The Iced Tea Scrolls

My British reserve used to prevent me from complaining in restaurants and I would certainly never think of requesting a change to the items on the menu. My American wife has slowly opened my eyes to the fact that a menu is not the Ten Commandments; asking a waiter to serve the roasted chicken with the three potato puree from the rib-eye steak is not the same as asking a priest if you can take the “For Six Days you shall” from the  fourth  and combine it with the “covet your neighbours wife” from the tenth. 

Eating places in the US seem happy to accommodate, even at the fast food end of the industry; a request to add onions and pickles to Jack in the Box’s Ultimate Cheeseburger is always accommodated. There is one special request that seems to cross some unspoken line, with almost no restaurant in the state of California able to oblige. Not that waiting staff actually refuse the request or tell us that we have asked for something beyond their ability to deliver; they take the order without comment, but then  without a word deliver the item as they wish and not as requested. My wife likes her iced-tea without lemon and will always ask for it so made, yet at least 8 out of 10 times the drink will arrive with a slice of yellow fruit in it or placed on the lip of the glass. The silent refusal to oblige involves more work than complying, so I am left wondering if we have encountered some bizarre ritual required by a Californian new-age cult. Perhaps there is a eleventh commandment know only to waiting staff; “Thou Shalt add a slice to lemon to beverages made from iced tea.”

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Published in: on 21 January, 2009 at 16:32  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Unbelievably hilarious Brit. You should get the prize of the funniest blog ever. Referring to the 10 commandments were sooooooooooo funny 🙂

  2. Is California the land of the Passive-Aggressive?

    What has happened to good service? This morning had great service at the downtown Martinez Starbucks, but several doors down dropped into an antique shop where the proprietors ignored my friend and I – even when I asked a question. And we were the only customers in the store. They not only lost an almost-certain sale this morning, but also two potential future customers.

  3. ROFL … does anyone feel sorry for me though? Nooooo!

  4. Awwwwwww … now I feel guilty! I do feel sorry for you, Amber, that you are a creative soul in a geek-filled world. And any time you come to my house I will make you iced tea with NO LEMON!


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