I've gotten quite a few comments on the blog where my curmudgeonly attitude is appreciated.
This one's for you.
I recently heard a female comic on TV, (I think it was Sarah Silverman, but don't quote me.) tell a story about her mother and how funny she was.
She would do things like go to a restaurant, and if the service was slow, or the butter was too hard, would take out her cell phone, call the restaurant she was in and ask to speak to the manager to get her problem solved.
I thought that this was hilarious, and had every notion to apply this idea to my own arsenal if the opportunity ever presented itself.
It didn't take long.
You didn't think it would, did you?
Given a good reason, I'm usually rude to waiters.
I'll cut waitresses a little more slack, but they're usually nicer to begin with.
Call me sexist. I don't care.
My wife and I went to a very upscale pricey steakhouse in my neighborhood last Saturday night.
We had never been there before.
My wife is always on her best behavior, which is exemplary.
She does not respond well to my excursions into rudeness.
But, to her credit, she puts up with me.
The waiter comes over to take our order.
Kind of a smartass.
I ask for the house salad with blue cheese dressing.
It came with the entrée.
I don't usually order two salads. But I also wanted a Caesar Salad.
He asks me if I want blue cheese crumbles on top of the house salad..
I ask "Is there an extra charge for the crumbles?"
He replies "Yes. There is."
I see my opening.
I ask, "So if I didn't ask, you wouldn't have told me? No crumbles."
I love the crumbles.
But I felt that it was more important to admonish him for his poor communication skills.
He took the rest of the order, and left.
I never saw him again.
He was replaced by a much nicer waiter.
I'm sure that the first one told the kitchen "I don't want to serve that asshole"
The rest of our order consisted of a bowl of Lobster Bisque, a Caesar Salad that we were going to split, a New York Steak for me, and scallops for my wife.
I'd asked if I could have anchovies with the Caesar Salad.
I was told they didn't have any, but that there was anchovy paste already in the salad.
This begs the question "so how do they make the anchovy paste? There must be anchovies somewhere."
I had brought a small tin of King Oscar Brand anchovies from home.
This is what one does if you're me.
They bring out the Lobster Bisque.
It is way too tomatoey.
I let it go.
Then, they bring out the entrees and the Caesar Salad simultaneously.
The waiter, after I complained said "I thought the Caesar Salad was just for your wife."
I had specifically told him that we were going to split it. We needed two plates.
Her scallops were considered a side dish.
I applied the anchovies to the Caesar Salad. It was the only thing that prevented it from being a complete abomination.
But I didn't complain about how any of the food was prepared.
Restaurants make things the way they make things.
Then, I attempted to try my steak.
I had been given a steak-knife.
I couldn't cut through it. And it was already cold from trying to down the Caesar Salad first.
I noticed the man at the next table. He had also ordered a steak, and seemed to be having trouble cutting through it.
I asked him if he was having trouble cutting his steak.
Indeed, he was.
My moment had arrived.
I got out my cellphone and called the restaurant. I asked to speak to the manager.
After a few seconds, he got on the phone.
I said "I'm all the way in the back. I'm the guy with the cane. And thanks for seating me here. I needed the extra walking. (There
were plenty of closer places I could have been seated.) Please come to my table."
Shortly, the man showed up. He asked "What seems to be the problem?"
I replied "Where do I begin? Well, first and foremost this steak-knife is too dull to cut this steak. Do you see that guy over there? His steak-knife is too dull to cut his steak"
He replied "Oh, is that all? I'll bring you a sharper one."
I said, you might want to bring him a sharper one too.
He immediately returned with another knife for me. And for my new friend at the next table.
It cut through the steak like butter.
I looked at my friend at the next table.
He gave me the high sign.
I said to the manager "Let me get this straight. The only way you get a sharp knife in this steakhouse is by making a scene like this to get one? Everybody else gets those dull ones unless they ask?"
He replied, well we just got these new ones in...."
It sounded pretty lame to me.
Then I went through the entire litany of what was wrong with the meal.
He said "I'm sorry sir. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you? Can I offer you a free dessert?"
I said "I don't want any free dessert. All I want from you is an admission that you wouldn't want to be treated the way you treated me.'
He made that admission willingly, probably pleased that he didn't have to spring for the spring for the free dessert.
How's that for curmudgeon?
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at email@example.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."