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.