Monthly Archives: June 2008

Just Call Me Bob Vila — In a Prison Jumpsuit

This is a long one, but it’s really two stories in one, so bear with me.
So about a month ago, we had a slight bathroom emergency.  Twice.  The first time was relatively late on a Friday night, Tony had went into the bathroom and several minutes later, I heard him pounding and yelling that he couldn’t get out.  Now, both of us having had a few beers, I figured he had simply lost the ability to turn the knob (not giving him a lot of credit, admittedly.)  He finally got it open and the incident was forgotten.

Until two nights later, when he had taken a Tylenol PM at about 10:30 and I decided to stay up, Around 2:00 AM, I went into the bathroom, did my business, and tried to leave.  No such luck.  Can’t get the doorknob to turn for anything.  So I tried a few more times, banged on the door, laughed at myself a little bit.  Tried again.  Nothing.  Now I’m thinking, okay, my husband has taken a fistful of Tylenol PM, it’s two in the morning, and I’m trapped in my own goddamn bathroom.  So I start pounding on the wall, which is connected to our bedroom, in hopes of disturbing the peaceful sleep of my husband.  “TONY!!  WAKE UP!!  LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM!!  HELP!!”

Response?  Nothing at first, and then after my insistent beating, a “Uh, okay.”  And I can literally HEAR him roll back over, blissfully unaware of his wife trapped in a 10×10 cell mere feet away.  Now I go MacGyver and unscrew the doorknob with my tweezers, thinking perhaps I can jiggle the handle with my hands.  Genius, yes?  Not so much.  Am now locked in a bathroom with no fucking doorknob.

“NO!! DON’T ROLL OVER!!  I’M TRAPPED IN THE BATHROOM!!!”  Long story short, he finally wakes up, pries the door open with a hammer and god knows what, and I’m FREE!!!  Woo hoo!

I call my landlord the next morning, who I’m sure was curious as to why I’m locking a bathroom door in the middle of the night when the only other person that lives here is my husband — fyi, I didn’t lock it, the damn thing just got stuck — and he says to call drunk neighbor upstairs, also known as the maintenance guy.  He’s only the maintenance guy cause he gets a couple bucks knocked off his rent for doing work around the building, and the last time he came by to “fix” something, he drank three of our beers and spewed the contents of our clogged kitchen sink across the apartment.  My confidence in him is low.

But whatever, that’s what I’ve got.  So I mentioned it to him, he said he’d come down to fix it.  A week went by, nothing.  Mentioned it again — and I should mention, my landlord’s cool, if I’d called him about it again, he would have made sure it was fixed.  But every time I saw drunk neighbor, I had no interest in having him in my apartment, as he tends to stay awhile.  So, being the ghetto superstars we are, we solved the problem by taping a piece of cardboard over the hole where the doorknob should be, and keeping the door closed by jamming a pen in the hole.

Then we went on vacation, and somehow it’s been three weeks.  So today, I had the day off of school and no work to do, so I decided to take the problem into my own hands.  I take my walk to Wal-Mart, purchase a doorknob that promises “easy installation” for eight dollars, and I’m on my merry way.  I talked to my friend Kelly, and she tells me that this is not as easy as it seems, but whatever.  I put up blinds with a SCREWDRIVER while on a swivel chair by myself, I’ve built shelves, I replaced the wheels on the screen door last summer (Tony does the everyday stuff like laundry and dishes, as I would never make it as a housewife but am good at fixing things, for the most part,) surely I can put on a doorknob?

So I get home, start trying to figure out the doorknob pieces, which have no instructions.  Well, for eight bucks at Wal-Mart, I guess you can’t expect instructions, right?  First off, the middle piece that attaches the two sides of the doorknob doesn’t fit in the hole in the door.  Being Miss Resourceful, I gouge some more of the wood out with a knife and a razor blade, most likely ruining the door for any other doorknob, but whatever.  Fix my shit and I won’t make things worse.  And yay!  It fits.

Again making a long story short, it appears that not only am I missing directions, but two screws.  So I go back to cesspool Wal-Mart, very nicely ask a person if it would be okay if I look in a box to see if I am, indeed, missing screws.  He lets me, and sure enough, the other box not only has two more screws, but directions.  So I ask what can I do now?  He tells me that I will need to purchase another doorknob.  Scuse?  I don’t think so.  His reasoning was that there’s no way they can know that the box didn’t have the screws when I bought it.  Well, SIR, I didn’t know that I was missing screws because I was also missing fucking DIRECTIONS, which would have given me this information.  So I nod and smile, and he walks away.

