August 3, 2015


I love eating out in cafes. I love the coffee, the food, the atmosphere, and the delight the wait staff take in attending to my every need.

Today, however, my lunch time experience was disappointing, to say the least. And, as I am not in the mood to say the least, I will say the most, which was that it was unpleasant, uncomfortable, and, frankly, a little terrifying.

I arrived at the cafe before my friend, Lana, who had asked me to pre-order her a coffee. Sadly, by the time she arrived the waiter had not taken my coffee order, so she joked goodnaturedly with him about the fact that I had let her down.

The waiter didn't get her humour at all, and wandered off in a state of confusion, which I cannot condemn, because Lana's humour can be hard to understand.

I snapped this pic of our waitress mid-stare

But then he took our order, which included a baguette (for me) and poched eggs for Lana. Yes, the menu said 'poched' eggs. Which is fine, really, because I can forgive a typo. A poched egg is an egg by any other name. Except that when Lana ordered her poached eggs, and I muttered 'poched' under my breath, the waiter looked monumentally unimpressed. Perhaps he simply believed the scrambled eggs were a better choice, but either way, it was a loveless moment.

Still, the worst was yet to come. Because when my baguette arrived it was the size of a newborn - like, a proper newborn human, not one of those minuscule newborn kangaroos that look like jelly beans for the first weeks of their lives. Lana's eggs, however, were teeny tiny. I mean, the eggs were regular size - not, like, newborn kangaroo size - but they were perched on one piece on toast, and it was a pretty fucking small piece of toast at that. Seriously. That toast could not have fit a newborn human's handprint, let alone filled an adult sized human's stomach.

So, having a horror for unfairness and adversity, I beckoned to the waiter.

"Can she have another piece of toast?" I asked. "That one is teeny tiny."

Well, he looked shocked. Truly. I might as well have asked him for newborn kangaroo on a plate of mashed yeast. There were some disapproving looks, some rustling in the kitchen, and then a waitress who we had never seen before flounced out, dropped the toast on the table, and issued Lana with a death stare capable of freezing full sized mammals of all description in their tracks and shattering them to pieces. It was like looking into the eyes of a psycho killer. There was just blackness there. Dark pools of anger and revenge.

Lana did not finish her toast. She was too frightened. I finished my baguette, because no mere confrontation with a murderous waitress can dampen my appetite. And, to be honest, it was a delicious baguette. Much, much better than the poched eggs.

All in all, it was an unsettling experience, and I am still recovering. As for Lana, well, the food poisoning hasn't kicked in yet, but we are monitoring her progress by the hour.

Have you ever had a bad restaurant experience? And would you eat poched kanga on rye?

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