Brown Paper Bag
it's been one of those days and I'm in one of those moods. I just finished watching Philadelphia (a great, great movie). I ended up taking a long night walk. it's hot as shit out there. good thing we have a handle on that whole situation and we're doing everything to make it better. Jesus Christ.
I got over my compunction of going out to eat alone. I detest the food delivery services and, I know this sounds super sad, but I feel kind of lonely. there are only so many dinners one can eat in the confines of his empty condo, watching the same Seinfeld episode for the umpteenth time (not that I'm complaining about the latter part, I really feel like I'm starting to like Seinfeld MORE every time I watch it). so I went to a local place, nothing too fancy, just a little Japanese place that has great sushi. so I'm sitting there, safely scanning the scene from the security of my secluded booth. I noticed this couple come in. to say that they were dressed inappropriately was an understatement.
she wore this weird two piece thing where here belly hung over like an over-baked muffin top. his shirt was way too short and his pants were far too low. she had one of those tattoos that showed a heart beat across her forearm. but it wasn't the gleaming gold tooth that caught my eye but the brown paper bag that the young man was holding as they entered. so they get a table, fortunately for me and my nightly entertainment, quite close to where I was.
sure enough, after ordering just some water this person pulls out a bottle of white wine from the paper bag. after guzzling their water quite quickly (all the while sneakily keeping the wine hidden from the not too attentive waiter anyhow) they filled it up with wine. well I should say their routine was actually more ingenious than that. they left about a quarter of water in it. and, when mixed, unless you looked really closely (or had reason to look) it looked like the same glass of water (at least to the obviously glassy-eyed waiter who was just running out the string of his shift at this point).
so the game was going on fabulously until, as tends to happen when one quickly polishes off wine without any food, they were getting quite loud and rowdy. at some point, apparently the inebriation point had been reached and they decided, "fuck it" and to no longer hide their well planned (and I definitely concede) clever rouse. the bottle was now out in the open. that waiter got shocked back into the first day on the job when he saw it. first, he started sputtering, constantly readjusting his glasses as if he wasn't seeing what had just materialised upon this very table that he had been serving.
"you can't bring that here!"
the waiter spastically gestured at the now almost empty wine bottle: "THAT!"
at this the matron of the restaurant hustled over to see what in the world was upsetting the tranquil atmosphere that she was so intent on providing to her customers.
"what is the problem?"
"they brought in their own wine."
she swung her gaze to the table and, to say that she was not only disappointed with the bottle of wine but also the patrons who were sitting there is an understatement. her jaw clenched in a manner that I could only describe as painful. she was obviously trying not to lose her shit, especially, as it seemed as though this lovely couple was ready to go all in and die right there on the table for their right to bring outside alcoholic beverages into the establishment.
after a moment collecting herself and apparently drawing on every yoga class she had taken over the past 3 years she responded in a calm, but firm tone: "you will have to pay and leave right now. you cannot bring outside alcohol into our restaurant."
"oh we leaving, we leaving but we ain't paying."
at this a tense stare down occurred, I know it is not much talked about, but it just seems like there is a lot of hostility between African Americans and asians. it just seemed to be simmering right below a boiling point at this juncture. at that point reinforcement came in the form of a caucasian man (judging by the way he pulled the woman back, this may have been the matron's husband).
"I think it's best if you just leave." he paused for a moment, then with emphasis, "now."
this caused a lot of pearl clutching on the part of the couple who were now being apparently victimised. but, knowing that they were essentially receiving a free meal they duly made out of there but not without first posturing a few times and threatening that they were going to blast this place on social media (an actual threat they made verbatim).
I watched the husband clean up the dishes and the wine. he just looked so sad. the woman looked like she was fuming and she was glaring at him. obviously she did not approve of his manner of defusing the situation by letting them walkout without paying. I wonder if she called him weak when they were back in the kitchen. berated him for giving in. anything to hold the peace. I don't know, I think he did the right thing. they were so liquored up (they had to have been drinking prior to arrival, you can't get that drunk off of a bottle of wine between two people).
some of the shit that service people have to deal with. I wonder what that couple thought? a presumable victory for them. who cares about opprobrium? does that even exist in their world? what did they do after they left? get more alcohol? go to another restaurant? fuck? go to a club? sit at home and play video games? go to work? walk their dog? do their taxes? I don't know. I wonder, like I just wonder what they are doing right now. are they at another restaurant running the same scheme? or did they order in?
who knows. who knows.