I have to admit, I never liked the show, but I did look forward to waiting on Mr. Seinfeld the first time he landed in my section. Jerr-onimo seemed like someone whom I could have a good time waiting on while I bounced some impromptu material off of him. His show featured a lot of oddball characters quite like myself and I found our chance meeting to be somewhat divine. Instead of witty banter during our first couple of interactions, all I walked away with after parting from his table were images of him whining to his friend, “Can you believe that guy?” He sat in the back of the restaurant during my inaugural servitude of his majesty and because of his snippy attitude I was determined to go on the attack and cover the entire 20 points of service that we were required to follow for each table. Hey, what did I know, he ate there so much he could have been a secret shopper (wink, wink). What better disguise than that of a famous celebrity? Julia Child worked undercover with the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/13/documents-julia-child-pol_n_118820.html. Maybe Jerry Seinfeld, if that was his real name, was operating as an undercover agent for the celebrity shopper’s network.
Anyway, I usually kicked off my routine with a “Hello, welcome to the home of the Matzo Ball soup, my name is Jozef, can I bring you a beverage or a bar drink? A margarita or a glass of wine, perhaps?” I think I got as far as Hello, when Jerry abruptly interrupted me with a “We’re going to need a few minutes.” When I came back after the allotted time, the man of a thousand laughs said they were ready to order and gave me no opportunity whatsoever to interject. He immediately ordered his Chinese Chicken Salad and beverage of choice and passed the Matzo Ball to his friend, Barry. Since TV’s jokesmith cut me off before I even had a chance to offer them the second thing on my checklist, my next question was punching its way out of me like a baby alien stuck inside my colon. Once Barry finally finished stammering through his order I went retroactive on their asses by asking them if they would like an appetizer such as mozzarella sticks or a quesadilla. Barry graciously declined and thanked me as I collected the menus. Mr. Seinfeld just stared intensively at the wall across from him.
When the food was ready I immediately delivered it to their table and asked them if there was anything else I could get them. This was company policy and yet another item on my checklist, not me kissing Seinfeld’s ass as he suspected. But by that point I could tell the Good Jerr-man was getting very annoyed with my persistence. Barry spoke for the duo by calmly and politely stating something to the effect of “I think we’re good.” When I returned two minutes later to fulfill the next item on my checklist which was to check back within two minutes to make sure their food was okay, Seinfeld was irate. He dropped his fork on his plate and leaned back in his seat. A bewildered Barry just nodded his head yes and continued to chew on the mouthful of food that he recently crammed into his face. I’m not stupid, I can take a hint. Up until that stage of the meal my checklist was complete so I only went back to the table every few minutes or so to refill their drinks which also seem to vex the master of the one liner.
After being assured that they were finished with their chow I naturally felt compelled to collect their plates and whisk them away. I was nearing the end of my checklist and was gearing up for the grand finale. I strolled up to their table and in the most benevolent way possible asked, “Would you guys like something for dessert?” To which I got a surprising response from Mr. Seinfeld…
Copyright (c) 2010 by Jozef Rothstein