Welcome back to Behind Closed Ovens, where we take a look at the best and strangest stories from inside the food industry. Today we bring you stories of the server's secret weapon: cropdusting. As always, these are real e-mails from real readers.
Ahhh, cropdusting: a server's secret weapon. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "cropdusting" is when a server walks by a table, timing their approach just right to unleash a noxious blast of ass fumes. There's generally enough background noise so that the table doesn't hear it our butt-trumpets, though they'd be hard-pressed not to smell the sulfurous destruction we leave in our wake. With the exception of a rogue asshole server, generally, crop-dusting is reserved for those truly deserving restaurant patrons, as you'll see below. I've done it numerous times, and every time, it was a customer who badly deserved to smell what I was cooking.
Don't just take it from me, though! Let's look at some other great examples of customers being justifiably cropdusted:
"Because we servers never get weekends off, I would often show up for work at my job after a night of drinking. Don't get your knickers in in a twist, I was responsible, cutting myself off long before I needed to be in bed, and in those days of youth, hangovers didn't exist. I'd show up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but on occasion, I'd have some gastrointestinal problems: namely extremely bad-smelling farts.
One day, when such flatulence was upon me, I was given a two-top of a particularly infamous couple in their mid-60's who often caused problems with our staff, particularly the women. They were extremely religious, and once before had told me that waiting was one of the few vocations a woman could have because women serving men is a Godly command.
I don't know exactly how the conversation started, but it came out that I was unwed and living with my boyfriend, and had no intention of marrying him any time soon (we've since been together six years and were married two years ago, but that's not the point). Well, all holy hell broke loose after that, and for the rest of their meal I was being condemned and told I needed to be saved.
So I started farting on them. Every time I came to check on them (which I made sure was frequently after they said they so adamantly wanted me saved), I would leech out a silent but deadly fart that smelled so bad it should have peeled paint off the walls. I would then walk away and watch their noses twitch, and see their faces pucker up in disgust.
After they left, I never saw them again, and I was given a high-five by the rest of the staff."
"I work at a standard pizza chain, and this inbred, sports-obsessed nutsack orders from my store pretty regularly, lives near the very edge of my delivery area, and stiffs me every time I see him. I'd say I've wasted at least a full tank of gas over time going to this guy's house.
Now, I'm lactose intolerant, so if I have a glass of milk with my cookies I fart for four days. And not just regular gas; the farts you have time to contemplate as they're still trailing on. So one Wednesday, I have a giant mug of Ovaltine before work. Yes, Ovaltine.
Like clockwork, this guy orders. I tell the other driver to let me take it.
I get to this guy's house, open the glass screen door to knock on the wooden door, and then I fart and shut it between the doors, so that it has nowhere to go but right in his face when he opens the wooden door.
He opens it, and I'm grinning like I just won some award, and it doesn't take long for him to make a face, say "thanks for that, brother" sarcastically, and shut the door.
However, he did write 2.00 in the tip column. So this story has a happy ending. :)"
"I was working at a national family chain in a large Midwest town. It was fairly busy for a week night. In my section I had the perfect example of an upper middle class family. The parents were in their late 40's and they had two teenage sons who were both wearing football t-shirts from the most prestigious private high school in town. The family looked like they came out of a Sears catalog. They were a little rude, but I brushed it off.
A little bit later, I got seated with two women and a severely disabled boy who was about 10 across the aisle from the first family. He had profound retardation and Tourette's as well as a feeding tube in his throat. The women were doing the best they could to keep the boy quiet. He was happy and smiling and was generally quiet except for the vocal tics.
After bringing the drinks for the second family, the first family waved me over. The father told me they had to be moved immediately "because the retard is scaring the kids," loudly enough for the women to hear. I kept my composure told him I would see what I could do.
I told my manager, who has a special needs child said, "fuck those guys, I'll find them the worst table possible." He seated them across the restaurant in a section we weren't using that night.
While all of this was going on, one of the women had started crying. My manager and I both stopped by to console her. She told him the teenagers had been laughing and calling her son a "gross fucking retard," with no correction from the parents. He comped her check and told her he would do everything in his power to make it right.
Word had traveled through the restaurant and everyone was outraged. My manager told the staff that he wasn't telling us to cropdust the snob family, but he wasn't telling us to not crop dust them either. Every single server, host, busser and even some of the kitchen staff walked past their table.
Justice smells bad sometimes."
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 (or you can find me on Twitter @EyePatchGuy). Submissions are always welcome!
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