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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, July 10, 2006

Denial is a Chicken Sandwich

Forget the puns about rivers in Egypt. I met denial in person a few nights back, when my wife, two friends and I grabbed a bite to eat at bistro in downtown Hollywood.

I'm feeling forgiving, so I won't name the place - especially, since I eat and drink there all the time.

Anyway, we sat and the waiter took drink orders and brought 'em back a short time later.

Well, my guy's wife found a hair on her water glass. So she immediately recoiled and tossed the hair on the ground.

When the waiter came back she alerted him, and he gave her attitude, stopping just short of telling her it was her own hair on the glass. She's blonde. The glass hair was black or dark brown.

We all joked about it and brushed it off.

But then he brought our food. I got halfway through a barbecue chicken sandwich, took a huge bite and got what I thought was a stringy piece of lettuce in my teeth. Nope, it was a long blonde hair.

I don't want to know what my own hair tastes like, much less someone else's. So, yes, I was freaked out, the same level of freaked out I get when trying find a dry spot to stand in a public restroom. But I bit my tongue - better that, than a hair - and calmly (that's my version) explained to the waiter that I too had hit the lottery on what apparently was South Florida Restaurant Hair-in-Food Day.

His first response? "I'll ask the chef to investigate, but it probably blew onto your sandwich." That'd be fine, except the hair wasn't on my sandwich it was in it, deep in it, squarely in the middle in fact.

With that the waiter stomped off in a huff, and about 10 minutes later returned to report that the chef had "investigated" and that there was no one in the kitchen with hair longer than an inch or two.

So that's what denial looks like? An angry waiter.


  • Gross. Now you're the one who's being too nice.

    Name 'em, I say! That waiter's attitude would've pushed me over the edge.

    By Blogger Tere, at 2:24 PM  

  • Well, the waiter ended up comping my meal, but only after I didn't quietly accept his explanation that the hair blew into my sandwich.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 3:10 PM  

  • Aahhh, much better!

    By Blogger Tere, at 3:55 PM  

  • As a general rule, I NEVER send food back, for fear of reprisals.

    Compared to what they could hide in a cesar salad, hair is a godsend.

    By Blogger Crashtest Comic, at 7:34 PM  

  • I agree with you CTC. I worked in a kitchen in high school. And I've seen those Dateline specials. When the waiter in this case asked if I wanted a new sandwich I told him I'd eaten enough of it pre-hair to fill me up, so thanks but no thanks. Considering the mood he was already in that new sandwich likely would have been made of mystery meat and covered in special sauce.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:01 PM  

  • But something's gotta give. I hate being intimidated by waiters. After all, it's not their faul that there's hair in the sandwich.

    The other day, I ordered a salmon skin roll (which was named "Crunch" on the menu, btw) and it was RAW. Nothing crunchy about it. So I had to take it back. The sushi chef forgot to cook it. Why should I pay for something I didn't order?

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 2:19 PM  

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