Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Fine, I'm Back

I know, it was totally last year when I wrote last. Get it? Because it is always funny to make jokes about last year when it was only a week ago that it was last year.

But I'm not even going to show you totally awesome stuff from Christmas or give you my top ten from 2009. Even though lots has happened since I wrote last year (still funny). But I will tell you a story.

The day before my sis-in-law, Nancy, went home to Chicago, we ate at Stan's for lunch. Stan's is an old-fashioned burger place (you can thank me for not saying joint) much like most old-fashioned burger joints (ah, crap it just came out): oldies on the radio, hard, "retro" blue booths and sticky floors, lots of unrelated pictures of bands and celebrities on the wall; yummy shakes, decent burgers, crappy chicken nuggets.

No, I didn't lose a tooth over the holidays, my errant hair just makes it look like I did.

And what goes better with rock n' roll and burgers than Stan's new Indian owner, who also looked to be the only human running the establishment when we arrived. While we gathered our rowdy little ones, he waited impatiently for us to order. It was only Parley and me from my group, so when my turn came to order, I decided to go on the light side: a hamburger for me, fries to share (I have tossed to many half-eaten chicken nuggets in my time).

I say so, and the sullen man says, "What to drink?"
"Water."
"$4.99." says he.
"Oh, wow. How much were those fries?" I ask (knowing that the burger was $1.59).
"I just charge you for a number six."
"Oh. Wait, what?" I say, hunting the menu for what a number six is.
"It would cost more to get them separately, so I charge you for a number 6."
"Oh, okay" I say, still calculating in my head--those golden fries must really be made of gold. I know I'm paying more than I meant to, but I'm a little frightened by this dude, so I don't say anything.

And I pay the man.

He hands me a Pepsi cup filled with water. It's then that I realize the number six--that I've now paid for--comes with a soft drink. This water dressed like a Pepsi is looking mighty pricey.

Timidly I say, "So can I get a drink with that then?"
"Water, drink, whatever." he grumbles back.
"I'll have a Pepsi, then." I answer. That prompts him to take the cup back. I stutter a protest, Wait! my son could drink... that... water! But too late. It's clear that I am only getting one drink.

When Nancy asked if she could substitute her drink for a shake and pay the difference, she was abruptly told no, and we hurried to our seats. An old episode of Seinfeld came to mind...

...And it didn't go away when the children spilled their drinks and we were not afforded more than our one napkin per order. Mr. new-owner was interviewing a girl for a job two booths ahead of us. I was nervous for her; I didn't dare ask him for napkins, I couldn't imagine how he'd respond to time-off requests.

At least the food was good. And you'd better believe that Pepsi was the best I ever drank.

16 comments:

Kim said...

Oh Jayne! I was beginning to have symptoms of withdrawl! Glad you are back. It seems like last year since we spoke last...Oh, wait! It was! Yep, still funny!

Shannon said...

soup nazi!

Sarah Burgoyne said...

Thats an awesome story! Is Stan's the place on 900N across from Gold's Gym? I went there once with Madelynne hoping for some good onion rings, I was sadly dissapointed. I'm glad you enjoyed your Pepsi :)

Erin Leigh said...

listen, i've been stalking your blog. is that creepy? i love it! i think you say things so well and this time i just HAD to comment. i too went to stan's not long ago and had a very similar experience with this new indian owner. it was definitely comical except that it hurt we were paying so much at the same time. we dared not ask for extra ketchup packets. I did however have to pay an extra 25 cents or something like that for a cup for water! Yikes!!

ali said...

wow. last year you were really funny. But I don't know what's happened in a year's time. You are even MORE witty and MORE hilarious. It's amazing what a year can do!

Marilyn said...

Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to know that other people are too scared to speak up when things like that happen!! My mom would totally be brave enough to say something, but I always just subside into cowed silence. Paying the extra $2.50 or whatever. And then I'm mad about it for the next several days.

Shana said...

If you would have just gone to Ripple's, you would have had a wonderful time. Get your burger joints straight would you? I know, there is no place to sit down inside but you won't find friendlier service--in fact, they may have your order written down before you get to the window. That's how friendly and helpful they are at Ripple's.

Anonymous said...

No soup for you!

{Erica} said...

Love Stans and bummed that the new owner behaved that way. I'm hoping he was just having a bad day...please bless!

So with a new owner are the prices different and the food changed?

Adrienne said...

Oh sad! I loved Stan's before. You know, probably last year or something. What gives, New Owner? The deal is, if you are running any sort of "joint" you are supposed to be jolly and grateful that we are patronizing your establishment. And save that intimidation for very posh places, where we expect to feel like children, and don't expect to *take* our children. Right?

Adrienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ellen said...

I used to go to Stan's on Monday nights for half-price shakes and they were an inch above the rim of the cup! I guess those days are gone.

Teachinfourth said...

My sister worked there years ago...went a time or two for a meal myself. Sorry to hear that the management has gone down the toilet.

c jane said...

Jayne I have to comment with my own story, I don't know how cool that is but here it is:

We go to Stans a lot and as of last night the owner told us our order as soon as we drove up to the menu.

"One veggie burger. One pastrami burger. But I think you should try the Western Burger instead. Very good."

And it was the first time he was nice to us, so CK said, "Sure why not." And he was right, CK liked it.

And I think it is because last time we were there we tried to order his samosas--from his homeland. I think it pleased him, and it made us friends.

So now we could probably order a water and a drink and get away with it.

Moral: order the samosas.

olivia said...

Yes, perhaps we should consider the samosas, because,

Jayne,

I went to Stan's just a month before you (slash last year?) and my friend ordered a burger and fries, then asked for a water, and Mrs. Indian Owner gave the same spiel! (speal?) about number 6 being cheaper. The math did not add up but we also just sat quietly.

Ah, but next time, I will order a samosa.

Rickina said...

They don't necessarily owe you the option for free water. THEY SELL IT!