Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"What can I get you Sugar?"

Thanks for all the wonderful comments yesterday. Bebe and I enjoyed reading them all. Dot commented on the use of terms by waitresses like, "Sugar, Honey, Darlin', etc." when addressing patrons. She expressed her dislike of such usages. I think I know what she means. When certain chain restaurants, which have a theme based on their Southern homeyness, instruct their young staff to use these terms they usually come off sounding phony. It's like using people who aren't from the South to play roles in movies about the South, the accent never works. However, if you are in a truck stop, or a small restaurant in some rural southern town, and the waitress is old enough to be your mother, then it is never offensive. These gals have put up with more from cranky old men than the rest of womandom combined, and they know how to handle them. Tired lonely truckers, widowed farmers, never been marrieds, and the rest of the male gender respond to these syrupy greetings without fail. We have a particular family member who no one likes to be around because he is so negative. On one trip to Mississippi this social retard insisted on coming along for the ride. He cussed everything from sunup to sunset that wasn't from Texas and made the trip a miserable experience. At lunch we decided to stop at a small restaurant in a very small town to eat a down home meal. As we read the menu, this relative of a mule scowled and muttered that their was nothing on the menu that he could eat. A wizened old country girl waitress heard his not so quiet muttering and came over. She stood behind him, put her hands on his shoulders, and said, "Honey, what can I get you to eat?" He couldn't say a word. She told him about the fresh fried chicken and sides and promised to pick out the best piece for him. As she left he finally muttered, "She'll probably bring me a damned neck." When she returned, she had the most beautiful half chicken with golden brown crust that I had ever seen and all the best in sides. The chicken half looked like a small Emu. He ate everything on the plate. As he scanned the carcass, he noticed a few vertebra on one end and exclaimed in a loud voice, "I told you they'd bring me a damned neck." At that point I lost it, grabbed the check and told him to take his plate and stand out on the sidewalk and tell everyone about the terrible meal he just ate. He didn't say a word on the entire trip back home much to the delight of the rest of us. I'm sure that old waitress is still handling the contrary with her sweetness.

A diplomat... is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip. - Caskie Stinnett