“Be careful, lest in casting out your demons you exorcise the best things in you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Many years ago, I worked for a very small restaurant chain in Florida that was known for offering half-price appetizers during their happy hour. This promotion was loathed by all of the employees and it would attract all of the really cheap and completely broke assholes for miles around and it would basically result in the front of the house staff working twice as hard, for half the money. These entitled motherfuckers would come in, spend their five or ten dollars and they would then proceed to treat you rudely, run your ass off, complain about everything and leave you a shitty tip, if they bothered to tip you at all. It was complete bullshit.
There were always a few gems hidden amongst the throngs of losers that came in for their half-price food; a few decent people that made all of the bullshit worthwhile. On certain nights, we would get a large church crowd in addition to everyone else that would show up for the late night appetizer trough; large and small groups of pleasant and polite folks that were members of a local church; a somewhat strange Christian sect that no one seemed to know much about. All in all, the adults were pretty decent folks who treated you with genuine courtesy, tipped well and were relatively easy to take care of; they just had a few small peculiararities, that's all. Well...
I did make a few observations about those people. I'm not judging mind you, even though we all know damn well that I am, so let's just pretend that I'm not, okay?
There seemed to be some question as to the nature of the religious identity and belief system of these people. Many of my co-workers believed them to be Mennonites, but being familiar with Mennonites and their beliefs and having lived in areas with large Mennonite populations, I can tell you that this just wasn't the case. The men from this church had no facial hair and the women wore no bonnets, whereas Mennonite men grow beards and the women wear a head covering. Mennonites are basically Amish people that choose to live in the modern world.
I never learned the name of the church that they attended, but they would always come in after services, which were always on odd days and at strange times, but it seemed as if their main services would end fairly late in the evening. I guess that everyone worked up quite an appetite, dancing with snakes and speaking in tongues and after the expense of tithing, all they could afford to eat was the shit that we served. They would arrive after ten o'clock and entire families of them would start queuing up at the front door, all wearing their Sunday best; the men and boys dressed in suits, while the girls and women all wore dresses and sported matching beehive hairdos. These were some seriously super stylish dresses. Imagine the Sound of Music seriously super stylish dresses, homespun and everything. It really did look as if the women's clothing was cut from curtains and it sometimes made me wonder if the carpet matched the drapes. Either that, or the damn things were cut from the upholstery of some hideously ugly couch; some castoff relic from a bad 60's acid trip art session,. These were some seriously ugly fucking dresses, let me fucking tell you. Gaudy floral dresses are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. It was quite a contrast to see the men in their store bought suits compared to the ladies that were stuck wearing curtains and sheets. It seemed as if the men got to ride up in first class, while the women had to travel coach.
One particularly busy Friday night, we were getting our asses handed to us and I guess that services had ended and church had emptied out; each family making their way over to the restaurant and that half-price food. Thankfully, with the section that I was in that night, I didn't have any tables that could accomodate large parties, so I was saved from having to run my ass off and from having to make nine hundred and forty-three freaking Strawberry Mountain Dews and Mango Fucking Pepsi's. Seriously. Who the fuck drinks shit like that? Worse, what kind of fucking parent lets their kids drink shit like that at eleven o'clock at night? With multiple refills, no less. Even worse, I used to throw in extra shots of sugary syrup just to make the kids even more hyper and to punish the parents, because fuck that and those little bastards drank it up, becoming more and more hyper as time went on. Fuck, even I can't ingest that kind of caffeine and sugar and I live on that shit. It's no wonder that they would spend hours in the parking lot after we closed, letting the kids run around like little maniacs, all hopped up on soda and Jesus.
I only had one table open in my section and the host dropped off a single, older lady in her bright and gaudy finest. She wasn't really older, being somewhat around my age, but her dress, hair and demeanor made her seem about ten years older than she probably was. Plus, I'm old as fuck, so you get what I mean.
I idly admired the print of the curtains that she was wearing and wondered how long ago that particular floral pattern had been hanging in the window of some abandoned home somewhere. As I was about to make my way over to the table and get her drink order (I don't always introduce myself, you don't have a right to know my name and I mostly all of the time wear a fucking name tag, so if you can't fucking read, it's on you, bitch), my manager walked up to me and told me that the woman seated at my table was a regular customer, that she came in by herself every Friday night and always ordered the salmon and that I was to make sure that she was well taken care of and that I needed to make her feel special. I assured my boss that I was up to the task and that I'd take care of it. No worries.
"Steve," she said in a warning tone, "Be nice."
"No worries," I said. "I can pretend to be anything."
I smiled. My boss had a panic stricken expression on her face that I found amusing. I laughed as I turned around and walked off, realized that I was headed the wrong way, turned around again and acted like I knew where I was going.
As I approached the table, I turned on the charm, such as it was, The only thing that this meant was that I was able to hide my normal, "Why don't you go fuck yourself" attitude while I pretended to be a normal and pleasant human being. People actually fall for that shit. People are fucking stupid and easily fooled.
"What the fuck is this?" I remember thinking.
The woman had shielded her face with her hand and averted her gaze, looking away from the rest of the restaurant and staring intently at the menu. I'm shooting in the dark here, but I'm guessing that she did this in order not to inflame the passions in the loins of any nearby men, which is a totally good thing, but she really didn't need to worry about inflaming anything. Trust me. Oh, dear Jesus, trust me.
