NIghtmare at IHOP

I believe that certain holidays, Halloween and Mardi Gras in particular, bring out the evil spirits. You can’t wear masks or pay homage to demons without consequences. Case in point: our night at IHOP.

My wife and I went to IHOP on Ambassador Caffery tonight for supper. It wasn’t crowded. In fact, there seem to be more employees than customers. During the entire time, the employees were exchanging jokes and laughing, probably at the customers. Someone brought us menus and then we disappeared from the face of the earth. Finally, my wife told someone cleaning the floors that no one had taken our order and our waitress who had been headed to the back made an about-face and came and took our order. She announced, “I was on my way to take your order.” A lie for sure but when you’re hungry, you make allowances. 

After giving our order, the cloak of invisibility came upon us again and we went unnoticed for some time. I felt a tap on my shoulder and a lady stuck a note in my face and advised me that she needed money for her kids. I gave her some and she moved on. I thought perhaps a little generosity on my part might gain us better service. Alas. We still seemed invisible to employees. 

Our food finally arrived. The omelet was horrible but the blueberry pancakes were awesome. I noticed that my small milk meant half a glass and my wife’s large meant a whole glass. Interesting.

Again we became invisible. My wife left for a while and finally, sitting there alone with hands folded, I was asked if I was ready for my check. I guess my expression said it all and eventually a check arrived. We went to pay.

We waited so long for someone to check us out that I had a chance to warn a family waiting for someone to check them in to run for their lives. They did, thanking me and we exchanged best wishes for the evening. I feel a little like a hero for this courageous act. 

“How was everything?” I was asked when the waitress, now apparently the checkout person, arrived. This is where I usually lie, but tonight I said, “Terrible.” The waitress began to denigrate me for being a complainer. I picked up a pen from the checkout counter to sign my check and make my escape. The pen was broken and ink spilled over my hands and the check. The waitress then said, “You are going to blame me for the pen now. I didn’t give you that pen.” Apparently, the Mardi Gras demons were having some fun with pens. I signed the check and as I headed out the door, I could still hear the waitress/check-out person ranting and raving. I am embarrassed to say that by habit I left a 20 percent tip. I should know better than trying to pay off the dark side. 

Tomorrow when I pass by IHOP, I’m going to do some serious binding and casting. I hope I have enough faith to counter the Mardi Gras demons.


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