I cut into a $23.00 filet mignon at this restaurant my wife and I were eating at, and immediately realized it one of those pieced-together things they sell at the grocery store for a fraction of what real filets go for. When I sent it back, they didn't ask any questions, but, when the bill came it was still on there. I refused to pay and the owner stormed out and started yelling at me in broken Italian right there in the middle of the restaurant. My old lady and I just looked at each other and ran out the door, not because we wanted to get out of a check, but, rather, we actually were in fear of bodily harm, or worse. Do restaurant owners really think they can get away with treating customers like that?
Wow. One-dimensional. Flavorless. Downright boring. And I’m just talking about your question. We haven’t even gotten to that overrated (not to mention overpriced) filet mignon yet. Lucky for you, unlike that cut of steak, which is a non-working, unused muscle, my brain is highly functioning. Meaning it’s functioning while high. I found an old bottle of cannabis tincture rolling around in my van that I had forgotten about, and whose potency I decided to test before tackling today’s question. And let me tell you… potent, it be.
Do restaurant owners really think they can get away with treating customers like that? It would appear that this particular restaurant owner does, did, and could. You ran away and then messaged a column writer who can’t do anything about it. So restaurant owner: 1, Christopher: 0. But let’s see what we can do to even that score.
And you really do need to take care of this, Christopher. You don’t want to be beholden to the mob for unpaid debts. Not if you’ve grown accustom to bipedalism, not to mention respiration. And I’m reading between the lines here, but you felt it important to call out and attach this man’s heritage to his behavior (bodily harm, or worse), so we’re going to proceed with stereotypes in order to solve this. That man provided you with a steak. A steak for which you did not pay. If you think he’s just going to let that go, don’t be surprised when you wake up to find a cow’s head in your bed.
Understand that $23.00 isn’t going to cover it at this point. You’re too deep in, I’m afraid. You’re going to be told to do something… something morally reprehensible. It could be driving a getaway car. It could be facilitating human trafficking. All because you decided you didn’t feel like eating pho tonight. And you’re going to have to do the horrible thing too. Otherwise you might as well start digging graves, for you and the old lady.
You could try to take on the mob, of course. I wouldn’t advise it, but it’s worked out in a couple of cases. Or were those movies? I can’t remember anymore. They were probably movies. Don’t take on the mob, Christopher.
Witness protection. That’s the ticket. The ticket to a permanent vacation getaway in sunny Minot, ND. And you don’t have to worry about dealing with any of those irritating coworkers, outgrown friends, or meddling family members ever again. It’s a chance at a new beginning for you and the missus. And Lord knows, you need it. The marriage has been shaky for a while now. If I was to guess, it probably has something to do with your immense cowardice. And I can’t imagine taking her out to dine at a restaurant where they serve substandard filet mignon did it any favors. You’ll both have the rest of your lives to make snow-angels together and fall for each other all over again while losing your sense of direction during a blizzard on the way to the outhouse.
Now that we’ve covered the Italian mob stereotype, let’s backtrack and assume that this man’s broken Italian wasn’t pertinent to the story (although I’m glad you felt it was because there was absolutely nowhere to go with this otherwise). So if he’s not a mob boss, then we have to treat him as if he’s just another guy. Some guy who’s angry and doesn’t like you. Well, hell. That’s an easy one. Why are we even discussing this?
Handle the situation. Don’t run away, Christopher. You’ll lose all of your self-respect (as is evident by your messaging me at all). And your old lady… well, you don’t even want to know what she’s thinking. You’re looking like grocery-store mignon to her right about now too. And she’s after that fat Porterhouse anyway. Bone-in.
So stand your ground. Or sit your chair rather. That guy may be scary. And you can’t win this fight physically. But you can damn sure sit tight, square your shoulders, look up at him, right in the eye while smiling, and soil yourself. Then WALK out of that restaurant, head held high, old-lady on your arm, knowing that you gave it all you had in you.
Or, y’know… just Yelp about it like we both know you’re going to do anyway. I don’t know what you want me to tell you here. A lot of restaurant owners are pieces of shit. So are a lot of restaurant staff and customers. These things sort themselves out. The easiest way to handle this is to take your business elsewhere. The funniest way to handle this is to shit yourself next time.
Choose your own adventure.
Sir Jables' vast wealth of knowledge can be tapped at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be contacted by Morse code eye-blinking, intentionality in astral projection, or through his Ouija username: hailsatan.