It’s a busy weekday night at the Bistro. Fluvio’s taken his kid somewhere so I’m in charge. The door chimes. Two women walk inside.

“Hello ladies,” I say, “How many for dinner?”

“Two,” a rather glum looking woman says. “We have a reservation.”

“What name is it under?”


I look at the reservation computer. Nothing reserved for Lyons.”Uh oh.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have your name listed,” I say.

“I made a reservation this morning,” the glum woman says.

Maybe she made a reservation. Maybe she didn’t. It’s possible someone talked to her this morning and forgot to key it in.

“That’s OK ladies,” I say. “I still have a table available.”

We requested a table in the back, the glum woman’s companion says. Of course, those tables are full.

“I’m sorry, but those tables are occupied,” I say.

“But we requested to sit in the back,” the woman repeats in a clipped voice

“I apologize for our mistake Madam,” I say, “But I have nice table for you on the aisle.”

“We want to sit in the back,” the woman says, again.

“Very well ladies,” I say, grabbing some menus. “Follow me.”

There is one table in the back but it’s by the men’s room. We usually offer it to walk-ins as a last resort. I show the ladies the table and, for honesty’s sake, tell them about its proximity to the commode.

“But we want one of those tables,” the glum woman says, pointing to a table occupied by four senior citizens.

“Not a problem ladies,” I say happily. I pull out my restaurant issue phaser and promptly disintegrate the hapless oldsters.

“Holy shit!” the glum woman screams.

“You wanted this table, no?” I ask.

“Not like this!”

“Oh Madam,” I coo soothingly, using my table crumber to scrape away the remaining bits of ash and bone, “They were almost done anyway.”


“Here’s your table,” I say, kicking some charred dentures under the table. “Sorry about the mess.”

“We don’t wanna sit there now!” the other woman yelps in horror. I level the phaser at her.

“We’ll take the table,” she says quickly.

“A wise choice Madam….”

I smile inwardly at my little fantasy. “I’m sorry ladies, I say, But this is the only table I have in the back.”

The ladies look at each other, shrug, and sit down. I offer them a free drink as an apology. Problem solved.

As I walk back to the front a young woman waves me over.

“Excuse me waiter,” she says angrily, “But there’s a hair in my salad.”

“I look at the plate. On top of the radicchio is a long blonde hair. I look at the woman. She has long blond hair. We have no blonde haired people working tonight. The hair must be hers. But, of course, I can’t tell her that.

“I’m very sorry madam,” I say, shifting into obsequious mode, “I’ll get you another salad straight away.”

“Ugh,” she says, I’ve lost my appetite.

“I’ll take the salad off your bill madam,”I offer.

“You better, ” the woman snorts.

I feel a hot spurt of anger. I want to tell this woman the hair’s hers. But what good would come of it? None. The best course of action is to kiss ass and run away. I take the salad into the kitchen and dump it in the garbage. What a waste of perfectly good food. But that’s the lot of a waiter half the time – kissing ass, copping to mistakes you didn’t make, and beating strategic retreats. I sigh deeply.

It’s a good thing phasers aren’t real.

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