Sunday, January 21, 2007 by Ospite.

As I had noted, table 28 was making my evening pretty interesting. I was keeping the rest of my section occupied and enjoying the brief downtime of one less table when i turned around and saw them sitting at 28. Crutchmaster, her two kids, and her friend whom they apparently can never leave behind.

For those of you new enough to not know quite who this nemesis might be, dig through the archives to late July.

For a brief taste: "She very slowly and dramatically entered. About 40, black tank, khaki shorts, hair pulled up, and two crutches to support her broken ankle ... She then proceeded to ask around hoping someone would relinquish their relished position in line. It's like being chosen for the promised land. Obviously most people simply stared at her as she milked the injury for all it was worth. As time passed, she convinced her children to come up to the podium every five minutes to check on the status. You'd think I'd be exaggerating...but I'm literally not. We started timing them."

It seems this woman had the same birthday three months running, on which she dines with us, rudely demands a piece of free cake (which she will relinquish to her children for their consumption), and will pull this and the crutch routine on every server and employee with whom she comes in contact. On her last visit, several of us finally put the pieces together and decided to never again let her get away with cons, no matter how small.

So there we were..staring at eachother from two tables away. I had vowed to call her out on her false claims of birthdayhood, claiming it necessary to check ID before retrieving a cake on her behalf. All of my haughty words came sweeping back. I had an obligation. And to be honest, I was a little scared. This was The Crutchmaster afterall.

Holding the gaze of her wee beady eyes, I approached the table.

"Welcome back! It's been some time since you've been here. Or at least since I saw you last. How is everything? I see the cast is off."

Bam. Both barrels from the get-go.

She was thrown off. Confused. Startled. What else did I remember? Who else besides me might remember it too? The two minions and her dear friend just stared at her as about 5 seconds passed before her lips parted for an answer.

"Good good. Yes, I don't have to use those stupid crutches now."
"Which is also good because we haven't much room to prop your foot up tonight."
"Yes well, this corner is cramped. Could we get more room here?"
"Short of knocking down that wall or asking customers to leave, I hardly see how. So, shall we start with drinks? I know you're all familiar with the menu."

Again, they sat motionless for a moment. This time it was my turn to be on the offensive. I knew the tricks, the plots, the wiles. Not on my watch. Not again.

Drinks, appetizers, main courses...all went smoothly. I was awaiting the Birthday request, and had had the entirety of the meal to prepare myself for such an occasion. I had the check printed, book in my apron, prepared to drop. To-Go boxes in hand, I couragiously stepped to the table.

"So I'll let you box those up whenever you're ready. And as I recall, you tend not to save room for dessert, as our meals are rather substantial in size. I'll leave the check here and take it whenever you are set. But by all means, don't feel rushed, and please take your time."

I smiled. I looked at the kids, the friend, and last at the Crutchmaster. With the smile plastered on my face, I flashed a look that said, 'That's it. That's all you get.' Part of me wondered if it would work. I turned on my toes and stepped quickly as I heard my name called from a table at the end of my section.

"I'm sorry to call you over here again.."
"No no. By all means, I'm at your service. You have no idea what you've saved me from."
"Pissy customer over there?"
"Let's just say we have a history."

I retrieved the plates from this blessed soul who called me over and even got them free espresso for their troubles. When I returned, the Crutchmaster was gone. There was cash in the book, and a 15% tip on the table. I couldn't hold back the joyous manly armpump with an audible "Booyah!" That's right. I actually uttered "booyah" on the floor, causing much amusement for the surrounding tables.

I had slayed the dragon. I do not expect a return.


Blogger SkippyMom said...

<----------roundly applauding!
Bravo!!! Gosh I wish you had let her request her bday dessert tho'...I would have loved your description of her face when she replied "I forgot my license!" bwahhahahaha....gotta love the crutchmaster....


1:00 PM  
Blogger caramaena said...

Well done - I'm laughing so much at this!

Will she return? I don't think so.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEAH!! Death to the Crutchmaster! LOL :)

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy you finally shanked the Crutchmaster. Bully for you! Hopefully she'll be scared straight by the experience.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

*adds to the applause*

Oh, hooray for you! That must have been infinitely satisfying!

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Love your blog.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Booyah, indeed! I'm joining in the standing ovation!!!

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was expecting a post that had a little more to do with someone getting cracked in the head with her own crutch. Oh well.

I don't think she'll be able to stay away, certainly not if you work in a small city without infinite dining options, but she may be more careful about trying to scam you. Then again, she probably has so many scams going that it's impossible for her to keep track of them all.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

Good for you!! SCORE!! Or as we say down south GIDDY UP!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Brad #1 said...

Simply amazing. That was great.

1:26 PM  

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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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