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Unreasonable passion, irrational exuberance

Front-row seats to the freakshow: yours for $40!

Daniel Yudkin

How much does a day-pass to Six Flags cost?  Let's say it's like forty bucks.  Well that’s how much I think I’m going to start charging for anyone who wants to try my job for a day: it’s like an emotional rollercoaster and a freakshow all rolled into one.  


1.  The table of four that paid me with a used $1 scratch ticket.  It was an $80 meal, and for the tip: seven singles, and a wrinkled scratch ticket redeemable for $1 at your local convenience store.  Keep in mind these were people who cheerfully informed me that just that day had made a $5,000 deposit on a time-share apartment just up the road.  2.  A middle-aged couple had finished their meal and was sitting at the corner table looking grumpy and dissatisfied.  They both had sizeable portions of trout and rice sitting on their plates: a sure sign that they didn’t like the food, and were going to complain.  I braced myself and nervously approached them, saying as enthusiastically as possible “Well, how we doin’ over here, folks?” (I tend to compulsively use the word ‘folks’ when I am insecure) “Did you enjoy everything?”    

The guy responds, “The food was excellent.”   I breathed a huge sigh of relief.    He continued, “But the portions were insufficient.”    I thought he was making a joke, and laughed out loud. “There’s nothing funny about it.  Not big enough.  Not enough food.  We’re still hungry.” “’t finished food on your plate......" “NOT. BIG. ENOUGH.” “Yes, sir.  I’ll bring your check.”

3.  The family that used the dinner napkins as baby-wipes.  I overheard the mom say, “Jeanette, did you poop your pants again?”  Then there was some commotion at the table, involving a pulled-out chair and a horizontal five-year old.  And after they had left, as I bussed the table I discovered two cloth napkins, folded and placed neatly on the table to look as though they hadn’t been used, concealing several crusty brown streaks. The family had used the table as a changing station.