At a Restaurant in Kansas City

This is a somewhat, but not very, exaggerated account of my family ordering food for our pre-Christmas dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Kansas City last Saturday:

Kate, age 30 something: “We’d like to order some appetizers.”

Waiter, age unknown: “Great! What would you like?”

K: “Two orders of the loaded chips.”

W: “Okay. Anything else?”

K: “Yes, but could you please put the bacon on the side and leave the tomatoes off one of them?”

W: “Of course.”

K: “And on the second? Please put the tomatoes on the side and leave off the bacon.”

W: “No bacon? Not even. . .”

K: “Not even.”

W: “Ho-Kay.”

James, age 13: “I’d like the All-American burger, but I do not want the mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, or pickle, please.”

W: “Just a plain cheeseburger, then, with nothing on it?”

J: “Well, I would like ketchup.”

W: “On the side?”

J: “No, on the burger.”

W: “Looks at Kate’s friend, Steve: “who knew?”

Steve: “I did, but you never asked.”

Miranda and her friend Alec, both 17, and Shania, age 11, all ordered off the menu as is.

W: “Thank you! We’re on a roll.”

He looks at me.

Pamela: “I would like to start with the onion strings with the Asian dipping sauce, please.”

W: Wrote it down, paused, and then said:”With or without the onions?”

He thought he was being clever.

P: “With, of course.” My turn to pause. “But could I have them on the side, please?” He shook his head, collected the menus, and walked away.

Steve: “He is not coming back, is he?”

Epilogue: Our erstwhile waiter did return with all orders prepared as requested, except for the onion rings.

W: “I assumed you were kidding.”

He got a very generous tip.

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