I walk around the hell that is Wal-Mart for awhile, walk back to the doorknobs, open up the box that has my special screws in it, discreetly open the bag and palm the forbidden screws and walk out.  Felon!  Me, who has never stolen as much as a pack of gum.  Is anyone else surprised that with my luck, I wasn’t arrested immediately?

So I now have a new doorknob.  Sure, it only opens if you turn it to the right, but it’s a hell of a lot better than a pen.

You Asked For It – Some of my Favorite “Guests” at the Restaurant

So Trisha mentioned that I should write about the boom box story so her friends don’t think she’s lying.  I had no idea what she was talking about and had to ask her.  Apparently, it was a story I told her not long after I lost my patience with waitressing, which was appoximately three days after I completed my training.  I must have blocked it, and so many others, from my memory for fear of lashing out at the next person I see eating shrimp.

But once I remembered that one, they all started coming back to me, like that scene in “Ghost” where Whoopi Goldberg has all the people trying to communicate with their loved ones.  But instead of harmless dead people, I was assuaged with visions of, “Miss!  Miss!  Hey Bartender!  Hey Blondie!!   Where’s my shrimps!  This ain’t fried hard enough!  I want raspberry lemonade!  It’s my birthday, this is free, right?”  So rather than tell all of these stories, which would most likely result in my drinking very, very heavily tonight, I’ll just give you the highlights of my favorites.

— The boombox people.  Came in at exactly 10:55 on a Saturday when we close at 11:00.  Don’t EVER, EVER do this unless you are really going to tip your server lots of money.  I had already cleaned my section, which was closed.  Unfortunately for me, the only place this lovely foursome wanted to sit was in that particular section.  The reason?  Because it was in a little alcove type area, kind of separated from the other jerks who wouldn’t leave.  Why, you ask?  So they could play their BOOM BOX and have room to have a little dance party until one in the morning, in between sending me to fetch them more water.  They left me a whole two dollars!!  Totally worth it.

— “Well, I want raspberry lemonade and I know that he wants red Kool Aid.”  Stop.  Stop.  First of all, we don’t have raspberry lemonade, just like the last four times you came in and pissed me off.  Second of all — WTF?  What restaurants do you usually dine in?  Cause the last time I checked, even Chucky fucking Cheese doesn’t serve Kool-Aid.

— “Miss!!  Scuse me!  Miss!!  I didn’t get a pineapple with my drink, and she got a pineapple with her drink.  Why didn’t I get a pineapple?  Can I have two, since you forgot?”  You know what?  You’re 40.  You don’t get prizes with your food.
— The people who wanted all of their drinks for free because once they were almost done with them, a fly landed on the glass and apparently walked around inside of it.  Also requested that I stand by with a flyswatter in case it came back so as not to disturb their lunch.  Sure, a now homicidal waitress who gets paid three dollars an hour and has to wear a bow tie  glowering at your table with a weapon should enhance your dining experience.

— “I want raspberry lemonade,” after I’ve told the previous four patrons at her table that no, we don’t FUCKING have raspberry lemonade.  “Oh, then I’ll have blueberry lemonade.”  I can’t go further into that one cause I’m going to get a beer to calm myself.  Blood pressure, up.

— The people who told the table next to them that they would beat the hell of out of their kid if they spilled orange juice.  The child in question still didn’t have teeth.

— The two ladies, and I use that term loosely, that sent me back not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not FIVE times, not SIX TIMES, but seven times while they each alternately changed their drink order each time I brought a fresh one to the table, then one of them told me that her french fries weren’t fried hard enough and she would like a brand new batch to be made especially for her.  While the special fries were being made, she flagged me down again to tell me, “You know what?  While I’ve been waiting for my fries, my shrimps have gotten cold.”  This was the night that I went to my manager and told him that if I went back to that table, I would be fired within the next three minutes.  He took care of them, and remade the shrimps and the fries no less than three times.  HATE.

— The “men” that ordered an apple martini and then sent it back because it was too strong.  Look, Sally, if you can’t handle three apple pucker shots, perhaps you should stick to juice.

— Last but certainly not least, and this happened in several variations thoughout my stunning waitressing/bartending career, was the guy who, after his meal, came up and thanked me profusely, telling me what a great waitress I was, they so enjoyed themselves, told the manager that I was such a great server and they just loved me, then pressed a ten dollar bill in my hand to cover the tip on his $360.00 bill.  Yeah, thanks, asshole.  Your thank you will keep me almost as warm and fed as the $150.00 I would have made if I hadn’t gotten stuck waiting on your twelve person party for four hours on a Saturday night.  That will put almost as much gas in my car as I need to get home!  Thanks, SIR.

Off for more beer.  My head is starting to do that spinny thing again.