Over at Uptake.com, I am posting a sweet story this Friday about eating dinner at Johnny Rockets at Greenwood Park Mall and betting on which child would cry on Santa's lap after waiting an hour to see him. (OK, maybe that's not your idea of fun. Given the right stressors, I define it in sadistic ways, I guess.)
But I left out a big chunk of the story, mainly because I trashed another restaurant earlier this week and didn't want to get a reputation for being a Scrooge. And believe me, it was one of those classic get outta here moments for 2009.
<-- But is it safe to eat?
We were very upfront about why we chose to eat there, and specifically asked for the booth where we could play our game. The hostess was quite perky, telling us all about how her own daughter was one of the screamers. She also passed this information along to our waitress, who started out equally as chipper.
But the more we watched the seasonal entertainment, the more she tried to interrupt our meal with conversation threads that were just weird. For instance, when she brought the patty melt, she asked me to critique it for her. Was it as good as Steak n Shake's? She loves Steak n Shake -- did I like Steak n Shake? She really should have ordered a patty melt for dinner, because she likes it without onions, too, but she kept passing out so she ate chicken.
On the next pass through to make sure we were well stocked on ketchup, she again felt compelled to give us her health report. "Yah, I haven't eaten in like 8 days. Maybe that's why I'm passing out? Why do you think I'm passing out?" I was starting to wonder if I had the Red Cross symbol tattooed on my forehead or something. Believe me, at no time have I ever been mistaken for a medical professional of any kind. Not even a receptionist in the waiting area.
I pulled my eyes away from the Santa scene long enough to suggest she could try drinking water if she'd been drinking soda, as many people don't realize Coke actually dehydrates you. "Oh, I never drink sodas. Well, today I've been drinking Sprite because I threw up and thought that might settle my stomach."
Where do you go with the conversation at that point? Ask her to describe the scene? Suggest foods that can be vomited easily? Invite her to select a child to bet on in the Santa line?
I realize garnering sympathy for your situation is one approach to earning a bigger tip, but she wasn't even accomplishing that. Frankly, I was afraid of her. And if I am suddenly sick for the holidays, you can blame the dumb blonde with the tag saying she's from Whoville.