Welcome back to Behind Closed Ovens, where we take a look at the best and strangest stories from inside the food industry. This week's theme is customers whose behavior was completely inexplicable and absurd. As always, these are real e-mails from real readers.
"When I was 19, I bartended at a super dive-y purveyor of tacos and cheap margaritas. Despite the fact that I was underage myself, I had to be super vigilant about checking ID's because this bar was subject to regular police stings. One afternoon this fellow (who I'll refer to as Roy) came in and announced that he had just earned $100 from a dishwashing job he had picked up and was going to, "get so much pussy tonight." He proceeded to order a pitcher of High Life and a shot of well whiskey. Roy sat outside most of the afternoon, getting hammered and yelling at passers-by. I left him alone and asked one of the male cashiers to grab Roy's empty pitchers because he always tried to grab my ass when I went with three feet of his table.
After about three hours of Roy swilling beer, my co-worker came inside and said, "You better go check out Roy's table." I went outside, and noticed Roy holding court with two (obviously underage) girls. Without a word, I went to the table, grabbed the half full pitcher and went inside. Roy followed me, lit cigarette in hand, and demanded that I give the pitcher back. I told him that when he showed me those girl's IDs he could have the pitcher back. Roy proceeded to grab a full pint glass from another customer and pitch it directly at my head, screaming at me. "You can shove this up your ass! I know where you work! I'm coming for you!" I ducked, and the glass crashed into a bottle of blue curacao, shattering it all over me.
Two of the guys working in the kitchen ran out front and restrained Roy, and Roy plunged his lit cigarette into one of their forearms. I called the cops. The underage girls took off running, which prompted Roy to start writhing and screaming in his choke hold about how he was still gonna get laid that night and then he was gonna come back and kill me. After the cops came, I took the rest of the night off and washed the glass and blue curacao out of my hair. Roy never came back."
"I used to wait tables at a resort in the Poconos when I was a teenager. One time a guest asked me to close my eyes and give her my hand. As an adult I probably never would have, but I was young and accommodating and she caught me off guard so I did it. She stuck my finger in her peas and said,"Cold, right?"
They were cold, but I would have believed her if she just told me. That wasn't even the grossest part: I told her I'd get her a new plate of food right away and make sure it was hot. She said, "No need," and insisted I just microwave her plate. The plate of food I just had my finger in. Eww."
"When I was in college I worked at a large chain seafood restaurant that recently was sold. They have excellent biscuits. The name is a color and a crustacean. Anyway, we had a regular that would come in that we called Regurge. She earned this odious nickname by ordering clam chowder and then spitting every bite into a napkin, wadding it up, and throwing it under the table. I worked there for almost 2 years, and had her table probably 20 times — every time, same thing, napkins wadded up under the table, oozing with used clams.
Finally, I'd had enough, and came out in full dishwashing gloves to clean the mess while she was still there. Our general manager asked what I was doing, and when I told him, he went out to tell her that she wasn't welcome anymore. I never found out what her deal was, whether she had a condition, or was crazy, or just a horrible person that liked to watch college kids scrounge around on the floor and try not to vomit, and I couldn't be happier to not know. She was also a terrible tipper."
Do you have a crazy restaurant story you'd like to see appear in Behind Closed Ovens? Please e-mail WilyUbertrout@gmail.com with "Behind Closed Ovens" in the subject line. Submissions are always welcome! Seriously, don't be shy, I can always use as many submissions as possible.
Image via Foodio/Shutterstock.