Avast Ye Matey…and Would You Like More Breadsticks

My brother, my sister-in-law, and I entered the  Italian restaurant. It was relatively new. This was no Olive Garden. We were met by a phalanx of smiling, beautiful hostesses ready to serve us.  If you had told me they were an emperor’s concubines I would have been inclined to believe you.  They were as beautiful as they were pleasant. One especially agreeable one showed us to our table.

As we made our way through the recently built establishment, I was amazed at the intricate design of the place. What I could only assume was classy art adorned the walls. I wouldn’t really know, as I don’t know shit about art.

The bubbly, cherubic young black woman who sat us gently chided my brother for the New York Giants hat he wore. After some playful ribbing by both parties enjoyed by all, we took our seats and ensconsed ourselves in what was sure to continue being a fine experience.

Then came the waiter.

Make no mistake, this man in his early 30’s was extremely polite and good at his job. His service was thorough and timely. Throughout the night, we were frequently checked on and our drinks were always full.

But he was wearing an eyepatch.

I realize that my uncomfortability in this situation is my shortcoming, and not his. But damn, was I uncomfortable. I had just assumed that having two eyes was part of the screening process to work at a restaurant. I thought about it though, and I guess it makes sense. There’s really nothing that would stop a half-Oedipus from reliably delivering you breadsticks.

But the least the manager could do was come out and reassure us that the eye wasn’t in any of the food.I hope you folks are enjoying your meals, and just as an FYI, Ricky lost that thing like seven years ago. It’s definitely not in the food. I mean, I remember when he showed up for his interview with the patch and it took some getting used to. It was a tad off-putting. Said he lost it during some kind of epic battle with an evil octopus who had killed his father years before. It made me raise an eyebrow, but he said the death had been avenged so he didn’t plan to battle anymore evil octopi. That’s all I needed to hear. Yep, that all happened….look I’m going to be straight with you, he lost the eye like an hour ago and we’re trying to figure out what all it  touched. It ended up  in the calamari, which is where I got that octopus story from. So despite the fact that you are no doubt very angry at your food potentially being contaminated by waiter-eye, you can at least admit that I thought up a clever ruse to distract you before I caved under the pressure of my bold-faced lie.

I’ve never seen a waiter with one eye before. Who knows what else is on his resume? Maybe he stretched the boundaries of what one eyeballed dudes thought was possible:

2009-Present: Server at Applebee’s.
2003-2009: pirate ship captain.  
2002-2003: Oakland Raiders mascot.
1997-2002: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The check came and the service was excellent, so of course we left a generous tip. But I couldn’t help but wonder how much more I would have tipped if I had heard the story of how he lost the eye. The cooler the story, the higher the amount. Glaucoma? Gets you the standard 20%. Swordfight? 50% minimum. I’d even go as high as 75% for anything involving a medieval-style joust.

So a piece of advice to all you one-eyed waiters out there: if you want a big type from your boy, it might help to dress like a knight. Or carry a sword around and keep yelling, “Who wants some?!?” to everybody who looks at you.


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