Thursday, October 26, 2006 by Ospite.

I walked past a couple in their early 60s standing in the middle of our dining room, no host in sight.

Me: "What, were you guys just abandoned here?"
Man: "Oh, no no. We just applied for waiter positions, and we're scoping the place out. You know, seeing what we got ourselves into."
Me: "It's a solid place to work. Management is nice. The discount is worth shaking a stick at."
Woman: "Actually, we considered being the singing entertainment tonight."
Me: "Really? Excellent, give me a sample."
Wom.: "Well, we haven't yet talked through our repetoire for the evening. I'll get back to you."
Me: "Good good. You do that."
Man: "Actually, this is an Italian place right?"
Me: ...dramatic pause...
Man: "You got guys that sing for guests?"
Me: "You're looking at him."
Man: "You huh? I shoulda figured."
Me: "I sing per request. We don't have any roving minstrels or anything."
Man: "Ok. You wanna do me a favor for a couple of bucks?"
Me: "Obviously."
Man: "Our friend and his wife are coming in soon. I want you to come up to us sometime during our meal and act like you already know us. My friend is Big Al. I'm Buzz, that's Sandy. You know, one of those "HEY, HAVEN'T SEEN YOU IN AGES!!' kind of things. Then we'll talk and work into the conversation a segway for you to burst into song? Think you can do that?"
Me: "Buzz, I live for this kind of stuff."

He hands me $5.

So when three of the four entrées are run, I grab the fourth from the "foodrunner" and give Big Al his pasta, only to turn around and be 'surprised' to see Buzz sitting there. We strike up a 'catching up' conversation that leads me to talking about giving toasts where I immediately break into "Libiamo" from La Traviata. The place bursts into applause.

I go back and greet the table just sat in my section. She works for a big opera company on the West Coast doing hair and make-up. Apparently the Trattoria was teaming with opera fans. Now, this woman has been in the opera biz for 20 years and I'm just barely tapping it now, so I'm in a little over my head, but the conversation was priceless.

It was the end of the night and Opera Hair Lady (OHL) and her husband were my only table. Buzz and Big Al and their wives were still over in Milhouse's section. 30 minutes talking with OHL, 40 talking to Buzz and Gang. Huge tips all around. THIS is exactly why I wait tables.


Anonymous sistergirl said...

good to know you are still rockin it with the opera. old people are so cute, in mini-vans, or otherwise.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I SO need to find a restaurant like that around me. What fun...
Ronald McDonald just ain't cuttin' it on the wow factor for me anymore. Heh...

9:46 AM  
Blogger Aarwenn said...

Two in one day and I've never done this before! Not to nitpick, but the collection of syllables that sound like "segway" that you have there is actually spelled "segue". It's totally ridiculous, but it's true. FYI.

11:03 AM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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