The one with the puddles

– An anonymous contribution to the Knockers on 32 series –

One night, we had some of the runoff from a big event nearby – men in tuxes and women all done up to the nine’s.  They came in after their charity event or whatever and were having some drinks.

I spotted her around eleven, she was hard to miss… Gorgeous, Dior dress, Jimmy Chu’s, sparkling from everywhere with perfectly cut diamonds, glass of champagne swinging wildly in her hand as she talked to her friends, dripping with new money and class.

Around midnight, I see her again.  Sitting in the barstool, halfway passed out.  Wobbling back and forth a bit, eyes unfocused, some guy (not in a tux) kissing her neck and trying to get her to stand up.  As any good restaurant manager would, I took it all in and realized that this was all wrong.  So, I went over and shoo’d the creep away and talked to the girl.  She agrees that she wants to go home and has, in fact, had a bit too much champagne and not enough to eat.

As we are talking I walk her to the front door and hail a cab.  We say good night, the taxi pulls away and I turn around to go back into the bar, which has cleared out a bit.

I look down the path from whence I came and what, to my wandering eyes did appear, but ten tiny puddles leading up to where I stood.

That chick peed herself, starting at the barstool, and continuing until just before she got in the cab.

I guess that you can dress them up like dolls and give them everything in the world, but you can’t instill class or control.  The best looking girl in the room, made her exit by getting hammered and pissing all over her thousand dollar shoes … and my floor.

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That time the affair was CALLED OUT.

A joint effort with our sister-tumblr KItchen Wisdom – another entry in the Knockers on 32 series.

“I guess I have a tendency to work in open kitchens.

In one kitchen, you could see the whole dining room, but not the bar.  Interestingly, they could hear you if you were talking in a normal voice, but they had to be yelling for you to hear them.  Something to do with the way the vents worked. I don’t really know.

Things you should know about working in hotels:  It’s like being back in highschool.  Rumors abound, as well as backstabbing and undermining.  But, the pay is better than most and you get health insurance and disability. Sooo….

One server, he was married.  I never met his wife, except for this night.  We all knew he was having an affair with the hostess.  Everyone talked about it all the time, except for them.  They were both in their 40’s, and she was single (I think, all of a sudden I’m not sure anymore).  He always hung out next to the hostess stand, it’s not like he even tried to be discreet about his interest in her.  They would both park in the unnecessary depths of the parking lot and walked there together at the end of the night.  They had been ‘seen’ making out by his car more than once.

One night, it all came to a head. With a bang.

In the middle of service, out of nowhere, you just hear this awful screaming.

His wife had shown up.

She was screaming at the hostess, on the other side of the dining room.  It continued as the hostess ran away, through the dining room, weaving her way through the tables trying to get into the relative safety of the back of the house.  “You whore, you slut, you homewrecker.“  A great many other expletives and the like. About halfway through the room, he sees what is going on, and starts chasing after the two women… “baby, no, it’s ok, just stop, why are you doing this” etc. etc. etc.

All the way through the rest of the dining room, and into the back kitchen.

The cat was officially out of the bag.”

That time the hooker got stood up.

A joint effort with out sister-tumblr Kitchen Wisdom, another installment of the Knockers on 32 series.

Have you ever seen a high-class, high-price escort get stood up?

I have.

It’s hysterical, and sad, and you can’t stop watching it.  Kind of like a car accident.

One night, I’m standing at my station in my exceedingly open kitchen, and watching the bar crowd come and go.  It’s a steady night so I don’t get to watch it too closely, but closely enough to follow the plot.

Close up on the ‘butherface’ smokeshow in the red dress, nursing a belvedere and cranberry.  Banging body, tight dress, long weave with bangs to cover her moderately ugly face.  I don’t mean to be judgemental, I just have to paint the picture.  This woman is SEXY from about 15 feet, but once you get closer, ehhhh.  I can tell you pretty definitively that this is the M.O. of most ‘escorts’ in my city… at least the kind that show up a few nights a week in our 5 star hotel …

anyway

She has a canada goose jacket draped casually on the corner of her chair at the bar, and an iPhone 5 in her hand.  She kind of dawdles aimlessly with the garnish on her glass, her hair, her dress, the napkin, her dress, checking her phone and the door every few minutes.  She says “oh no, I’m sorry, I’m waiting for someone” to four or five people who try to sit next to her, as it is getting late, and it is now the only open seat at the bar.

