Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Show Me The Money, Honey!!!

It was a nightmare come true...The difference being that in real life I was, much to my relief, the spectator on the edge of the rink than the one embroiled in the action.
We had spent most of our evening at the half prize sale of our favourite book store, Landmark. Although we walked out happily with our steals, the browsing had exhausted us and so, we decided to refuel at a popular and almost authentic Mediterranean restaurant. Being aficionados of Arab and Mediterranean food, our evening at Cedars promised to provide the perfect ending to a pleasant evening.... Or so we thought.

Our hopes of enjoying a quiet, delicious meal vapourised when we walked into the jam-packed restaurant which, to all outward appearances, seemed to be grossly understaffed. Fortunately, we were recognised and quickly ushered into a corner table. A deferential waiter took our orders with alacrity and before long, our meal was in front of us.
We had barely swallowed the first few morsels, when in marched a young, fashionably dressed bunch of twenty-somethings accessorised with the latest gadgets and imitation accents and made themselves comfortable at the table next to ours. They were loud, noisy and clearly in the mood for raucous merry making...So much so that Dsk and I were eventually forced to abandon all efforts at conversation and give ourselves to the unabashed enjoyment of the entertainment on hand.

Shrill voices rapped out orders and before long, the table was groaning under the weight of various delicacies which they grabbed and gobbled without much ceremony. Fresh orders were issued to the hapless waiter who was now scuttling around like a demented crab, trying to ensure a steady supply of food into the hungry mouths without neglecting his other customers. Much to his obvious relief, it was soon time for dessert.

But, it seemed that the satisfaction of hunger pangs had only rendered the brats' taste buds more sensitive. The group noisily debated the choices before them in their assumed American accents, seeking to see how best they could customise it to their individual tastes.
" Can you bring me the chocolate biscuit roll with chocolate sauce instead of the strawberry sauce...and with a scoop of chocolate ice cream as well?"
" But sir, it would be too chocolaty....the strawberry sauce offsets the taste of chocolate.."
" But I want chocolate...."
" Sir, may I just get you some ice cream with chocolate sauce....the biscuit roll dessert does not have ice cream in it"
" I don't want ice cream with sauce...I want the biscuit dessert with sauce and ice cream"
As the waiter rolled his eyes in despair, another voice pipped
" Will the bread pudding stuffing in the pancake be cold?"
" no madam...it will be served at room temperature"
" Can you chill it for me"
" But madam, it would take a lot of time and besides, the stuffing will not be cold since the pancake has to be fried"
" But you can try, Na?"
After much argument, the waiter was able to talk them into ordering dessert as listed on the menu card. Lots of accented chatter and squeals later, the meal came to an end and the bill was presented. A young lady in black & yellow presented her card with a flourish.

A few minutes later, the diffident waiter returned.
" Madam, this card has been declined"
" Impossible!!!...Please try again"
The clock ticked on and before long, he was back
" Madam, I am sorry but it is not going through..We seem to be having a problem connecting with the bank's server"
The Queen Bee turned an interesting shade of puce...
" This is insane..Why can't you keep proper machines....What do you expect me to do now???" " Madam, would you pay by cash?"
" I don't have cash"
" Errr, there is an ATM next door..." He suggested helpfully
" This card does not work in an ATM"
Oh wow, a Diva Card which would not deign to work in a lowly Indian ATM!!!
But the poor man was obviously not very amused......
" Madam, what do you want to do?"
" What do you mean by that? I don't have money....That's that"
My heart went out to the waiter in a quandary but like every other diner in the restaurant, I held my breath in anticipation of his response. Would he march her off to the kitchens to wash and dry a stack of greasy dishes? Would he demand all the bling on her body as collateral? Or would he just make her wait until someone went to get the money?
" Why can't we come back and pay tomorrow?"
The entire restaurant gaped at a puny boy in the group who had offered the suggestion. For many moments, neither the waiter nor the bee lady spoke as each turned the idea over in their heads. The rest of us poked at our plates with our ears tuned into the drama unfolding behind our backs.

" Yeah, that seems sensible....We can come back and pay cash tomorrow....After all it is your fault that I cannot use my card now..."
She had recovered and launched attack, even before the waiter had finished composing his thoughts.
" I don't know madam.....I think.."
" It doesn't matter what you think or feel...Please go and check with your manager...."
Smarting from the sting, her victim meekly vanished into the depths of the kitchen. And reappeared 15 minutes later with a notepad which he deposited before her.
" Madam, please give us your address...we will collect it from your residence tomorrow"
For the first time since she walked in this evening, the young lady hesitated. As she contemplated her next move, her knight in the shining armour once again came to her rescue
" I will give you my address...you can come over and collect it from me..."
He placed a protective arm around the damsel in distress and then proceeded to scribble in the notepad.

For some reason, the silence of the bee seemed to mollify the waiter. Perhaps, he assumed that he had bested her. I really don't know but we could all sense a mellow note in his voice as he addressed her male companion.
" Will you definitely come and pay the cash tomorrow?"
" Of course..what do you think we are?...either you can send someone or we will come and pay cash"
" Okay sir, in that case, please make sure you pay the money tomorrow itself"
" Why don't you keep the card with you? I will collect it when I come to give you the cash..."
His voice trailed into silence as our diva and the waiter both looked at him in shock.....Directing a nasty glare at him, she grabbed her card and sailed regally out of the restaurant with her cohorts and the miserable knight in tow.

I was sorely tempted to stand up and applaud. But the warning glance my better half shot me brought home the fact that this was no dinner theatre we were attending and therefore, my applause may not be well received by either performer. And so I devoted myself to dessert as the restaurant once again buzzed with life. As I dug my spoon into the brownie with its Kahlua cream topping, I couldn't stop my lips from curving in a smile of glee..... Oh no, it wasn't the endomorphins from the chocolate....
I just realised that the dark spirits now had one less nightmare to plague me with!!!
* Big Toothy Grin*


Shail said...

That was theatre at its best and to think you had the ring-side view!! :-)))))))

Miaow!!! said...

Isn't life funny? I had never realised it until I started writing on the Moggies.... :) :)

Roopa said...

Do any restaurants allow any customer to come and pay the next day!!!

And yes, the 20-somethings are a tad too theatrical!

Miaow!!! said...

If I had not seen it with my own two eyes [ short-sighted though they are :P], I wouldn't have beleived it at all...
But it did happen......Although, even with a live example, I still wouldn't have the nerve to do what they did.... I must be getting old *sigh*

Ganga Dhanesh said...

what dramatix!!!