking about tap water.”

“Oh that’s cute!’ the wife says. “Source Municipal! You make it sound like it comes from France.”

“Thanks madam.”

“Some tap water will be fine waiter,” the man says.

“Very good, sir.”

I get a busboy to deliver the water, tell the couple the specials, serve them, and hustle them out the door in under sixty minutes. I shouldn’t have been so eager to turn and burn, however. The couple that slides into the newly vacated seats are regulars – regular assholes that is. The moment their asses hit the seats their heads start swiveling Exorcist like on their necks – looking for me.

“Waiter!” the husband, a silver haired, imperious looking fellow barks. “Where’s our bread? Where’s our dipping oil?”

“Good evening sir,” I reply. “Nice to see you.”

“Never mind that,” the man’s wife, an over the hill harridan snaps. “We want our bread right away,”

“Yes madam.”

“And make sure the bread’s fresh,” she says. “It was stale last time.”

“Yes madam.”

“Tell us the specials,” the silver haired man orders.

As I rattle of the specials I look at the couple in front of me. I’ve waited on them several times. They’re older rich people laboring under the delusion that their wealth somehow makes them important. The man always looks smug while his wife’s face is a perpetually botoxified grimace. They’re miserable, vexing people. Every waiter in the restaurant hates them.

“Okay,” the man says after I finish my recitation. “Now get our bread.”

“Yes, sir.”

I walk away from the table. Before I can tell a busboy to bring bread to Silver Hair and his wife, one of my other customers signals me over. A soda needs refilling. I grab the empty glass, refill it with Diet Coke, and return it to the thirsty customer. To my surprise, I notice Silver Hair is now by the front desk talking to the owner. Neither man looks happy.

“What was that about?” I ask the owner when Silver Hair sits down.

“He’s upset you didn’t bring him bread and oil right away.”

“He got here two minutes ago.” I exclaim. “I have other customers!”

“It’s nothing you’re doing wrong,” the owner says. “That guy’s always been difficult.”

“Probably been that way all his life.”

“Probably. “

“Must be tough going through life that – feeling so self important.”

“Don’t worry,” the owner says, chuckling. “He didn’t get away with anything. His wife is pure penance.”

“I believe it.”

“Just get his bread before he comes over and bugs me again.”

“You got it.”

I skip going through the bus boy and bring my cranky table their bread and accouterments. Thinking he got me in trouble, Silver Hair has a shit eating grin on his face. I want to plunge my table crumber into his right eye. Nah, that would really get me in trouble.

“Your bread, sir.”

“You forgot something,” Silver Hair says.


“The water! Where’s our water?”

“What kind of water would you like?” I reply. “Pellegrino, Panna…?”

“Just tap water,” the wife barks. “With lemon.”

“Two glasses of Source Municipal,” I acknowledge. “Right away.”

“Source Municipal?” the wife asks. “What’s that?”

“It’s tap water madam,” I say. “And, as a bonus, it already has a dose of Prozac in it.”

The couple stares at me open mouthed.

“Just what are you saying?” Silver Hair asks, aghast.

“Didn’t you hear about all the drugs they found in the water supply, sir?” I ask. “It was in all the papers.”

“There’s Prozac in the water?” the wife asks.

“Plus Tylenol, estrogen, and anti anxiety compounds,” I reply. “It seems our reservoirs are veritable pharmacies.” (Of course you’d have to drink eight million glasses of water to come close to getting a dose of anything – but these idiots don’t need to know that.)

“I thought you were being funny there,” Silver Hair says.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, sir.”

“And we’ll have a bottle of Panna instead of tap,” Silver Hair says.

“Very good, sir. Right away, sir.”

As I depart the table to get the expensive H20 I smile to myself. For all their money and delusions my arrogant couple are easily offended and manipulated sheep. Bahhhhhh.

Me? I’m still drinking tap water. I need the Prozac.

25 thoughts on “Source Municipal Redux”

  1. Diana says:

    I found your blog today, while reading “Precarious”, which I found while reading Timothy Archibald’s blog. This post is so relatable for me! You’re a very good writer, keep posting!

    Diana Rothery

  2. BethanytheMartian says:

    I love your last line, man. So do I- so do we all, I think.

  3. Aphros says:

    Honey, we ALL need more Source Municipal!

    I just love your observations and subtle manipulation … it’s sheer genius.

  4. Greg says:

    Oh, Nice One!! Former waiter here who now does the restaurant’s functions and doesn’t have to deal with the public dining room much.

    Have always loved your blog, but lost track of it for a while last year and just rediscovered you today. Guess I got some catching up to do.

    Can’t wait to read the book–I already know it will be brilliant. I’ll buy a second copy and leave it in the wait station!

