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Friday, March 13, 2009

My birthday dinner and all I got was this flesh wound

True Charleston story. Names have been omitted. Ready?

A PP staffer went out with friends the other night for a birthday celebration at an unnamed establishment at which hibachi is served. The table full of young women was greeted by their hibachi operator, who quickly informed them that he had:

1. Just pierced his own tongue, so his speech would be rather garbled.

2. Was under the influence of some aromatic herb.

(Strikes one and two.)

Hibachi operator begins the flippy flip/smack the skillet/dog and pony show that is his (supposed) talent. Women begin chatting amongst themselves, anticipating both food and entertainment.

Hibachi operator miscalculates a flip. One spatula goes flying through the air, slices through one of the women's full wine glasses (causing it to EXPLODE). Spatula then grazes aforementioned women's arm, giving it a nice slice that begins to bleed. (Um, out?)

Here's the kicker.

Nothing happens.

Hibachi operator does not cease all hibachi activity. He pauses momentarily, goes to find another spatula (to replace the one that both broke a glass and winged a guest) and continues on.

The group of women sits in stunned silence. The wounded woman grabs her napkin and holds it to her BLEEDING ARM for the entirety of the meal. She says, "I'm fine," to her concerned friends.

Eventually, and I mean MUCH later, the hibachi operator asks the wounded woman, "Was there something in your glass?" She says, "Yes, wine." Hibachi operator advises server that there is a need for another glass of wine.

Necessary aside to the story: I think there is a cultural difference here that may need to be pointed out. Perhaps it's customary for a young group of Southern gals to sit in silence after a traumatic hibachi incident, but I can tell you, this Jersey girl would be up in whip if anything remotely like this happened. And I would not stop until the meal had been comped, and I left the establishment. Not a scene per se, but um, ACCOUNTABILITY anyone?

Back to the story.

More unbelievable: the hibachi operator begins creating pornographic scenes with the ingredients on his giant skillet. Seriously?

And, no manager ever appears.

The group of young women eat. And presumably, they all pay for their meals. (Our PP staffer was the first one to pay and leave. The surrealism of the scene finally got the best of her.)

I have to tell you, I was/am flabbergasted by this story. Not that it wouldn't make a fantastic SNL skit, because it would. Will Ferrell with a rising sun headband? Limbs that get lopped off in the Monty Python Holy Grail vernacular? Hilarious.

But not so much in reality.

Come on, people, this is supposed to be hospitality. As in, "an act of generously providing care and kindness to whoever is in need." I will ask you to keep your spatulas to your self in the future, sir.

P.S. If anyone can top this story, please regale me and comment.


BillRead said...

I can give you a converse example. At California Dreaming we were sitting near a glass window overlooking the kitchen. A small bug was crawling up the other side of the glass. We would not have noticed except for a manager climbed up on the other side and neatly disposed of the bug.

A few minutes later he came to the table and apologized profusely. Then he comped our meal. He went further and told us that the pest control company would be writing us to apologize as well -- which they did about a week later. Not only did they apologize, but included a voucher for the value of our meal. So we got two free meals out of the deal, for a table of 4.

Anonymous said...

That had to be Kims and that guy was one of the managers. Look on youtube. Can find videos of his perverse behavior.