Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tinkerbell, Texas

“Hi, I’m Allen and it’s my pleasure to serve you tonight! Could I get you a drink?”

“Sure thing, Allen, double margarita on the rocks with salt.”

Allen paused and stared at me.

“You want two margaritas?”

“No, I want one margarita. A giant margarita. On the rocks. With salt.”

Allen was writing a thesis on his little pad.

“That would be our Special.”

“Great. One Special.”

“You want that frozen?”

“No, thanks. On the rocks. With salt.”


“Salted rim?”

I paused.

“I dunno. What kind of salt do you have?” And, as soon as the quip left my lips to float on the ether, before I could reel it back for a do-over Allen turned on his heels and headed off into the kitchen.

Over his shoulder he called, “I’ll check!” And he was gone.

Rats, rats, rats and double rats! Memo to self: don’t mess with the waiter until AFTER you get your drink.

The next Ice Age came and went and Allen returned with my Special, on the rocks with salt.

He explained, “We only have one kind of salt, so I used my initiative.”

“I hope you didn’t use it all up at once,” I quipped unthinkingly.

“Pardon me?”

Engaging brain and slipping it into high gear damage control I replied, “The salt. I hope you didn’t use it all up. My, that’s quite a large glass the Special comes in. Yes, indeed, must use a lot of salt. A veritable dome of salt, I’d say…” and I trailed off muttering.

Quickly, I changed the subject.

“So, Allen, you from around here?”

“Yep, born and raised.”

“Here in Allen, Texas.”

“Yep, my home town.”

“Allen from Allen.” I took a pull on my Special. Restraint. Restraint!

“That’s right" Allen continued, "Funny, but I’ve got a friend, Bob, who’s from Bob, Texas.”

I swallowed a chunk of ice, coughing for a few moments. Wiping the tears from my eyes I couldn’t help myself from offering…

“Well, Allen, lucky for you this place wasn’t named Tinkerbell, Texas.”

Allen was still and quiet as the consequence of what I had just said sank in. Then, he bent down close. His eyes narrowed. His brow furrowed. Quietly he hissed so only I could hear.

“If’n the town had been named Tinkerbell, then I would be proud to be called Tinkerbell. Very proud.”

And with that, Allen marched into the kitchen and was gone.

Some time later, I’d say two Ice Ages worth, another waiter came up to my table and offered an explanation.

“Allen’s gone off shift. I’ll take your order. My name is Dallas.”

I decided, for once, that discretion was the better part of valor and placed my order.

“I’ll have two more Specials, and the crow poblano looks good. Yes, I’m definitely in the mood for crow tonight.”


Bret said...

I didn't know they had a House of Pies up in Allen. Their grackle kiev is to die for.

Foo said...

I'm hurt. You didn't even ring me up while you were in town.

We haven't been served by Allen from Allen yet—but then, we've only lived here for a year. There have been a couple Austins, though (at least one of which should have been named Tinkerbell).

I'm alternately fascinated and horrified by the possibility that one of these Austins might have 'Houston' for his surname.

Anonymous said...

I really shouldn't read your stuff at work. Not only did I almost spit my coffee out at my monitor, I was laughing my ass off when the phone rang and I had to FIGHT for composure.

Good stuff!!

Anonymous said...

well, might i recommend a lovely roll of duct tape to be placed directly over your speaking parts during your next outing into public? okay, sugarland? and it comes in orange to match your shirts.

and i'm with foo. you were in town and you didn't even call. the least you could have done was call. i'm hurt on behalf of foo, and his lovely sweetie wife.

Antique Mommy said...

Allen has freckles, doesn't he? And red hair. I think he works at my grocery store where they do the new math.

Susie said...

This made me laugh. And reminded me of those people I knew, growing up in Hillbillyville, NC, with names like John Johnson and Tom Thompson.

Shalee said...

I hope you had humble pie too.

Turtle said...

Oh my god! ROFLMAO Good thing I wasn't drinking anything while reading this. My computer screen would be covered. should have given us a call, Bill. You and Foo could have a grand ole time giving the people around here a run for their money. Your sense of humor (as well as Foo's) just gets me. Thanks for making me smile!

Turtle (aka Sweetie)