Backhanded Comment

Customers let me know how many people are in their parties several ways:

* They speak: “Three, please. No reservations.”

* They gesture: Three fingers, no words.

* They offer a combination of the above.

Now, the way people gesture the number of guests in their party is, I believe, directly related to:

* Their moods

* Their attitudes toward me

* Their tendencies to display aggression (passive and overt) in every single aspect of their lives

Please review the following:

boyscout.jpeg Translation: I come in peace. We are three. We are hungry. May we eat at your fire, please?
3 back.jpeg Translation: I am hungry, tired, and spoiling for a fight. So are the other two. However, if you let us eat at your fire, we may choose not to steal your livestock.
rude.jpeg Translation:

I am the member of a fraternity and need a table for three. (Does anyone know if this is true–that it’s actually a frat–or God knows what–sign?)


I am an angry person and would flip you off except I have two friends with me and I don’t want to show how over the top I am. We need a table for three–now!


Table for three, damn you ignorant hostess who is keeping me from sitting down because you asked me how many are in my party. Are you so dense you don’t see how many are with me? Must I say it aloud as well: “Three, three!”

Yes, a picture–and a gesture–tells a thousand words.

peace.jpeg Peace out, brothers and sisters.






9 responses to “Backhanded Comment”

  1. irishlucky Avatar

    is that Mr. Restaurant Gal’s hand we spy?

    i like your blog. keep it up, would you? i like knowing how you react, so that i can know how to react.


  2. kwonton Avatar

    i tend to use the third method only because it takes less effort to close your thumb and index finger to create the 3, than to use the thumb-pinky method. i have never been in a frat, nor am i angry all the time. you also forgot to mention the types that use their thumb/index/middle fingers to display 3. my dad does that. what are the characteristics for that method?

  3. Mr. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Mr. Restaurant Gal

    Alas, no, irishlucky. Mr. Restaurant Gal’s hands were busy holding the camera. 🙂

  4. Melissa Avatar

    Awesome! I always wondered what those hand signals meant.

  5. Whitney Avatar

    I’ve always used the thumb, index, and middle finger to indicate “3,” but only to hosts/hostesses if its too noisy to be heard. I’m pretty sure it’s ASL, and for some reason my ring and pinky fingers just don’t like to be separated. So, I do it that way because it’s easy, can’t be mistaken for “okay” or some signed obscenity, and my “traditional” (index, middle, ring) three gesture looks really weird: my middle finger is straight up but my index and ring are more at a 45 degree angle, and if I hold it for longer than a second, that weakling ring finger starts to quiver! Maybe it’s the same for kwonton’s dad? Whatever the explanation, it should definitely include the word “erudite” (please?).

  6. patita Avatar

    I’ll use the first finger combo you listed in addition to saying the number when it’s busy or loud in the restaurant. I figure that’s the least offensive and easiest to understand!

  7. Yvonne Avatar

    Actually, it is a sign for Kappa Alpha Psi —

  8. m Avatar

    As I learned in my high school French days, the thumb plus however many is a French thing. Apparently they think you mean 3 if you do index/middle for 2. Which seems ridiculous but there you go.

  9. Jordans Avatar

    A tool that translated comments made in english that just make no sense would be great too!