This was supposed to be a fun night out, but here we are twiddling our thumbs in an overcrowded noisy room waiting for a wandering waiter. Why is he called the waiter? We’re doing all the waiting. He’s the waitee.

He gave us five-page menus when we arrived and three minutes later asked if we’d made our choices. We asked for more time and he was more than generous. So far, we’ve had almost an hour. By now I’d settle for a quick bowl of soup and saltines.

Why is restaurant dining so popular? We gave up home cooking and the privacy of our dining room, drove through heavy traffic and had our car parked by a tattooed teenager. Now we’re waiting to eat food cooked by a stranger in some faraway kitchen and, if the room wasn’t this uncomfortably crowded, we’d suspect the quality of the meals.

At least we weren’t forced to wait at the bar for more than five minutes. There was one groggy fellow there who seemed to have forgotten, after two martinis, what he was waiting for. I hope he called a taxi soon after mentioning to me he’d had “Tee martoonies”.

Here comes that little toddler from the next table again, chewing on a steak bone and drooling on my best slacks. “No, no, Madam, he’s not bothering me one bit. I’m enjoying him. He reminds me of when I was an undisciplined little brat, Ha, Ha!” That usually works.

Where is that waiter? After he serves us we won’t be able to get rid of him. He’ll keep returning just when I have a mouth full of linguini and ask, “Is everything all right?” I’ll reply “Grmmplx!” dripping red sauce onto my new tie and he’ll say, “Very good!” in that smug way of waiters when it’s getting close to tip time.

Thank heavens, here comes our waiter now, but who is that with him? Isn’t that the tattooed teenager carrying something? I can tell by the license plate. That’s my front bumper!

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