A late night stop in a local restaraunt turns me into a cook
|Now were cooking
I need to write this down before I laugh myself out of it. I finished work around 8:30 then returned to my hotel room for a quick shower and a change of clothes. I have had a very stressful week and was looking forward to getting out for a few drinks and a nice dinner. I chose a restaurant near by the hotel. It is a local place called Bubba’s. They serve a good gumbo and their oysters are perfect. I decided I better not eat there often, I don't think there is a person in the place under 200 pounds. I had a bowl of oyster stew and a glass of Scotch, then another. That might be why this story came about in the first place.
The dinner was succulent and I had a nice warm buzz on after dinner. The restaurant closed at 10 and I still wanted another drink. I walked next door to a typical brass and fern place called Ruby Tuesday.
Sitting myself at the bar I ordered another double Scotch. They brought me a water glass full. A few minutes later I was sitting talking to the bartender when the phone rang. I could see the excitement and frustration on his face. He slammed down the phone and announced to the rest of the staff that a bus with 30 people was showing up in 15 minutes. There was a general panic in the place and a lot of "what the hell are we going to do?" The bartender told me they had just let the staff go home including all but one cook. There was no way they could serve this busload of people.
In my inebriated state I of course said the first thing that came to mind. “I can cook, be happy to help out.” Out of the kitchen came one of the largest black men I have ever seen. As he stepped through the door there was little space between him and the door frame. He had a huge infectious grin and just a look about him that one couldn't help but smile. Like a 350 pound version of Eddie Murphy. His deep booming voice had the hint of laughter on every word. "You Cook", he said reaching out his hand. When he shook my hand I felt like my hand had been swallowed. He said, "You really willin to hep?" I said “sure.” This is how I became a cook at Ruby Tuesday's on a Saturday night.
His name was Arthur and he was such a happy person. He showed me through the kitchen and tossed me a white apron about 12 sizes too big. I am sure I looked like a clown. I even put on a hair net to make sure customers didn't get any extra surprises in there food. Arthur was laughing continuously as he worked around the kitchen. I am not sure he liked my joking around or he was just that happy.
The bus arrived and the people filed in. There were still a dozen customers in the restaurant before they arrived. They were all getting ready to finish up and leave. Arthur boomed out. "Here come da fun."
I sliced and diced and made up a few salads as we waited for the orders to come in. I was amazed how the huge frame of Arthur moved through the kitchen. Arthur was throwing pans, slamming doors, all the time singing with his deep voice, he moved as gracefully as an NBA player. I just joined in and started singing along with him. I was having so much fun just hanging out with this guy. It was impossible to judge the passage of time.
I told Arthur to bark out orders and I would follow the best I could. His laughter boomed out and said "lets go little guy" I am truly not a little guy at six foot tall and 180 pounds but I felt minute next to him. The orders came in and he did start barking out the orders. "Get the chicken breasts, out of the fridge, start slicing mushrooms, turn the fire up on that grill" This went on for about a half hour I was amazed at how things just seemed to come together especially since one of us were reeling from the intake of good scotch. I was sweating like I was running the mile but all the meals went out and there weren’t any complaints.
I was tired and half drunk when I arrived and now I was so full of energy and way too sober. This problem was taken care of soon.
I helped Arthur and the rest clean up as the doors were closed. When that was done which by the way was no little effort we sat at a small table in the back and the manager brought us all drinks. They offered to pay me but I think working with Arthur and learning just to let the joy of my soul out was all the payment I needed. So we drank and told stories and lied to one another. They wished me luck on my dreams. As I was leaving Arthur slapped me on the back so hard I thought I would fall down. He said, "Good job boy, you can cook." that’s the best I have felt about a job in a long time. To get the approval of this huge black cook made me feel great. I got home about 3:00 AM. It is a night I won't forget anytime soon. When I woke up Sunday morning I had a throbbing head and sore ribs. I understood the head from the scotch but it wasn't until the afternoon when I started writing this I started laughing out loud and realized my ribs hurt from laughing. Well at least I thought it was funny