The Morrow Days vs. The Casual Dining Industry

They were starting to get loud and the people around them were beginning to stare. Not that it was unusual for noisy, overly obnoxious people to patronize a casual dining establishment. Certainly not. It was to be expected in the industry. In fact, the later hours kept on the weekends seemed to openly invite these types; they usually tipped better and lingered at the bar longer. However, there was just something wrong with these people.

Firstly, there were seven of them. Not an overly large dining party; the restaurant had seen worse. At least they hadn't come with screaming children, and the gratuity was already figured into their bill, so that was a plus. However, this was a highly demanding group of seven, constantly hollering for a server to bring by this or drop off that. It was beginning to reach the point of annoying and for a couple of servers it had gone far past it.

"Natalia, they're all yours."

"Huh?" Natalia stopped in her tracks with a tray of food in hand and turned to follow her co-worker to the back room. "What are you talking about?"

"Table seven," she said as she punched her employee ID into the time clock. "I can't handle them anymore. And you can tell Bill he can suck my non-existing nut if he writes me up. People like that piss me off."

"But--" Natalia started as she watched her co-worker dart out the back door without looking back. Natalia shook her head. Surely they couldn't be that bad… could they? Not wanting to leave a table of patrons just sitting idle as they waited for their server to return, Natalia smoothed the front of her uniform and made her way out to the table to see just how messy a situation her co-worker had left her with.

They didn't look that horrible. The three women of the dining party were all very pretty and friendly looking. The men on the other hand, they looked a little intimidating, though the one nodding off in his chair was actually kind of cute…

"Hi, I'm Natalia. I'll be taking care of you for the rest of the evening," Natalia said, greeting the table. She gave the friendliest smile she could muster under the circumstances.

"It's about time someone came," one of the gentlemen said with a scowl. "We've been waiting for someone to return for over fifteen minutes."

"Yes. And I would very much like some dessert," added one of the ladies. She was still eagerly picking at her plate of French fries, so Natalia had to wonder why she wanted dessert now.

"I know, and I apologize," Natalia said, bringing out her server pad and pencil.

As she scribbled down the orders for various desserts and coffee (most of which were for the woman still eating her French fries) another lady at the table was starting to eye her in a way that made her a bit uncomfortable. Maybe she wanted something too? A dessert perhaps? She looked like the Devil's food cake type. But the way she stared at her was peculiar, so Natalia was reluctant to ask. It didn't look like she was hungry for food.

After taking their orders, she scampered off to the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with the desserts. She tried to smile as she served them, but it they were making it very difficult.

"This cake has NUTS! I asked for NO NUTS!"

"Hey, I wasn't finished with that. Or that."

"Those cakes are MINE."

"Oooh, that looks good. Miss, can I have what she has instead? Oh, and my friend says he wants one too."

"This looks delectable. Do you happen to have any extra whipped cream?"

If this kept up, she was liable to reach out and wring each of their necks, save for the good-looking guy snoring away in his chair. At least he was asleep; he couldn't complain.

She came back with more desserts and the requested bowl of whipped cream, which she practically dumped on the table in a fit of annoyance, spilling it on her hand. Cursing and apologizing at the same time, Natalia knew she was blushing. She was never this sloppy, rude patrons or not.

The woman who requested it smiled kindly at her saying, "It's all right," as she helped her with the mess, for which Natalia was grateful. The woman was really pretty. Super model pretty. And for a quick instant, as she watched the lady sensuously lick the whipped cream from her fingers, Natalia had the ludicrous thought that maybe she was a porn star.

The sudden clang of silverware on the table and a loud, "Young lady, this still has NUTS IN IT," pulled her from her reverie.

She sighed and was then, to her chagrin, bombarded with questions.

"Can I have a couple more of these cakes?"

"Can I have my bill separate from theirs? I only want to pay for my food."

"My friend wants to know, does this cake have strawberries in it? He doesn't like strawberries."

"WHY DOESN'T YOUR FRIEND ASK HIMSELF!?"

Natalia clapped a hand over her mouth. Did she just scream like that? In front of the whole restaurant?

Everything was suddenly quiet, and the entire table was staring at her. All of them. Well, most of them. The cute guy was still asleep, though the man next to him quickly nudged him into waking, where promptly asked:

"Did the food come?"

"ARGH!"

As Natalia turned on her heel, marching to the back room to clock out, she heard a member of the rude dinner party say:

"See if we dine in a Secondary Realm ever again."