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.”
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.