You have got to be kidding me.
Reaching into her apron for the third time, Marcia grabs yet another straw and hands it to the four year old child in the high chair in front of her, wondering how many more times the mother is going to ask for a piece of plastic to entertain her misbehaved, obnoxiously loud child.
“Here you go, sweetheart” She says, reluctantly maintaining the same grin she’s become all-too-accustomed to over her last four years serving at Lenghorn.
“Can I get you anything else?” She asks the mother.
“Um, no. That’s all for now.” The patron replies, only halfway paying attention to her. “Oh, actually you know what? We could use some more bread.” She adds, pointing to the three pieces left on the board in front of her, not bothering to look at her.
“You got it.” Marcia says with a smile. “I’ll be right back.”
Slowly swiveling to face her other table, Marcia takes a deep breath to contain the frustration she’s feeling. It’ll all be over soon, she thinks, referring to the night classes she takes that will launch her into a life outside of the serving industry.
“You folks still doing okay? Do you need anything?” She asks her other table, thankful that these people are actually appreciative of the job she’s doing.
“No thanks! We’re good.” The patrons reply, thanking her for checking on them.
Geez. Why can’t everyone be like you guys? Marcia wonders, making her way back to the server line to grab the fourth loaf of bread for her previous table.
As she walks into the kitchen, she overhears her coworker Chris’ contagious laugh. It’s a welcome sound, as his bellowing voice never fails to wash away the frustration servers feel toward their customers.
“What’s so funny?” Marcia asks.
“Oh, nothing.” Rachel, the polite and positive server that everyone likes replies. “The boys are just trying to test Emily’s butt to see if it pops like a balloon when you poke it. Some of them think she’s gotta be sporting some panty pushups to have an ass like that.”
“Men.” Marcia says, rolling her eyes with a laugh.
“Hey Marcia! I need you to check me out.” Coming around the corner, Dustin walks towards her with his checkout paper ready to sign. “I’m in section 41-61.” He says. “But wait. I don’t mean like, check me out. You know? Not like, check me out as in check me out. I mean do my check out. Cause I’m cut. And you know, you have to….check me out. So will you check me out?”
“Breathe, Dustin.” Marcia says. “Here, let me sign it for you.”
As Marcia initials Dustin’s checkout receipt, a long, plate sized, slender-legged spider crawls out from the corner of the ceiling.
“OPEN UP YOUR SIDE WORK!!” The spider shouts. “This is the third time I’ve gotten ice for you people!”
“I’m sorry Blake!” Nela mutters. “I was too beesy asking for halp on the compooter.” Nela, a sweet, Bosnian princess, recently began making the transition from hosting to serving.
Looking toward Marcia, Chris (with the bellowing laugh) whispers in her ear. “You know, sometimes that spider annoys the hell out of me, but I have to admit, he’s actually kind of right. Maybe we really do need to start doing a better job of doing our side work.”
Overhearing the conversation, Michelle, the ruby-haired damsel behind the bar agrees. “He’s right. Sometimes it takes balls to tell people they need to get it together. And that spider’s balls are big. Like, way big.” She adds, smirking as she walks off.
“Guys! We need seengers!”
Out of nowhere, an Egyptian-looking male server starts to sprint-walk through the server alley. “I have a birthday and I need seengers!”
“Dammit.” Marcia says. “Alright, let’s go.”
As the two leave to sing happy birthday to a customer that probably would rather not have them sing happy birthday, the phone begins to ring.
“Anyone gonna pick it up?” Mike, the other bartender asks.
“I’ll get it. Since apparently they love to schedule me on to-gos.” Replies Mark, one of the more sensitive servers of the bunch.
Picking up the phone, Mark answers with his bottled Lenghornian greet.
“It’s a wonderful day at Lenghorn! How may I…”
“YEAH WHO’S THIS I’M SPEAKING TO?” The voice on the phone interrupts.
“Um, Mark.” Mark replies.
“Well you get me a manager on the horn. This here is the district manager and we need to talk about who all we need to let go.”
“Let go?” Mark says. “But…why?”
“Aw come on now son, don’t be dense. You know as well as I do that some of ya’ll just don’t get it. And we can’t have you slow ones pulling the rest of us down.”
“Okay sir. I’ll…I’ll go get my boss. Please hold.” Mark mutters.
Walking to the back of the restaurant, Mark knocks on the manager’s door.
“Hey boss.” He says. “I think corporate’s on the line for you.”
Perking up, the manager jumps out of his chair. “Great! Let’s see what they want.”
As the manager makes his way to the phone, Mark lingers in the back with the other servers who are racking their silverware.
“Hey guys.” He says, pointing toward the front. “I think our boss is about to get rid of a bunch of us.”
“Excuse me?” Bernard, an alpha server, steps forward in response to Mark’s assertation. “What do you mean they’re getting rid of us?”
“I’m not sure.” Mark says. “But I think that’s what they’re talking about.”
“Oh, HELL NO.” Bernard says. “We ain’t putting up with this anymore.”
Suddenly, an eerie blue mist appears from underneath the refrigerator door. As the door begins to slowly squeak open, a small, fairy-looking creature flies out from beyond the mist.
“Hello Lenghornians!” The fairy exclaims. “It is I! Ashli, Queen of the House of Back! And do not forget my accompaniment, Connee! Queen of the House of Front!”
Rushing forward and bending to his knees, Xavier the unicorn, widely known as the wittiest of them all, bows to the fairies.
“Oh Fairies!” He shouts. “Alas! We have pondered the hour of your arrival! Please, you must save us from the goings-on that is corporate!”
“Fear not.” Connee says. “For I have a very special pixie dust that shall render your rulers…obsolete.” She says with a sinister smile.
“But is it safe to release this power amongst mortal men?” Asks Ashli, the other fairy.
“It is so!” Connee replies. “Step forward Xavier, behold the power of Prairie Dust!”
Approaching the fairy, Xavier the unicorn gallops toward Connee, fulfilling her request.
“Now,” Connee instructs, “sprinkle a smidgeon unto thy co-worker Wendell.”
Slowly walking forward, Xavier grasps the small pouch of Prairie Dust in his teeth. Walking toward Wendell, he shakes his head to sprinkle a portion of the pouch onto Wendell’s long, glistening hair.
“Behold!” Connee repeats, pointing to the transformation Wendell is undergoing.
At first, not much happens. The dust simply falls into Wendell’s hair and gradually makes its way onto his scalp, out of sight. Then, after several suspenseful seconds, his limbs begin to transform into onion petals. Slowly, one by one, every piece of his body is converted into an item on the Lenghorn menu. After its all said and done, the only thing that remains is an appetizer sampler and a texas tonion.
“MUAHAHAHA!!!” Connee shrieks. “We must unleash this onto the powers that be!”
Collectively nodding, the servers all high five each other and begin talking about how excited they are to see their bosses turn into food.
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