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Sunday, January 19, 2014

All the Nuts aren’t with The Pancake’s Part 5

Sitting on my bed beneath my posters of Madonna and Rob Lowe. It’s late at night and I have my curtain closed. I glance up.  “Oh Rob,” I sigh like a 15 year old schoolgirl when I look at him. His dreamy eyes and smile sparkle back at me.

“It’s all ok.” Next to him is Madonna, highlighted by a purple boarder this is her “Boy Toy” phase. 

To me Madonna is so much more. She is everything that I want to be. Talented, pretty, famous and doesn’t have to worry about money, ever.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask myself. The grumble in my empty stomach answers my question. I have had nothing to eat since breakfast.

I am worried. I am worried about money. The weekly graveyard shift at Denny’s brings all types of weird folks to eat eggs at 4 am in the morning but doesn’t give me enough money to live on. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, there is a whole cavalcade of non-stop freaks that think that they are amusing. Unfortunately, to the staff they are just drunk. And when they are drunk a table of 4 will say cute things like:

“Just wait until the end you’re going to get a great tip.”

Or when asked if they want something to drink, one of them will mumble.

“No thanks. I just want water.”

Unfortunately, to get money to pay my bills I have to sell Denny’s food. I can’t get a tip on water.

So I will launch into “Can I get you anything to eat?” My pen is poised above my pad ready to write.

“Yeah, one of them will slur before passing out. One Grand Slam and four plates!”

The only constant thing I get from these drunks is aggravation.

The weekend is the time to make the money. Lots of drunks, spending money, fighting with each other, throwing things and vomiting. Yes, vomiting. Who knew there would be so much vomiting? No one pays any of us to clean up vomit yet it seems to be my constant chore. I’ve been known to leave an empty bus bucket by a table for someone to vomit in.

“I’m going to leave this here if one of you needs it.” I will say slipping it beneath their booth. The staff is very good at immediately recognizing some one who has been over served. It becomes a second sense.

I also learn that I have to walk slowly once the bus buckets filled. I have learned that you don’t want to splash any of that on your leg, especially not if it’s the first table of the night and you still have seven hours to go. It’s bad enough that the polyester uniform I wear holds the smell of Denny’s food long past it’s washing.

The only problem with the weekend graveyard shift is that lifers closely guard it. There is a staff of about 4 women all in their mid 50s who need this job and have had this job for years. Training with them is a nightmare. They take all the tips you make for them and they hold back information on how to do something. If I learn the secret of how Denny’s does things I become more valuable and they become less. Of course this is in their heads. Or at least I think it is.

There are only two waiters at Denny’s. Me, and this guy named Anthony. He’s gay and I’m gay. So everyone asks if we are going to get together. I have yet to meet Anthony but swear that I don’t know him from the clubs.

“Don’t all you gays hang out together?”

The truth is “Yes, we do!” I answer the bus boy as I watch him eat the discarded food out of the bus bucket. At least he takes it into the kitchen before digging through it.

To be continued…

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life/Down the Rabbit Hole". It cannot be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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