An hour or so passes, and no one has shown up.  Her glass is empty, the bartender asks if she wants another, she orders it but doesn’t touch it.  Not yet.

Eventually, a well dressed man in maybe his late 20’s shows up and sits next to her.  At first you think that this is him, the john.  You write him a quick story in your head; He’s probably new money and single and needs some ‘company’ because he works so much he can’t maintain a relationship.  Then she notices, and tries to shoo him off.  He says something to the effect of “I’m waiting for friends too, I’ll move as soon as yours gets here.”  And your story drifts away like a cloud and everyone recommences the waiting.

Eventually, the guy’s friend shows up.  They are both attractive men, both clearly have money.  You see the woman go from annoyed and lonely to working in about 5 seconds flat.  She has finally given up on whoever was supposed to meet her to begin with.

She talks and flirts and tosses her hair around…. adjusts the top of her dress and drops something on the floor to bend over for.  She worked hard, let me tell you.  But, the guys weren’t budging.  They held conversation and had small talk with her in between, but never really showed interest.

About half an hour later you see why: their girlfriends show up.  Now, there was zero noticeable tension.  Good for these guys and girls, that even though the guys were talking to an obvious hooker, the girls were able to dismiss it – or maybe they just didn’t realize?…  Either way, they even started conversation with the woman.

By this point, the bar had filled up so much that I couldn’t hear what was being said anymore.  I am curious though, if the girls figured out that this woman was a hooker.  What kind of questions do you ask if you are standing next to “pretty woman” at the bar?   And I wonder if the boys picked up the tab that she so expertly walked out on.

1,000 dollar extensions, and she couldn’t pay 30 bucks for two drinks.  What a roller coaster it must be to be one of those ‘ladies of the night.’

What’s your ‘Knockers’ story?

Knockers on 32 is my favorite story from my adventures in the kitchen.  I have so many others but this one stuck with me in the most vivid fashion.

What is your ‘knockers’ story? The one that is the first story you tell when you get around a group of chefs or restaurant people telling war stories?

Share it with us – we will be sure to give you credit (if you want it) and add it to our series. Just click “knockers on 32” on the header and you’ll find a submission form there 🙂

Or, just tag it #knockerson32 and add it to the collection!

Knockers on 32

From our sister-tumblr KitchenWisdom Knockers on 32

Someday I am going to write a book about all of the things I’ve seen happen over my career.  The name is going to be “Knockers on 32” because this story is always the first one I tell when someone asks me for a crazy kitchen story.

“I was working in a restaurant that had a semi-open kitchen.  By that I mean that you could see approximately one high top table in the bar if you were on the line, but you could see the whole bar from the expo station.  You also got to see all of the people traipsing up and down the stairs into the dining room.

One night, it was kind of slow, and one of our managers was on expo. This guy was always good for a laugh, and was super even tempered, so everyone relaxed when he was in the kitchen for the night.  We were just kind of hanging out, when he starts talking about the one table we could all see, table 32.

First thing he says is “have you washed your hands lately? I think you should wash your hands. There’s no soap back there, come over here.”

That’s code for, “if you don’t have a clear view of 32, come see.”

He proceeds to go on and on about this woman’s chest, how it is so big that they’re resting on the table and how the table must be getting tired from all of that weight, when one of the other managers, who had been downstairs doing some paperwork (and also happens to be this guy’s wife) comes up the stairs to hear the end of the description.  (Now, it should be noted, that she also has a great sense of humor, so no one was worried.)  She just comes up around the corner, takes a discreet glance into the diningroom like she does every night before leaving and turns her back to go out the back door.

When she hits the door, hand on the knob, she turns back to us all and just says, as if it was a daily thing, “right.  Knockers on 32, heard” and walked out the door.

I don’t think we stopped laughing until the ticket machine finally started grinding away.“

I’ll always remember that moment though.

Knockers on 32, heard.