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'We Are Short-Staffed'
The Quest for a Meal in a Once Great Medieval City: 7/26/21
Mister Grey rolled into town from Gotham to buy this old hoodrat dinner four days before its greasy exodus from Harm Citay.
It was five P.M. when we opted for The Raven Inn: good people, good food and actual light beer. As a disciple of Rick, I can only drink light beer, under 7 grams of curbs per serving. If one goes to a hipster beer joint and ask for a light beer, they will offer a “blonde ale” with light hop notes that has 27 carbs and look at your three heads in amazement if you ask for Miller Lite or such...
The Raven was closing when we rolled up at 5:55 P.M., having cut back their hours a few days a week, with summer business never having picked up as expected.
Off to White Marsh Mall to the Chilis we went. Two families waited outside, for pick-up we expected. We walked in and there were no visible employees and only about ten of the 70 tables seated. Eventually a harried young woman comes out of the kitchen and says: “I'm sorry, we are extremely short-staffed and it will be a thirty-minute wait to be seated.”
We looked around in amazement at the few un-served seated, laughed sardonically and walked out, noting the help-wanted signs now, that suddenly waxed everywhere.
Down the way was a sandwiches and cocktails place for the aspirational effete. It was nearly empty and still had maskland signage screaming for the saving of the millions of lives yet to by stacked like cordwood on the sidewalks of plague-afflicted America.
“Fuck these people,” said Mister Grey as we turned around and walked back out.
We came to Red Brick Station and entered. Signs asking us to be nice to the staff greeted us. We entered and soon found a harried 16-year-old redhead apologizing for being unable to seat us in the empty dining room. As we grinned she said, “You could sit at the bar, though.”
We went to the bar and discovered the service to be quite good, to be tall, pretty, have a fine shape and a ready smile and enjoyed ourselves.
Ever since in my outward amble form hell, down to Ocean Chitay, Cuckmaryland, I have noticed help wanted signs, signing bonuses and vacant restaurants where once they teemed. In a way, this is a good thing.
I was traveling with standard issue North American Sedentary Primates, whose blood sugar crashes every 3.5 hours if they don't thrust their muzzles into the feedbag. So we stopped in New Castle, Delaware, where in 1728 so many Irish and Germans were sold that the Quaker rulers of Pennsylvania Province placed a 16-shilling tax on the sale of every catholic. Here we entered a Red Robin, seated by a girl also with red hair who, just like on Monday last and the lasses of 1728 when she would have served without pay.
We were seated in a booth that would not accommodate the pendulous gut of my driver and moved over to an empty table. One man served this area and overlooked us, being very attentive to the rest of the seated folks. It turned out we were out of his charted area and there was no other server on deck yet. He soon rectified this, and announced himself as “Gus” not named Augustus, but having that name from his youth when he “got in trouble in Philly” and had been assigned that street name by his friends. He promised to hit us with no more than two Shakespeare references per visit.
Gus was a great guy, tall, fit, masculine and charming. I asked him how Philly was, assuming he had moved hence recently, since this was his first day on the job. He responded:
“Philly was rough and I felt sorry for myself when I moved away. That was until I discovered that the grass is not always greener on the other side ended up in Baltimore tending bar at the Inner Harbor. When I'd get off the bus at Harford and Northern, as often as not there'd be a pack of young teenagers throwing rocks at me or wanting to fight me or just demanding my money. So here I settled, halfway between two cities that wanted to eat me.”
Gus and I had a laugh about our mutual experiences of being hunted at Northern and Harford by our Bantu foes, the very block where I resided through most of this July, shook hands and parted ways.
The Empire of the Eaters is suffering a human resources crisis.
Yet they still grow fatter.
Thank you, Rick, for rescuing me from their gaslit feed stalls.
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