It’s seven o’clock on Saturday night. Every seat in the Bistro has someone’s name on it. But that doesn’t stop people without reservations from trying to get in.
“Where’s Fluvio?” an impatient customers huffs, nervously waving his keychain back and forth. “If he was here he’d let me in.”
“I’m sorry sir,” I reply. “I’ll have a table available at nine o’clock.”
“Nine o’clock?” the man says. “That’s too late. You’ve got to do something for me.”
I notice that the man’s still waving his keys in front of me like some sort of amateur hypnotist. Maybe he thinks the pendulum motion of his BMW key fob will lull me into compliant somnolence. Guess again.
“I’m sorry sir,” I repeat. “There’s always a chance someone might cancel. Can I have your cell phone number if something opens up?”
The man snaps his keys back into his hand and stuffs them in his pocket.
“No,” he replies sourly. “There are plenty of other, better restaurants we can go to.”
I ignore the man’s little dig. We’re the best place around. He knows it. I know it.
“I am sorry sir,” I say politely. “Perhaps you can join us another night.”
The man gives me what he thinks is a hard stare and walks out the door.
“I can’t believe people get that upset over a table,” Yeva, our newest hostess says.
“Believe it,” I say. “It can get rough.”
“What a jerk that guy was,” Yeva mumbles.
“Say Yeva, you lived in Israel, right?”
“Don’t restaurants over there have armed guards?”
“Some of them,” Yeva replies.
“Maybe we should start doing that over here.”
“Restaurants in Israel have guards because of terrorism,” Yeva says.
“I understand that,” I reply. “But wouldn’t it be easier dealing with difficult customers if you had a 9 millimeter on your hip?”
“There’d be fewer arguments,” Yeva says. “That’s for sure.”
Suddenly I have a vision of little Yeva firing a pistol in the air screaming, “We have no more tables! Get back! Yuppies on the wire! Yuppies on the wire!”
I grin at the thought of my diminutive hostess going all Rambo.
“Maybe we can put that idea in the suggestion box,” I say.
“That’d be hysterical,” Yeva replies.
“Dear Fluvio,” I say, pretending to write on a piece of paper, “Can we give the hostesses firearms?”
“He’d never do it,” Yeva says.
“He’d be the first one to get shot.”
I think about all the hostesses the Bistro’s gone through over the years.
“You might be right about that Yeva,” I reply laughing. “You might be right.”
OK. So giving the hostesses guns is a bad idea. They’d probably turn the Bistro into the OK Corral overnight. But I can dream can’t I?