“You might just want to leave,” the waitress said. “Your order hasn’t even been put in the system.”
Axel, James, Jed, and I looked at each other. After sitting here for over an hour, our order wasn’t even official?
“How long are we talking?” Axel asked. “30 or 40 minutes?”
“A lot longer,” she said, looking defeated. Her eyes begged us to just go. “I’ll close up your tab and take care of it. This half of the restaurant hasn’t even had their food started. You should really go.”
I looked down at my cup of coffee. I should have ordered something more expensive.
I hadn’t even gotten any refills.
I guess that’s what happens when your waitress quits halfway through brunch.
About ten minutes before, the hostess had approached our table. “I’m so sorry for the wait,” she’d said. “But your waitress quit.”
We looked at each other.
“Two of the cooks quit too,” the she followed up with.
This last part actually made sense. Not long before, James had relayed what he’d seen from his vantage point. Jed and Axel had seen it too. Sadly, I had missed it.
Makes you wonder if I’m just not that observant.
“A guy walked out of the kitchen, punched something furiously into the computer, and left!” James told us.
Now that we had more details, he concocted a timeline of events.
“Our waitress was probably dating the cook. So she quit when he quit,” James explained.
“And what about the second cook?” Jed asked.
“Oh, he was just mad that the restaurant was so understaffed. So he quit too.”
“Can I offer you a free cookie?” the hostess approached our table.
You better offer us a few free cookies, I thought.
As she walked away, we reflected on the events of the brunch. We started out with only three chairs for the four of us.
Perhaps it had been an omen.
Jed was lucky he didn’t have to sit at the counter five feet away.
Now we had three cookies for the four of us.
With the waitress encouraging us – ordering us!? – to leave, we had no other choice.
We walked across the street and bought sandwiches, which we took back to our condo and ate on the roof.
But like when you get interrupted before you finish telling your story, I had that sensation of, “I want to finish what I started.”
The next week, when I met my friend Alissa for coffee, I insisted we return to the site of the foodless breakfast. I didn’t tell her the story until we arrived; I realized it might not be a selling point for the restaurant.
And what did I order?
The exact same thing I’d failed to eat the weekend before.
Only this time, I got my food.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the drama.