I waited tables for 10 years at this small family owned restaurant in rural Ohio that had a "Famous" sandwich. It was on a few Food Network shows and stuff like that.
A family comes in, mom, dad, two little kids. I take their drink orders and as I am getting the drinks, the dad pulls me aside.
Dad: My son is obsessed with Billy Bob Thornton. We told him that Billy Bob comes here and eats from time to time, so could you just play along.
Me: Yeah of course, no problem.
I return with the drinks and the son, who is about 5 years old, starts asking me questions about Billy Bob Thornton. Like what he orders, if he is nice, stuff like that. I make shit up, because I want a good tip and don't want to ruin this little kid's life. He is so excited to hear that Billy Bob comes to the same place he is at.
I can only imagine other scenarios where Billy Bob Thornton has appeared in this kid's life.
Ex waiter. I'm walking down a long hallway carrying a tray of food. A kid comes running from an perpendicular hallway and run face first into the wall without putting his hands up. He starts crying. The dad walks behind him very calmly and kneels down and says,"Buddy, you just can't go running into walls." I muffled my immediate laugh with my hand. It brought tears to my eyes.
Grandpa is paying
Family of like eight or so, Grandpa is paying. He has the check and credit card in hand, and is trying to insert the card into the little plastic sleeve inside the check presenter.
As I walk up he says, "It's too tight, I can't get it in...(smiles and elbows his wife)...sure haven't said that in a while." She turned bright red, said his name in that "you're in trouble" tone and gave him a much harder elbow.
Tales of a bartender (part. 1)
I was at the bar, not waiting tables, but I have two. The first was a couple that sat down directly in front of where I was washing glasses. This was during the NBA Finals so I thought it was a bit odd they seemed so sad while everyone else was enjoying the game. They spent at least four hours there and from what I was able to hear they were discussing having another kid to fix their relationship.
I guess she had cheated on him because she felt 'empty' but didn't want to end their relationship as they already had kids together. The guy was clearly very upset but said he'd support her if this is what she wanted.
The other was last week during a huge fundraiser we hosted. A group of three or four ladies were noticeably uncomfortable and when I asked if they were okay they told me that one of them had a stalker who constantly shows up at her house, work, etc., and calls her repeatedly.
He just showed up to the bar. She had threatened to call the police if he didn't leave her alone, so what did he do? Naturally he bought her a drink as an apology.
Tales of a bartender (part. 2)
While bar tending a man once told me he was going to kill his boss because an accident at the cement plant killed his friend, and nothing was done to fix the problem.
I also had a guy come to the bar, order a bottle of O'Douls non-alcoholic beer and a shot of vodka. He did this several times and would stand between the bar and his table and pour the vodka in the beer, then go back to his table.
"You're in trouble."
We had a couple who would come in regularly and always asked to be seated in my coworker's section. They were probably in their 60s and were always really affectionate and cute with each other. My coworker would joke around with them all the time.
One day the man came in with a different woman than usual, and my coworker jokingly told him "Ooooh, you're in trouble. I'm going to tell your wife you were here with another woman."
Woman said, "Excuse me? I am his wife. Who the fuck has he been coming here with?" Dead awkward silence while she death-glares at her extremely uncomfortable-looking husband.
My coworker just turned around and walked away.
"He took it like a vitamin."
When I was a waiter, people often pretended that I wasn't there. The stories they told were crazy and personal. One woman at a table of six lunching ladies told the story of how her husband was recently prescribed Viagra. "He took it like a vitamin - one pill every morning. He kept having erections at work and didn't understand why."
Had a guy confess to banging his SO's sister when I brought their drinks to them. It was an anniversary. I guess he thought it would be the least likely place for her to cause a scene. She caused a scene.
What do you think really happened?
Late one night I had this couple who were maybe in their late 30s. The guy looked a little like a 'roid-head and had a lot of tattoos, tough looking guy.
From the moment they came in, the woman was crying the whole time. Not like, a little bit crying but straight up bawling. She hadn't talked to me the entire time, but the guy was very chatty. He explained to me how he had just found out that he only had a few months left to live and how she, his "angel" was gonna take care of his boy for him and all this shit. Anyway, I felt pretty genuinely bad cause that's a pretty fucked up thing to hear.
Then I saw them come in again over a year and a half later — acting totally normal. They didn't remember me, but how do you forget the face of someone that told you they were dying.
My theory is that he was abusive and was making up some cover story as to why she was crying that night. Either that or he miraculously survived without looking sickly at all, which in that case good on him.
Photos: StockSnap | Stories have been edited for spelling and flow.