Favourite Customers #1

My faithful readers know I work in a town of assholes and creeps.  New readers are probably (rightfully) wondering if Cody sits on a Hellmouth.  Yes, yes it does.  There are a few gems in this land of sulphur and douchebags, though.

One of the gems is this old guy who has been coming to the restaurant for as long as I’ve worked there.  He looks like a broken cowboy; weathered, crabby look on his face, dirty from a hard day’s work, smells like a hard day’s work…you get the picture.  He always has young worker boys with him, I think some are his grandsons and some are foster kids.  Occasionally, his wife comes in to eat with him and the boys, but usually it’s just the old guy and one or two teenaged boys.

The first time I waited on him, midway through the meal he told me he didn’t have any money to pay for the food.  He was dead serious.  I nearly fell over because he looks like he just came in off the range and, yeah, probably doesn’t understand the concept of currency.  I figured he wanted to trade me a chicken or something.  I quickly figured up how much money I had to see if I could pay for the meal because, shit, he’s o.l.d.  Finally, the young kid told me he was joking and I laughed out loud.  He got me good.

Since then whenever he comes in he gives me a line about not having any money and I tell him he can do dishes, or he can be the new supervisor and get everyone in line, or we’ll keep the kid for slave labour, or…  When he’s leaving I always say, “Have a nice day!” and he asks, “Is that a suggestion or a demand?”  Last night as he was leaving I said, “See you later!” and he asked, “How much later?  I go to bed pretty early and my wife doesn’t like late night visitors.”  The guy is a crack up.

I can tell life has handed him some pretty hard knocks, yet he’s still funny and he’s one of my favourite customers.  I always have the biggest smile when he walks in because I know he’s going to mentally challenge me and I’m going to have at least one customer who isn’t a jackass.  Sometimes that’s all I can hope for.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thelifeofjamie
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 14:16:55

    I remember having people come in that I just loved to sit and chat with! I had one family that I called the Mcartneys because their names were Paul and Linda. It’s been 10 years and I still remember them- I remember all the assholes too!

    Unfortunately, the assholes are harder to forget.

    Reply

  2. DarcsFalcon
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 14:42:41

    Some of the regulars are the best. I had them where I used to work too, all those years ago, and I still remember them. They were fun and friendly, and lighthearted enough that you could tease. “We doubled prices for today’s special!”

    Some people you could just tell were NOT the ones to do that with.

    HAHAHAHA! I will have to remember that one just for him.

    Reply

    • DarcsFalcon
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:50:59

      My other favorite was to ring out and add like $1000 to the total that I said out loud, just to see their heads jerk up with that “What?!” look on their face. 🙂

      HAHAHAHA! He’d probably collapse.

      Reply

  3. skippymom
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 16:50:20

    I miss my regulars too – when I finally “retired” they were the ones I knew were going to be in my fondest memories file of serving.

    You guy sounds like a doll – at first I thought “Uh Oh” when he said he didn’t have any money [and you were so sweet!] Glad he is such a great guy.

    There are other people who put a smile on my face. I wish they came in more often.

    Reply

  4. wigsf
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:01:03

    I see many people like that every morning at the local coffee shop. Well, not in cowboy gear, but you know what I mean. People on their way to work because it’s 6:30 in the morning or it’s people on the way home from work after doing a night shift. Worn down from the grind. Some days, I want to look like that.

    Some days I DO look like that.

    Reply

  5. Sparty Girl
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 18:23:58

    That is so cool. He sure sounds memorable. 🙂 I’m glad to hear you get some levity in your days.

    I have levity in most days, but then some asshole comes along…

    Reply

  6. DarcKnyt
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 18:41:35

    Broken cowboy, huh? I like him already.

    There used to be lots of old, broken cowboys around here, but sadly they are passing on.

    Reply

  7. Brea
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 22:04:00

    You would LOVE my dad. He can dead-pan a joke like nobody’s business, and loves to mess with people in a good-hearted way.

    He once invented an “imaginary friend” for himself, just to mess with a man in a cafe that was giving a server a hard time. He dished that “hard time” right back at the guy, in defense of the server, cause he’s a hard-working guy (janitor/plumber/heating guy) himself, and hates seeing anyone being a jackwagon just for the sake of being mean.

    And the guy couldn’t say anything back, because Dad would have made him an even bigger butt of the joke. My dad was the mayor of his small town at the time, and pretty much loved by everybody.

    Send your dad out here! I’m sure he would put a smile on my face.

    Reply

  8. The Restaurant Manager
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 13:28:42

    You are right: Sometimes the best we can hope for in a night is one customer who is not a total jackass! Great post!

    As long as there is one customer who doesn’t make me want to scream, I consider it a good night.

    Reply

  9. YFNB
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:59:47

    Was that a Buffy reference at the beginning, or is my brain making stuff up? 😉

    I’m a big Buffy fan so, yes, that was a reference.

    Reply

  10. workingtechmom
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 12:41:45

    Love the story and already loving the cowboy. I bet he loves you just as much!

    He’s pretty funny and I know I’m his favourite. 🙂

    Reply

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