Games are fun. Games help pass the time. Games keep children quiet on long car trips. Games keep children occupied while waiting for their food.
Few people played games at the Harribalsac…well, except for the time honoured ‘Let’s Get Something for Nothing’ game. For some reason, people play games at the Spaghetti Western. I’m talking about card, board and/or dice games which take up the entire table.
First, I bring out salads and people are surprised that they have to move their crap in order for me to set down their plates. Yes, I know you barely finished fighting over who gets to be the car in the Monopoly marathon, but you did order something to eat, so move your shit.
Next, I stop by the table to pre-bus and let the people know their food is on the way. This is a polite way of saying, “Put your fucking game away and pay attention.”
It never fails, when I arrive at their table, weighed down by plates and gigantic bowls which are burning blisters in my forearm, they are still playing their asshole game. They look at me as if they’ve never seen me before and they stare for a good 10 seconds while I can feel my spine crumbling and the scorch mark on my arm getting bigger. Then they all scurry into action to put the cards/dice/figures away in their exact places and in their exact order. Meanwhile, the food has grown cold, I’ve gotten older, and I long to dump the food on their heads so I can go outside for a smoke.
It isn’t just people with children who do this. The other night I had a mid-50s couple who blankly stared at me for so long I thought I was at the wrong table. I turned in a circle at their table. Nope, it was their food. When I rotated around, they were still staring at me, frozen like the Tin Man. I finally put one enormous bowl on the table and used it to shove the woman’s cards and dice to the side. Then I did the same thing to the man. I asked if they cared for anything else and they just stared at me.
WTF, people?! You need to decide whether you are eating or starting a pinochle club. Is the attention span of Americans (yes, it’s always Americans) really that bad? What ever happened to polite dinner conversation?