|Don't ask about that secret ingredient.|
Until that one time, when one of those corny lines became one of the most embarrassing things I'd ever said.
The restaurant that I was working at had a fresh seafood special that day, a seasonal thing that our clientele went crazy for and the place was packed to the gills. One of the tables in my section was a party of six older folks and they had all ordered the special. No big deal. I rang their order in and dropped off their drinks from the bar. When their food was ready, I dropped it off and ensured they had everything that they needed. Taking my leave, I informed them that I'd be back shortly to check that everything was to their satisfaction.
When I returned, I asked them how everything was and they were ecstatic, raving about their meals and asking just how fresh the soft shell crab special really was.
"Well, let me tell you, they're as fresh as it gets. I was out all night, working hard at it and I caught the crabs fresh, just this morning," I said.
It was only after the stupidity fell out of my mouth that I realized what I had said. Things got really awkward, really fast, after that. Everyone at the table looked stunned.
I'm like a finger in your ass. I'm either a wonderful surprise or I make everything fucking awkward and uncomfortable. Guess which one it was this time?
Silence reigned. I'd have killed for any sound, even crickets, but I have never heard a more deafening silence in my entire life. My embarrassment began at my toes and quickly crept up to the top of my bald head. I started to stutter out God only knows what, because I don't think that I was even capable of forming a coherent sentence at the time.
I stopped trying to talk and kept my mouth clamped shut, which for me, well, it sounds a lot easier than it is. The awkward silence continued to grow, flex, and stretch until one of the older guys, bless his arterial sclerosis clogged little heart, started chuckling and then he was laughing so hard, I thought he might stroke out and die on me, or something. The other two guys at the table joined in and soon enough, even the little old ladies started tittering behind their hands and I relaxed a little, knowing that they weren't going to freak out and have me fired.
I'd like to say that I learned a valuable lesson that day, a lesson in the value of keeping my mouth shut, but we all know the truth of that...