Saturday, January 03, 2004
Objectively, you conclude that in the restaurant world where each group of employees thinks theirs is the most-valuable and hardest-worked position, it is the waiters who have the toughest job due to their intermediary roles. They have to deal with imperious chefs, know-it-all bartenders and wraithlike buspersons – to say nothing of condescending patrons.

Like it or not, the wait staff is the glue. How they go, goes the ship.

A stressed waiter named Eric hates that a coworker named Jason always drinks coffee and eats dessert during the busiest stretches of the weekend nights. Eric sweats and burns himself carrying too many plates, and he seethes that Jason talks about the great X he has waiting for him when he gets off. As she listens to Jason’s story at her customers’ discomfort, one of the few females that works there does not know the other wait staff refer to her as a fag hag.

She hasn’t worked there long enough to know or be told.

Eric is very busy, what restaurant folks call “slammed” or “in the weeds.”

Jason theatrically eats bread pudding and tells Eric that they are not workers in a hospital. Theirs is not a life-saving employ, he reasons.

Outside, a cluster of homeless people have gathered to argue. One of them slurs at some patrons leaving the restaurant, and the hostess quickly guides them down the street.

The homeless people continue down the block, near the convention center where the Republicans will hold their nominating convention. They stop near the detached patch of weeds that will be referred to during the convention as the FREE SPEECH ZONE. The nominee inside the convention will not see those gathered in the shadow of the convention center, but he will be told the turnout was small and unorganized.

There is a secrecy in politics, and in the after it has become more secretive than ever, you conclude. You wouldn’t believe how much relates to matters of national security. They don’t answer anything, and those who question are dismissed as quacks and commies.

They might not have known explicitly what was going to happen, and that is important. It allows them to stand and swear that they did not know Muslim men allied with an exiled Saudi once funded by the United States were going to hijack four airplanes and turn them into weapons of mass destruction on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

And that’s probably true.

They didn’t know that exactly was going to happen – and that’s their get-out-of-culpability card.

But they knew something was going to happen, and that’s another matter altogether.

You think to yourself that you pay your taxes, and yet an Australian media mogul who shelters his income around the world is considered more of an American than you. Still other folks in Guatemala and Belize will argue that they, too, are Americans.

And they are.

Everyone is, like it or not.
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