The Jinx returns

Just when I thought it was safe to come in out of the cold and enjoy a quiet meal in a restaurant, The Jinx returned. 

I prefer eating at home. I like grocery shopping, making desserts, seasoning meats and chopping fresh fruits and vegetables. I like getting what I want when I want it. 

I knew exactly what I wanted before I entered a restaurant recently. I had a coupon for the day’s special. I just did not know The Jinx clung to that coupon. My husband and I went to eat a late lunch when the few cars in the parking lot and sparsely populated tables predicted little competition for server’s attention.

Before the hostess could motion the waitress over we said, “We want the special of the day.”

The waitress handed us a menu. We looked, folded it shut and repeated, “We want the special and water.”

She took the information, walked away and returned with water and forks wrapped in napkins. “Do you want anything else?”

A knife,” I stated.

You don’t really need one. The food is already cut up.”

I like to use a knife to slide food onto the fork.”

Oh,” she said and wandered away. We picked up the menus she had not taken and glanced through them again. The dish of the day still looked sufficient.

A couple other guests entered and ordered. 

The clock ticked. The waitress returned, “How are you doing?”

We looked at our empty table, “We’re fine.” 

She disappeared.

Meals arrived for other patrons. 

The clock crept forward another 10 minutes.

The befuddled server drifted back. “Are you doing okay? Do you need some more water?”

No. Just food,” we said. 

We waited. I mused, “Maybe we should have ordered an appetizer.” 

The server reappeared, pulled out the bill and laid it on the stack of menus topped with our coupon for the meal of the day. “’Was everything okay?” 

We don’t need the bill. We haven’t received any food. ”

Startled, she studied at our pristine table and clean forks. “It was the other table?” she mumbled as she wandered over to the computer to enter something.

I looked at the clock. Thirty minutes had passed in the dining room with its scattering of patrons.

The server returned. “ I’m sorry it is taking so long. It’s a new dish. Do you want any more water?”

We did not need any more water for our melting ice cubes. We watched other patrons leave.

The server place anther glass of water between us. “I’m sorry it’s taking so long. It will be here in 15 seconds.” 

She left. We chuckled, “It’s not going to be 15 seconds.”

Four minutes later the steaming hot platters of food arrived. 

The rest of the food is coming,” she promised.

Another server brought the food, “do you need there anything else?”

Yes. I would like a knife and some extra napkins, please.”

Within seconds, she returned with knives wrapped in napkins.

We settled into eating a great meal and the server returned presented the bill and a to-go box.

We handed her the coupon.

She studied it, went to the cash register and returned, “I have to wait for the manager to enter that coupon.”

We stacked the empty dishes neatly and sipped more water until the server returned with a new bill and announced, “The manager adjusted the bill.” 

I figured a tip and signed.

An hour after we arrived for a quick, late lunch, we left the still nearly empty restaurant with another story about The Jinx.