Friday, January 19, 2007

Shiner Diner

So we went out to dinner the other night, and our waitress had a black eye. This wasn't a biker bar; it wasn't a greasy spoon. It was a fancy-ish restaurant. In our careers as diners, Sarah and I have had a number of waiters/waitresses with black eyes. (We tried to do an exact tally but couldn't quite nail it down.) Unless one travels in particularly pugilistic circles, black eyes are not a very common sight, and our waitron-shiner index strikes me as significantly higher than that of the population at large.

Are waiters/waitresses, as a group, more prone to bludgeonings? I waited tables for many years with nary a bruise. Is our experience just a statistical anomaly? Have the random machinations of the universe flung us haphazardly onto the tapering flange of this obscure bell curve?

Or is there something larger at hand? Is this the role destiny has cast for us? Is this our work? Is this our fate? What does it all mean?

Why, God, why?


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Here is my question: when you worked in restaurants, did you notice a lot of black eyes among your co-workers? If not, then there really is something about your flange theory. Flange.

  2. Anonymous1:37 PM

    i have had 2 black eyes in my lifetime, one of which occurred during my career as a waitress. i found it to be helpful in the tip-getting. perhaps other servers have experienced this as well and go out looking for black eyes.

    BONUS: the other black eye resulted when i was 9 and my step-brother threw a bald cabbage patch kid at me (i failed to catch it).

  3. Anonymous8:56 AM

    Was your first black-eyed wait-staff experience the one at Northwoods in Annapolis?

    "For the lady? For the OTHER lady...."

  4. Ah, the tips! It all becomes clear...

    And, Beth—indubitably.

    "For the lady? For the OTHER lady. For the OTHER lady...."

  5. Oh, and I forgot to mention: flange.

  6. Anonymous10:38 AM

    If you happen to have been at a certain swime palace on Tchoupitoulas, that particular black eye is not exactly the result of any evil- other than self inflicted. As I understand it, it involved a bike, some drinks after work at the King Pin, and an uncooperative curb on Prytania. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Don't drink and bike.

  7. Whoah! "It's a small town after all..."

  8. Actually, it involved a curb which, luckily, was right in front of her house. When she woke up, she was happy to have landed there.

  9. Pugilistic circles. Awesome.

    My circles are so pugilistic you can't throw a punch without it landing on someone.*

    * Or would be, if I was the kind of hard-livin', harder-drinkin' ne'er-do-well that could pull off a line like that.

  10. Don't worry. I'm sure you're ne'er-do-well of some sort or another, even if it's not the hard-livin', harder-drinkin' variety.

  11. Didn't one of the ladies at Chick n Ruth's have a black eye once? But it lasted for like, weeks? Was it the same waitress whom some disaster was always befalling (broken bones, house burning down, that sort of thing)?

    A young woman once served us ice cream after pulling her burned hand out of a glass of water she had sitting on the counter there. No wiping it off first, either.