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Moonstruck, Five Easy Pieces at dinner at the local Jewish Deli

The husband and I were out to dinner at a local Jewish deli this evening. It is in the cycle of neighborhood restaurants that we frequent on Friday nights. A couple is seated in a booth just behind us. When the waiter comes back to take their order the gentleman starts putting him through hoops with his questions. He, “I see you have Chinese chicken and rice dish special, what’s that like?” Excuse me, really --- you are in a Jewish delicatessen why would you consider their Chinese chicken and rice special?

chicken in a pot
photograph from Morgue File

Next it was like a scene from Five Easy Pieces. He asks, “You have a fish sandwich?” The waiter replies, “yes.” “Can I get that without the bread and can you broil that?” “No sir, it is battered and fried only” the waiter patiently responded. It was another five minutes of this gentleman breaking down each item. He ordered a salad with the dressing on the side and he wanted them to chop the salad for him. The husband and I are smiling but the best was yet to come.

The wife starts with her questions and her ordering with all her special requests worse than the husband. She focuses in on the “chicken in a pot” which comes with half a chicken, matzo balls, noodles, chicken soup – a veritable whole meal in a tureen. She informs the waiter she decided on the chicken in a pot but she wanted the noodles on the side. It was at this point I started laughing uncontrollably. Maybe it was one of those ‘you had to be there moments’ but is was damn funny to me. Dressing on the side, gravy on the side but noodles?

My hat is off to waiters and waitresses around world who most times graciously put up with the public’s little or large eccentricities. There is a reason I no longer wait tables. I would have pulled a Cher from Moonstruck and hit them upside the head and said “snap out of it!”

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