04.24.09 – Friday


Word: hoi polloi [hoi puhloi] n. the common people; the masses (often preceded by the)

Birthday: Willem de Kooning (1904), Alan Eagleson (1933), Shirley MacLaine (1934), Barbara Streisand (1942), Eric Bogosian (1953), Mumia Abu-Jamal (1954), Michael O’Keefe (1955), Cedric The Entertainer (1964), Djimon Hounsou (1964), Kelly Clarkson (1982)

Occurence: 1184 BC – Greeks enter Troy using the Trojan Horse. I still can’t comprehend how in the hell this actually worked.

Standpoint: If you’re one of the millions of people going out to eat at a restaurant this weekend, I’ve compiled 5 Things You Can Say Or Do That Will Instantly Make Your Waiter Dislike You.

  1.  Ignore Your Waiter – In case you’ve never noticed, a restaurant can be a pretty busy place. While you are there to enjoy yourself (and rightfully so), your waiter is actually working. One thing you can do right away to earn the love of your waiter is to continue your super-important conversation when he or she walks up to greet your table. Go ahead and finish informing your fellow diners with crucial information like who’s sleeping with who in your neighborhood, or an extremely detailed account of your drive to the restaurant. That stuff can’t wait. Don’t let a silly fact like your waiter having several other tables to tend to get in the way of your self-important ramblings.
  2. Public Displays of Affection – Another way to make sure you stay in the good graces of your waiter is to show him or her how much you love the person you’re with. There’s nothing that makes a waiter happier than watching two complete strangers making out and doing God-knows-what underneath the table with your hands. Also, make sure that you sit on the same side of the booth or table as your partner to announce to everyone in the restaurant, “Hey. The two of us are quite fond of each other.” Waiters love to be reminded that they can’t currently be with the one they love so the next best thing is watching your adorable little grope-fest as he or she attempts to pry your drink order out of you.
  3. Ask Stupid Questions – You know the common sense that you employ almost every minute of your day-to-day life? Leave that at home. Enter the dining experience as if you were just thawed out of ice or your spaceship just landed and you’ve never been to a restaurant. If you’re thirsty you might try posing a question like, “Excuse me, is there any chance I could get a glass of water?” After all, you might’ve never been to this particular restaurant. They might not have running water. It’s best not to assume. Your waiter will appreciate how softly you’re treading around the issue and there’s no real  likelihood of he or she thinking that you are a schmuck for posing a question you already know the answer to.
  4. Stay As Long As You Like – You’re most likely a great person. The relationship that you’ve fostered with your waiter will probably last a lifetime. So when you’ve finished your dessert and downed your last drop of coffee, don’t worry about leaving. Your waiter is hoping that you stay all night. That way he or she won’t have to deal with the inevitable gloominess of saying goodbye and welcoming a new table to where you once sat. The money that waiter would make from serving more people could never equal the mutually rewarding experience the two of you are sharing. You can’t put a price on a lasting friendship.
  5. Don’t Worry About the Tip – Even though waiters make all of their money off of tips left by patrons, don’t be concerned. For example, say your bill is $130. Don’t worry about the traditional 20% tip of $26. Leave whatever you like. Your waiter will probably use the experience to boost his or her resolve and vow to improve service on the next table. One day, he or she will look back and remember you fondly for providing the catalyst that kicked his or her service standards to the next level. And that’s way more important than actual money.

I treated each item like it’s something you should do. Obviously, I’m hoping you picked up on the sarcasm.

Weekend: Each Friday, I’ll provide you with 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of things to do this in Philadelphia this weekend as if it’s your last.

  • Today (04.24) – Presidents of the United States of AmericaThe Troc – Back in the 90s, the power pop trio gave us some of the best songs about fruit (“Peaches“) and odd women from boggy marshes (“Lump“). They broke up for a while but are now back together. Lots of energy and clever lyrics. If you’re into that kind of thing. Time: 9pm
  • Saturday (04.25) – Fishtown Shad FestPenn Treaty Park – Fishtown originally gained its name from all the shad that were fished out of the Delaware River. The fish can’t be found around these parts anymore but that’s not stopping Fishtown residents from celebrating what William Penn desribed as “excellent fish.” Events include a Shad Run Race, a historical trolley tour of Fishtown, numerous children’s activities and performances from local musical acts including Hoots and Hellmouth. Oh, there will also be plenty of beer and shad dishes from local vendors. Time: 11am – 5pm
  • Sunday (04.25) – The Mütter Museum – On its website, The Mütter Museum describes itself as “valuable resource for educating and enlightening the public about our medical past and telling important stories about what it means to be human.” People I know who’ve been there describe more as “a museum with all this gross stuff.” My guess is that both statements are probably true. Time: 10am – 5pm

Quotation: When you are through changing, you are through. Bruce Barton

Tune: Before I saw the Aqueduct‘s video for “Living a Lie,” I was completely unaware that David Terry could pass for Kevin Smith.

Gallimaufry: Sometimes, when you try to be a funny and do something like, say, pretend to fall off a bridge, you actually fall off the bridge. Just ask this guy…If you are still on the fence about the idiocy of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, this will straighten you outThe Flyers shutout the Penguins last night 3-0. Can “The Orange and Black” win the next two games and advance to next round? If they play like they can, they are more than capable of sending Sidney Crosby and his squad to the golf course.

Incoming: Tomorrow morning, I’ll be moving away from East Falls and heading west to East Norriton. (I’ve decided, for the rest of my life, I’ll only live in areas that start with the word “East.”) My internet situation is up in the air but I’ll still be doing daily posts while I adjust to my new schedule. Anyone know anything about East Norriton?

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4 thoughts on “04.24.09 – Friday

  1. @G – Thanks. Glad you liked it. Nice seeing you the other day, too. You look great.

  2. Being in “the biz” I of course loved your waiter commentary. I thought I would share with you a personal favorite of mine that relates to the bar. Nothing brings me greater joy than when the hoi polloi stroll up, stick their grubby hands in the “bar buffet” and generously help themselves to olives, cherries and fresh oranges or when patrons ask for bar nuts or pretzels…Um, hello? it’s called the appetizer list, we are actually trying to make money on the the food that we feed you.
    Today just might be my favorite blog yet buddy…

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