Illustration by Bob AulEveryone warned against going to a restaurant on opening night. True to form, the Friday night launch of a little Chinese joint was a total clusterfuck. But I understand that restaurants need time to work out the kinks. What I didn't understand were some of my fellow diners, specifically the two fat, old bastards who sat in front of the kitchen and loudly commented on the unfolding disaster like they were critiquing a Broadway flop. Yes, before opening night, the masterminds should have conceived a better system for getting food from the kitchen to the customer. But the comments you hurled did not reach the restaurant's brain trust; they cut through to the hearts of the servers, deliverymen and cooks who trembled in fear for their jobs and, as your squawking got more heated and riled up more customers, their lives. Worse was the middle-aged couple muttering under their breaths about how long it was taking to get their food. The Mrs. finally exploded, shouted at the counter help and was promptly handed the nearest full tray. Gee, maybe you should have inquired a little sooner, honey. Too bad getting dinner didn't satisfy your hubby, who promptly flung the tray over his shoulder, nearly hitting my 13-year-old daughter before slamming onto the floor. Folks, if dining out is this stressful, stay home in front of the tube with your Swanson's TV dinner and A-Team rerun.
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