I could tell this woman was going to pose a problem before she opened her mouth to speak. She just had that ominous look about her as she waddled up to the bar determinedly and plopped her girth onto one of the stools.
Without so much as looking at a menu, this woman announced that she would have a chicken Caesar salad for lunch.
“Unfortunately, we do not offer a chicken Caesar salad, ma’am,” I said, “but we do have a number of really nice options to choose from if you’d like to take a look at a menu.”
“What’s the closest thing you have to a chicken Caesar salad?”
“Um, I guess it would be the mixed field greens, which comes tossed in our house vinaigrette dressing.”
“Sounds perfect,” the woman responded. “I’ll have that with Caesar dressing.”
Oh, sweet lord above.
“Ma’am, I can’t offer you Caesar dressing because we don’t have a Caesar dressing in house. Can I steer you towards one of our other salads? I assure you, they’re pretty tasty.”
“Well, now I just don’t know,” the woman whined, as though this news was threatening to ruin the rest of her life. “I really had my heart set on a Caesar salad.”
“Okay,” I offered, nimbly changing tactics. “How about this? I can’t conjure you up a Caesar salad, but I can get close. How about a mixed green salad with Ranch dressing, we’ll throw some chicken on there, and I’ll ask the kitchen to add some croutons and parmesan cheese. That work?”
“I guess it’ll have to do,” the corpulent customer sighed dejectedly. “How much will that be?”
“Probably around eight dollars.”
“Why so expensive?”
Perhaps I’m completely off base here, but since when was eight dollars expensive???
“Well, the basic salad is five bucks or so, and adding the chicken will cost another three dollars, which will bring your total to around eight dollars after tax.”
“But I don’t want chicken.”
It was becoming increasingly difficult to bite my tongue, by this point in the conversation. Was this woman for real?
“I’m sorry, I thought you initially asked for a chicken Caesar salad. I’ll take the chicken off, in that case. I must have misheard you.”
“That will be fine. I’d like a Diet Pepsi as well, please.”
“We carry Coke products. Will a Diet Coke be alright?” I knew the answer to this question before I was even finished asking it.
“Ugh, no. Ick. I’ll be fine with water, in that case.”
“Suit yourself,” I said with a placating smile. “I’ll get your order going right away. Shouldn’t take long to get that food out.”
“Oh, and sir?” she asked as I was turning to go. “I’d like anchovies on my salad as well, please.”
Of course you would, lady. Of course you fucking would.