Damn them to hell. Damn their concerned puppy-dog expressions. Damn all line cooks who care.
“RG, those fries are cold and old.”
“So, I’ll eat them. I am starving.”
“RG, no. Enough.”
“I’ll make you a nice salad, like I did yesterday,” said the younger of the two.
“Yeah, you liked it, didn’t you? I saw you, you ate it all.”
Do I look like a toddler?
“No, I’ll just grab a few more of these before you toss them,” I said, palming multiple cold strips of fried potato slices.
“RG, look over there. See that fruit salad? It’s fresh.”
All it took was that tiny distraction, and suddenly the oily, salt-crusted metal bowl that held the remains of an order of once great fries was gone. Gone! Whisked away for good.
I watched as the supposed good-cop chef casually dumped them in the trash.
“I’ll get you some fruit.”
“Here, doesn’t this look great?”
Tell me this isn’t playing out like I think it is. Tell me the lunch line cooks are not trying to save me from myself and my extreme addiction to fries.
“I added some extra grapes and blueberries for you. You should love it.”
Oh, for God’s sake. They actually mean this.
So I ate the fruit, and it was, indeed, wonderful and incredibly fresh.
And by 4:00. I was shaking hungry. STARVING. My fries usually hold me all day.
By 4:30 I was picking through olives and maraschino cherries from the bartender’s set ups.
By 5:15 I was eating family meal with the night shift, gulping down some kind of healthy stewed chicken and a salad.
By 7 p.m. I was home sipping wine, still kind of hungry.
Lesson learned: Scarf fries earlier during the day shift, while pointing to the bowls of fresh veggies and asking my awesome line cooks, “Could I have some of those later?”
Yeah, that should work.