  5. Theo says:

    So true…I’ve been a waitress for about 5 years at this restaurant and there are one or two couples that regularly come and do their best to be assholes, I swear! The worst, though, are the big tables that come in, order appetizers, salads, bread, and a few pizzas (which we normally serve as appetizers too), get soda and water, yet always seem to want everything yesterday. You know he type…like i come out with 7 salad dishes and 2 bread baskets and you ask me where your water is? Do I *look* like a fucking octopus? Honestly, I’d like to see them handle 6 tables on a busy saturday night.

  6. maggie25stl says:

    I can’t believe you get away with that! I don’t have the guts and I know I’d be fired the second I tried. You’re the best. And I pre-ordered your book. Keep up the good work!

  7. Philip says:

    Hello there my good waiter! 🙂

    I’m a relativly big fan of the “StumbleUpon”-function in Mozilla Firefox. That’s how I got to know this blog.

    May I say, that your writing makes my day a little bit more fun, no wait – you just crack me up. That simple. I love the way that you can tell your customers to go to hell – and they’ll actually look forward to their journey.

    Unfortunatly – I live in Denmark, you know – the tiny happy (prozac-eating) country i Europe – so I won’t be coming by your restaurant anytime soon.

    Keep up the good work – and the good blog, I just love it.

    PS. As I wrote before, I’m Danish, so any misspelling and/or words that dosn’t belong in the english vocabulary, in the text above is not intended.

  8. bobo says:

    i think you work at bonefish grill in syracuse, ny…or dewitt, if its beyond the line

  9. jerk says:

    fake story

  10. Guy says:

    Well done with the rant, mate. I have been a children’s camp counselor, a waiter, a bar server, a bartender, and a pharmacy technician. I am currently studying to be a pharmacist. Anyways, point it, I have always delt with customers in my working life. And while they say the customer is always right, I say, the customer is always right, until they prove themselves to be complete assholes and morons. Well done with the blog, mate.

    Good thing I don’t know your name or where you live, cause if you ever came into my pharmacy and gave me any shit, I would deliberately give you extra strength laxatives instead of whatever meds you were after.

  11. Guy says:

    I am going to have to second what Philip said above. I love Stumbleupon. And Philip, if you come back to read this, I have never been to your country, though I would love to. But I met some girls from your country when I was in Switzerland, and they were very, VERY nice to me. So, I think I will be visiting Denmark on my next trip across the pond to Europe. I think Danish girls are very nice.

  12. 3BallJosh says:

    Fucking beautiful!

  13. Cheryl says:

    Love the writing and your handling of arsehole customers. I get some great ones being a receptionist but I think to be a waiter is to have the patience of a saint.

    Looking forward to the book. Now I’m off to drink some source municipal…I hope there is Prozac in Sydney water, I need it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    When I waited tables my favorite form of manipulation was to upsell my brunch customers to the banana-stuffed french toast by using the word “decadent.” Worked every time. Either they were so astonished that I knew the word “decadent,” or they were simply so excited to partake of said decadence, whatever–I never had a table turn it down.

  15. Sid says:

    I found this on Stumbleupon. This is interesting. I like these kind of stories a lot. Thanks.

  16. jackiesue says:

    stumbling through stumble upon I found you…I like it ..but I would have been forced to stick a fork in the last couple..but then I don’t suffer assholes well…

  17. Chris says:

    StumbleUpon, you’ve done it again! I hit this page completely at random, and I have to say, I’m subscribing. Any chance I can get a copy of this book in Australia when it’s released? If so where? Brilliant writing style, and I wish you the best of luck remaining sane if you get anymore customers like that.

  18. Ian says:

    The story was funny, but you come across as much of a douchebag as your customers. Congrats.

  19. Brian says:

    20+ years in the restaurant biz, and not a day went buy that I didn’t deal with that exact table. They are the reason I am glad I’m no longer in it. Thanks for the memories. Great blog.

  20. KD says:

    “Baaahhhh” LOL!!! That was great! You poor waiter, you have to put up with so much shit from assholes. I sympathize deeply. Someone needs to teach those assholes a lesson in manners. Old farts like silver hair are supposed to have manners. Lol. As for Ian’s post you are NOT “douchbag” enough! Your too nice. One of the best posts I’ve read. Funny. I like how you use the words “Snap,” and “Bark.” LOL!

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  23. lizzard says:

    have been serving for many years,,ye whom think butter packages are tackyy.. Think again,, they are your best bet… the balls and infusions get recycled in the kitchen…GROSSSS.. it would be better off to send the garnish thru the dishwasher.

  24. Brent says:

    Stumbled. Liked. Shared.

  25. James says:

    Don’t worry Ian you’re still a bigger douchebag than either. Congrats.

  26. roberto says:


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