Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Friday, November 11, 2005

Good Samaritan, or Enabler?

Last night, I was out on the town with a friend of mine (Bush-league!) and we decided that Chinese was the way to go, dinner-wise. Had a scrumptious, tasty dinner, good times were had by all. Then potential disaster loomed. It didn’t strike, (which disasters do) but it sure loomed like crazy.

In the corner of the restaurant, the waitress was having trouble with a customer. The diner (a woman) was expecting her boyfriend to show up, and had therefore ordered a few drinks, expecting him to pay when he got there. He never arrived.

The woman owed a little over $16, which she didn’t have. (The waitress insisted it was going to be $20, as she still wanted her tip.) She was also drunk. I’m talking movie-stereotypes drunk. Slurred speech, excitability, the works. She was trying to explain that she couldn’t pay her bill, when the manager said those five magic words; “…or we’ll call the cops.”

The woman was, shall we say, not of a delicate nature. She had some heft. If police had actually been involved, in her state, they could put her on COPS in time for sweeps week. (Is that show still on? Anyone?) The waitress and the manager started talking rapidly. I didn’t catch of a word of it, as they’d switched to Chinese, but they sounded pissed.

I asked how much the bill was. The customer re-iterated that it was sixteen something (and the Waitress reminded me it was going to be twenty). She was so gone that she couldn’t spot me, and I wasn’t ten feet away. She was talking to the room in general.

Wanting to avoid a scene at all costs (or a cost of sixteen something [TWENTY!]), I offered to pay the woman’s bill. She lumbered over, thanked me profusely, and made her way to the door. The manager irately warned her not to come back without money, calling her irresponsible. I don’t think she heard him, or cared at that point. The lady was gone, in more ways than one.

Okay: The question becomes, why’d I do it?

We could have skedaddled at that point, having just paid for our own food. It wasn't my problem. I felt bad for the woman. Getting carted off by the cops when she was already three sheets to the wind had disaster written all over it. It was an embarrassing position to be in. I sympathized with her, a bit.

I enjoy a drink myself, although not that much, let alone without Mr. Bankcard in my wallet. I know I’d be embarrassed as hell if I found myself in public, broke, with a tab to pay.

As for the woman, who the heck knows. Is it going to happen to her again? I hope not, but I don’t think it’s unlikely, either. Just sayin’. Here’s hoping she didn’t drive home.

And yes, I left the waitress a tip. I’ve waited tables myself, and putting up with someone like that without getting paid for it? Angries up the blood. We don’t need the blood that’s angered up.

That’s just bush-league.


  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bushleague, indeed.

    I have brought said phrase twice into my treatments today (after the fact to describe some questionable characters).

    And to answer your query-- good samaritan, definitely. Though it would have been a good way to get a tv spot for the alternative... hah.

    Thanks so much again :)


  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger theactivesoul said…

    See, I might've done the same thing, but I also might've taken the lady's picture and posted it here after photoshopping a convenient black rectangle across her drunkass, bloodshot eyes.

    Funny stuff. And you're a good man for picking up the tab and including a tip.


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