Monday, March 07, 2005
Man, what is it with me and waiters?
Yesterday I was walking along North Beach, which is a place in San Francisco with lots of outdoor restaurants, where people like to sit outside on the sidewalk if the weather is nice and people-watch.
So I was strolling by one of these restaurants on my way to somewhere else when a waiter looks up, comes straight to me, stops and blocks my passage through the sidewalk, and offers me the plate he was carrying, all while saying "You ordered the ham and mozarella sandwich?" and smiling broadly.
I side-stepped to avoid him, muttering a confused "nope", while wondering how he could've possibly thought I had had time to find myself a table, look at the menu, decide what to order, order, and then get up from my table, walk away from the restaurant, then turn around, and walk towards the restaurant in the same direction I was walking when I had first, allegedly, arrived, all within the span of 2 seconds, which is the time it must've taken him, tops, to spot me for the first time when I was approaching the restaurant from up the street.
I was thus brooding, when I finally realized, that this was perhaps his way of starting a light conversation, for at that moment, when I stopped and turned to look at him, surprised at this revolutionary idea, I saw him deliver the sandwich to its proper owner (who was sitting a few tables away from where I was standing), turn towards me again, and give me a good natured wink and grin.
Unfortunately, by this time auto-pilot had already kicked in, and my legs were already carrying me away against my will, while I kept wondering confusedly whether he had been teasing or not, and how it is that these kinds of strange twilight-zone conversation snippets with waiters seem to happen to me a lot, by then too flustered and far away from the restaurant to be able to make a graceful return.