“Sometimes you meet three people from South Dakota and you become best friends.” – An ass. princeThe vast majority of tables I’ve waited on in my life have vanished into the ether of my memory in relatively short order. Repeat faces and orders nestle their way into recognition and familiarity, but very rarely does a single table hold more than a day or two’s worth of recollection. It usually takes something outstanding, be it a funny happening, an unfortunate tip or a significant screw-up.
And then sometimes you just have one of those great tables. They don’t come along often but you know it when they do. The ones where you talk about things that have nothing to do with napkins or French fries or getting a water when you get a chance. The ones you want to grab a drink with once you get off your shift.
I had one of those on Saturday at my weekend job. Three friends in Chicago for the weekend wandered into my little basement bar and all it took was a request for a “native beer recommendation” to get off to the races. In short order, Aric Bar the ass. prince (-ipal) [Ed. note: That is exactly how his job title was presented.], Heather Bar the graphic designer and Trisha Bar the kindred former journo (and fellow blogger, who, may I add, has been in the game since 2008 and does a wonderful job with her blog, Journey of a Girl and her God) were my three newest friends.
Over the next however long, this Breaking Off a Piece project came up, to which they responded with curiosity and enthusiasm. [Ed. note: I will like you if you give me attention and talk about candy.] I had my daily bar with me, and I took the opportunity to invite them to break off a piece with me. I took care of other tables as they sampled the bar form of Goetze’s Caramel Cremes (often found individually wrapped in waiting room candy dishes); they logged their tasting notes and observations on a memo pad.
I was fortunate enough to buy them a round after I got off of my shift, and we engaged in a smashing bit of revelry over a few more, playing cell phone forehead charades, hooting and perhaps even hollering. The night drew to a close and we went our separate ways.
I woke the next morning to Daylight Saving Time and a steady THWAR constricting my brain. I opened my phone, and saw that the beginning of this post was already written. I smiled.
It was some table.
– “The hard caramel was too chewy, but the creme made it OK. It tasted like Minnesota Christmas on a cardboard platter.”
– Minnesota Christmas, people. On a cardboard platter.
– I’m a disappointment to father sobriety and misplaced the rest of their commentary. But that was definitely the best one.
– They were right, actually. Upon first chew, the creme oozes out and is the first thing you taste and process. By the time the creme has dissolved in your mouth, the caramel is chewy enough that it can be enjoyed. Some fine layering work by the good people at Goetze’s.