The unexpected upshot of this unfortunate turn of events was a disconcerting mellowing of the players in question to the point where I (oh fool that I am) even considered deleting the incriminating posts.The general consensus was that fate had dealt them such a blow that their petty complaints had been mightily knocked into the outer reaches of the atmosphere of insignificance.As witnessed by the penultimate visit when one of the pair of them found a foreign object in their cheese sarnie which looked like a flaming shard of beef bone from the stock pot.Under normal circumstances this would have been an incident equal to the profundity and enormity of Paradise Lost.With our new found mutual love and affection I naturally knocked the price of the sarnie from the bill and was grovelling profusely almost to the point of embarrassment,but no, she insisted on paying 'really its no problem at all' whilst beaming an almost heavenly countenance of serenity.
How the fuck a piece of beef bone can get into a cheese(sliced not grated-they haven't changed THAT much)is anyones guess.Foreign objects in food isn't what I'd call a regular occurrence,but in a busy kitchen(or even a quiet one-lets not be prejudice) on the odd occasion something CAN and will slip through the net.And as luck will have it,its ALWAYS in the meals of the people for whom its going to be a major and deal breaking catastrophe.Over the years Ive seen all sorts of things turn up on peoples plates,from food wrap to once, (cough) a slug: 'its ok madam its organic..' -a gratis bottle of pinot sorted that one out,(to be honest there's not that much that a gratis bottle of cheap plonk won't sort out),to the dreaded HAIR.
A hair in the food is the behemoth of foreign objects in peoples dinners.
Especially if its a CURLY one.
God help you if that ever happens.
The only way around this problem is to employ hirsutely challenged chefs which up until very lately was a directive which coincidentally we'd managed for the most part to achieve. 'oh no madam,that can't be from our kitchen.. our chefs are all bald'..
I KID YOU NOT.
Do not,I repeat DO NOT underestimate the value of a bald chef.He is invaluable for bringing out front for display purposes to apologise for the rogue hair in your dinner in his fully polished glory.Its a sure fire way to take the wind out of the sails of even the most antagonistic of complainers.
I would even go so far as to suggest that if you don't have a bald chef you might be well advised to recruit one, or at least encourage an existing one to shave their head,just for emergencies.
I digress,this bit of bone was VICIOUS looking and big enough that I could still detect a bit of none marrow in the centre, and could have done untold damage had it lodged into the tonsils of the unfortunate recipient so I was breathing a HUGE sigh of relief that she hadn't kicked up a massive stink.
The ensuing kitchen investigation failed to establish how such an item could have made its way into the sarnie and ultimately resulted in the conclusion that 'it must have come out of the bread'.How a beef bone would be in a loaf of bread is also a mystery but in the absence of further evidence it's always a good call to deflect any blame.There is of course also the issue of foreign objects being planted in meals by the diners themselves which believe it or not does actually happen on the odd occasion.Though in this instance it being of no benefit to the consumer (she refused the freebie) it was deemed not to be the case.
Due to the above we were all becoming comfortably complacent about Saturday mornings and no longer anticipated the entrance of these two individuals with dread,in short the sight of them no longer sucked the very life force from us.
In fact we were beginning to think we quite liked them..
However,I now pronounce this golden age of mutual love and affection as OFFICIALLY over..last Saturday they were back on form and firing full throttle on all cylinders..
They'd had a short break 'a la mer du sud' which had obviously revived their spirits no end.Seated as usual on the small bar tables(round not square-duly noted on the order in case chef fell at the first hurdle and served the stuff on a square plate) and had brought along a couple of photo albums of their holibobs to show the other VERY nice Saturday morning regulars.
I must say I was strangely drawn to the photo albums(does anyone else still do these?)and wondering how they fared in a foreign land where everything is ...um ..foreign...
Anyway,they ordered a crab bisque and a veggie sarnie which was a bit of a surprise and not their usual type of choice which I put down to their recent exotic foray.But hey, at least they'd upgraded from the usual sliced not grated cheese.
When the food arrived and with space on the table being at a premium due in no small part to the very hefty photo albums on display it was a bit tricky disembarking the various assorted plates carrying both soups and bread etc.I flinched as I walked away having managed with great difficulty to squeeze everything on to the table as I overheard them laughing sarcastically and make some not very funny quip about the tables being far too small for the type of food we were serving.
A bit later I noticed one of them get up and pile three logs on the fire.
This really gets my goat.
I have a well known one log rule.
There is nothing as attractive as an open fire especially to someone who doesn't have one of their own at home.They especially like to poke it and feed it relentlessly whilst I watch my hard earned cash blazing ferociously up the chimney.
These people are usually the sorts that order a lime and soda and sit with it for an hour.
To add insult too injury he then started off on one of his most favourite rants about how our fire 'doesn't throw off any heat' and how his fire at home is far superior due in no small part to the fact that he throws fucking trees on it every five minutes no doubt.
Which brings me to the thing that gets me the most.. the ones who throw three logs on the fire then immediately exit the front door.
Presently I heard my name called.
'Biff,come and have a look at this'
I must have been wrong.. things were ok...they were wanting to engage with me over their holiday snaps.I headed over feigning interest.
The album was open at a page showing them seated at an alfresco table by the sea.The usual straw parasol overhead.I would go so far as to say they looked happy on the photo.
'Look at that bowl Biff,thats what you call a bowl of soup' *sarcastic laughter*
The 'bowl' of soup was a huge tureen more akin to a cauldron with a ladle in it.The pot was big enough to feed a family of five Billy Bunters who'd been dieting for a week.Next to the cauldron was a lone bowl..with Mr sat next to it beaming at the camera, a swarthy looking waiter only just in the frame, also beaming.
'That was for one Biff..ONE!!,thats what you call a bowl of soup..'
I squinted at the photo and wondered if the oversized bowl was merely an optical illusion,much like the massive jazz hands photos you often end up with when you take them on a mobile phone.
'Was it bouillabaisse ?' I asked with half interest.
This was met with an awkward silence and some rapid side to side eye movement..
'It was a fish soup'
It appeared that in addition to little grasp of the French language they also had very limited culinary knowledge..
There was no way that bloody pot was meant for one,no wonder the bloody waiter was grinning from ear to ear.
As I walked away,I admit, feeling ever so slightly smug about whole exchange, and comforted in the knowledge that the landlord/customer balance of one upmanship was again weighted most definitely in the favour of the former.
Just as I was almost out of earshot I overheard the very nice Saturday morning regulars enquire how the Crab bisque was.
'Oh it was ok..it was nothing special..'
|Nothing special crab bisque|
NORMAL SERVICE IS RESUMED..
PS.I have enough material to keep me going for the foreseeable future ...