I actually introduced myself, pretending to be all nice and shit. She fell for it. The moment that I spoke to her, the hand dropped and she turned her face to me. Her master's voice, She introduced herself to me and told me that she came in all of the time. I told her that I noticed that she came in every Friday night (I'd never seen her before) and mentioned that she always got the salmon. She blushed.
"I didn't think that anyone ever noticed me," she said. She was beaming.
Oh, shit. Was she flirting with me? I briefly wondered if there was a possibility of turning her into a pot smoking, alcohol guzzling, gutter slut and stifled an evil cackle that others might have interpreted as a giggle or a laugh. I dialed back the charm a little and got down to business, asking what she'd like to drink. She ordered a "sample" of peach iced tea and a glass of water. I smiled and made my escape.
I excused myself and headed over to the computer to place her order and I saw that my boss was standing there, waiting for me. I quickly wondered what I was in trouble for and how I was going to spin it, but I needn't have worried.
"You sure were there a long time," boss lady said. "I was starting to wonder if you were going to convert. What the hell were you talking to her about?"
"She was complaining about the salmon that she had last week. She said the fish was drier than her snatch, but she sure does love that artichoke spread. I was thinking about recreating the sex scene from Hot Shots with her."
It's kind of hard to describe the look on my manager's face at that moment. Her face had turned kind of reddish purple, she seemed to be having difficulty speaking and she also seemed to be on the verge of having a stroke or a seizure or something.
"Calm down," I said, "I'm just fucking with you, but she did say it was too dry. The salmon, I mean, not her snatch, although I'm sure it's like Death Valley in there."
The look of relief on her face was palpable, but then she laughed.
"There's really something wrong with you," she said.
"Yeah, no shit. There's really something wrong with you if you've just now figured that out," I replied. I smiled.
She let out a nervous little laugh, turned and quickly walked away. People do that a lot when I smile; I've never understood why.
I finished placing the order and I went off to do some waiter shit, prostituting myself for a few measly dollars here and there, when I noticed that my boss was visiting the chuch lady at her table and she was trapped in conversation. I smirked and kept on waitering.
When the salmon was ready, I brought it to the table, where the church lady was busily carving up a very large Portabella mushromm cap that was overflowing with artichoke spread. It looked disgusting.
"That looks good," I lied. "Where did that come from?"
"Your manager brought it to me," the church lady said. She was smiling from ear to ear. She suddenly picked up the plate and fast as a whip, she thrust it at me. I involuntarily took a step back, nearly jumping out of my skin.
"It's too much for me," she said. "Share it with me."
Where's Sexual Harassment Panda when you really need him?
And that's when it happened, In a flash, she dropped the plate with the mushroom cap and it clattered on the table and her hand shot out, palm first and stopped in front of my stomach and and in a clear, shrill voice, she shouted to the heavens.
"Dear Lord Jesus, cast those demons out of this poor man and heal him in your name, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior."
Holy fucking shit, did she really just try to cast out my demons? Get. The. Fuck. Out. This couldn't be fucking happening. Didn't this crazy bitch know who she was dealing with? Satan studied under ME, fer fuck's sake.
I was completely taken aback; stunned. I didn't know what to say. Had she really cast out my demons? Would the voices stop? I hoped not, they had some really cool fucking ideas. If my demons were gone, I wouldn't have any friends. What the fuck? Who was I supposed to snuggle with? I wanted to fucking cry. I might have. Who knows? I'm a sensitive motherfucker.
As an atheist, I was very offended. Who did this woman think she was, to presume that she could just force her religion upon me and pray over me? I felt preyed upon.
She looked up at me and she said, "What you really need is to come home to a good woman and a home cooked meal every night."
The fuck I did. Make me a sandwich and get the fuck out, maybe, but this was almost like a fucking marriage proposal.
I made my escape from the table and avoided her until it was time to clear the table and present the check. Unfortunately, she decided to stay and have dessert. I casually mentioned that there was a very nice Baskin & Robins down the street, but I don't think that she got that ever so subtle hint. Shame.
The final blow came when I dropped off the check; that was when she invited me to go to church with her, that brazen hussy. Like on a date, but to church. And then what? Half-price appetizers and a hummer in the back seat? Let me think about that for a second. Nightmarish visions of gaudy floral print, homespun lingerie floated through my head. I shivered. I thought about that whole gutter slut thing again and dismissed it as a thoroughy bad idea, which was pretty surprising, because I'm usually all about bad decisions, but no. Hell no. No fucking way. I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a fork.
I didn't say another word, I just ran like hell, only coming back to pick up payment. I was strictly business, saying as little as possible.
Later on, my manager asked me how things went and I told her what happened. She got that panicked and I'm about to have a fucking stroke look on her face again and she asked me what I did. I told her that I was totally cool about it and I think her blood pressure went down several hundred points. I didn't mention that whole eye stabbing thing with the fork. Some things are best left unspoken.
If you believe, that's fine with me, I respect that and you're welcome to believe as you like, but your rights end where mine begin and I expect you to have the same respect for my beliefs and rights as I do for yours. While prayer might make you feel better, it really doesn't do anything for me and it's unfair of anyone, not to mention unseemly, to force their belief system upon someone else, no matter how good their intentions may be. I'm proud of my penis, but I don't show it off and try to shove it down everyone else's throat, even if I do think the whole world can suck my dick. Think about that.
If you enjoyed this rant, give this one a chance:
Thanks for stopping by!