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