Waitress Week: Down and Dirty

May 13, 2009

On one busy Saturday night, I lucked out and received the best station – the one with the 8-top, the biggest table in the restaurant.  In the middle of the rush, my table opened up and suddenly a hostess appeared trailed by a seemingly never-ending parade of men in expensive suits – 10 in all.  I simultaneously panicked and rejoiced – they looked like drinkers! but oh crap, how was I going to handle so many of them?

They demanded martinis, and more martinis, and then four of our most expensive bottles of wine.  They all ordered either filet mignon, the NY strip steak, or barbecue ribs.  They were loud and rude and so far they liked me because I giggled when they called me “sweetheart.”

Then I walked up during the punchline of a dirty joke.  They looked at me aghast when they realized I’d just heard the part about the giant, uh, sausage-shaped organ.

“Why are you sneaking up on us!” one of them grumbled.

“I’m a waitress – it’s my job to sneak,” I replied.  And remembering the giant size of their bill, I smiled really big.  I may have even batted my eyes a little.

“Aw, see, she’s cool,” said another.  “Know any jokes, sweetie?”

Shoot.  I am terrible at remembering jokes.

“Give me one second,” I said, and dashed away.  I knew exactly where to go – the kitchen.  Those guys have filthy, filthy minds.

I went straight to Toby, the grillman.  He didn’t even blink at my request for a dirty joke and promptly rattled one off that I don’t remember.  I ran back to my table and repeated it, hardly knowing what I was saying.  They roared.

We traded jokes for the next few minutes, me rushing back and forth to the kitchen, hitting up all the linemen for their best filth, until finally I remembered that I had other tables and left my Man Table to wait on them for a bit.

When I came back, they were ready for dessert.  They ordered eight – four sundaes, four apple cobblers.  I rang them into the computer with a song in my heart, eyeing that whopping bill.  The desserts should have reached the table lickety split, and when five minutes went by with no desserts for my men, I ran up to the bartender/dessert-maker.

“Where are my cobblers and sundaes?”

“Sorry,” he mumbled.  “I’m out of ice cream.”

Rolling my eyes, I darted back to the walk-in freezer in the kitchen to get the stupid lazy bartender more ice cream.  Except – no ice cream. 

From the kitchen, I screamed at our manager Sean on the line.  “WHERE’S THE ICE CREAM?”

“Ask the K.M.!” he yelled back.

So I tracked down Dave the kitchen manager, who looked at me blankly.  “We’re out,” he said.  “I told Sean that two hours ago.”


I had a table of 10 rich, drunk men, with a bill hovering around $700.  I was not going to walk up to them and whimper some tired excuse about running out of ice cream.  They would be most displeased.

So I ran up and leaned over on the table, jutting one hip out and explaining that there was just a teensy tiny delay in their desserts.  They bitched and complained, but I wasn’t too worried.  Then I asked another waiter to keep an eye on them, and ran up to Stupid Idiot Sean the manager.

“I’ll be right back,” I said.  “I’m going to Cold Stone.”

“Whaaa?” he started, but I was already dashing out of the restaurant. 

Cold Stone Creamery was at the other end of the shopping plaza, and I sprinted there as fast as I could.  I burst through the doors and pushed my way to the front of the line. 

“I need three gallons of vanilla,” I gasped.  “It’s an emergency.”

I don’t know if the employees and all of the waiting customers thought I was crazy – what is an ice cream emergency, anyway?  All I could think about was my men, getting more sober and more annoyed with every slow scoop of that ice cream spade.  When he finally finished scooping, I shoved some of my own cash at him and ran back to the restaurant, throwing the ice cream at the stupid idiot bartender and screaming, “I need those desserts NOW!” before I flew up the stairs back to my table.

At the sight of me, the men growled.  “Where are our desserts?  What the hell is taking so long?”

I could tell I was about to lose them, could feel my tip dwindling down, down, down.

“I’m so sorry,” I panted.  “Just a small issue with the ice cream.  They’re on their way.”

They practically booed.  “But where the hell have you been?” they asked.  “Maybe we should just get the check.”

“If you could just wait one, ONE more second,” I pleaded.

They conferred.  “Maybe if you can tell us one more joke, a really good one, we’ll forgive you.”

Gulp.  I promised I’d try, and went straight to the only untapped dirty-joke source left in the kitchen – Crazy Kevin.  Kevin had been the Houston’s prep cook for about 30 years, and could always be found wandering around in the back chopping this, chopping that, and talking to himself about what a bunch of morons we all were.  Rumor had it he graduated from Le Cordon Bleu but got into some trouble with the law afterwards.  We servers usually kept our distance from Kevin, but somehow he had a soft spot for me, and when I turned 25 he cooked me an absolutely incredible dinner that I ate in stolen bites during the dinner rush – Kevin kept it hidden from the other servers (“Morons!”) every time I had to check on my tables.

So lucky for me, Kevin didn’t swipe at me with a knife or call me a moron when I approached with my dirty joke request.  Without even looking up from prepping tortilla chips, he said two short lines that I repeated over and over in my head as I ran back to my table.  I didn’t even think about what I was saying when I parroted it back to my Man Table.  To this day, it’s the only joke I’ve ever been able to remember:

“What did one lesbian vampire say to the other lesbian vampire?”


“See you next month!”

And as my men laughed and jeered and whooped, their desserts finally arrived.

Best. Tip. Ever.


4 Responses to “Waitress Week: Down and Dirty”

  1. Beth H. Says:

    haaaaaaaa! disgusting joke, great story. so how big WAS that tip?

  2. pam b Says:

    you tell the BEST stories!

  3. Katie Burke Says:

    You are the most devoted waitress ever! I love that you ran across the shopping plaza for the ice cream! Very industrious of you.

    Kevin rocks. Awful joke, but I love that he refers to everyone as a moron.

  4. from the wings Says:

    I love that one

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