After enough years of serving food/libations, you kind of get a feel for what a person is going to order. Skinny little blondes tend to eat salads, chubby people order fish ‘n chips (and three thousand refills on their sodas), and so on, and so forth. (For the record, I have nothing against fish ‘n chips.)
That said, I had one of those rare customers the other day at work that completely threw me for a loop. It was a fairly slow day-shift at the bar/restaurant I work at, so I was actually a little excited to see a customer walk through the door to sit in my section. Now, I realize that it’s not very politically correct to refer to him as a “big ol’ black guy”, but I’m sorry. That’s exactly what he was. He was very big, and very black, and very tattooed. I’d say he was somewhere in the vicinity of 6’6″, and maybe weighed around 350 lbs. Of course, that 350 lbs wasn’t necessarily fatness. He was big in a linebacker kind of a way, with a powerfully imposing thickness that only Samoans and black people tend to manage. (Really big white people just look kind of squishy and jiggly to me.) Anyhow, much to my delight, his voice actually matched his appearance. Deep, gravelly, and with the faintest hint of a deep-south drawl and dialect, he immediately ordered a double order of hot wings and chili cheese fries. I kind of figured that was about what he would order, and was busily jotting it down…. when he completely and totally surprised me.
“I wanna order me something fruity.”
Confused, I looked up from my waitress pad. “I’m sorry… What?”
“I said I wanna order me some kind of fruity drink. What you got?” He looked at me expectantly. For a moment, I was so confused that I couldn’t manage an answer. I mean, the man had just ordered grease upon grease upon grease, with a side of ranch dressing to wash it down. Wasn’t this the point where he was supposed to ask me for some scary, manly drink that matched his tattooed, gigantic exterior? Something like a bottle of whisky, or maybe a beer with a couple of chest hairs thrown in to spice it up?
“Ummm…” It took a few moments before I could come up with anything. “Maybe a strawberry daquiri? Would you like one of those?”
He looked thoughtful for a moment before replying, “Is it slushy? I want me a fruity, slushy drink.”
“Oh, yeah. You can order it frozen. It’s basically a frozen, strawberry alcoholic drink.” In fact, before I discovered how tasty a margarita could be, strawberry daquiris where the only alcoholic drink I could stand the taste of. “It comes with whipped cream on top!” I added, brightly. Who could resist the lure of whipped cream? “Of course, you can always try a pina colada.”
He looked at me doubtfully. “What’s in that?”
I listed the ingredients both both drinks before adding, “You know, strawberry daquiris are my personal favorite.” I really wanted to add at that point that they were my favorite because I was a girl, and unlike him I could get away with liking foofy drinks like this without being ridiculed, and wouldn’t he like to try a manlier drink? I thought better of it, of course. I didn’t want to put him in a bad mood. Besides, even without his scary-looking tattoos he might not have to worry about people making fun of him for his drink choices. Once you’re 6’6 and 350 pounds, people kind of ridicule you at their own risk.
Well, since I’m sure you’re all dying to know, he went with the strawberry daquiri. The food order came up first, and when I was finally able to bring his foofy-girly drink to him, I made sure to nestle it in between the mountain of buffalo wings and grease-laden fries. It stood out quite conspicuously, looking absurdly pink amongst all that macho-ness at the table. I think I found that placement a great deal more amusing than it actually was, but what can I say? It was pretty slow that day at work, so I was getting my kicks where I could.