An Evening with Vera

August 4, 2019

Vera the waitress who always caused trouble whenever she appeared, and fortunately she was only there for dinner, was back in top form after being out for two days.

During those two days I had taken to sitting in my rollater during meals because the new chairs in the dining room were too low. That’s right, they had replaced the old chairs and tables with chairs that were about an inch lower than the previous ones and sometimes I could get up out of them, and sometimes I needed two people to help me stand on my feet.

Once standing, I was fine. This is pretty common with stroke victims and for a while I got by with bringing a pillow with me, and would transfer it over to the dining chair, but it wasn’t really the right size and I ended up talking with the OT (occupational therapy) guy and ordering a proper one from Amazon.

Anyway, the point is, that in the meantime I’ve been sitting in the rollater and it’s not causing any issues for anyone until Vera came back to serve tonight.

She looked at me sitting in the rollater and snapped: are you getting food to go or eating here?

I’m eating here.

Then you can’t keep that wheeler.

Oh yes I can, I replied. And when I say replied I mean I was firm, but not loud.

That got her hysterical. YOU ARE IN THE WAY THERE!

Oh yeah? In the way of who? Behind me was a pillar with about three inches of space. whether chair or rollater nobody could pass behind me.

YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT WHEELER IN HERE! IT’S A FIRE HAZZARD.

At this point, I yelled at her as loudly as I could: JUST TRY AND MOVE ME. DO YOU HAVE A MANAGER? GO FIND YOUR MANAGER! I’M NOT MOVING.

Spike and Nan were at the next table giving me the thumbs up.

I gave a slight laugh to show I wasn’t really upset. It was just part of an absurd game.

Her manager came by. A very sweet, calm woman in a pink outfit. Vera explained that I refused to move. The manager just smiled at me, and said: I told him he could use the rollater if it was easier. He’s not in anyone’s way.

Vera went storming off yelling about nothing in the kitchen being ready. Her manager just shrugged her shoulders at me and smiled.

Thanks, I said.

The rest of the night was an one act play with Vera as the central character. Anything you asked for she had a reason for not bringing.

The menu on the chalkboard said: Pork Chops or Roast Beef

The roast beef usually tasted like a loser at a chinese raceway. Mostly grizzle and nearly impossible to cut.

Ike said the pork chops looked good.

Vera arrived at our table with the news that there were no pork chops left.

Ike looked pissed off since we’re the first shift.

Vera continued: so what’s it gonna be? Oblivious to the fact that there was only one thing on the menu.

I guess I’ll have the roast beef. What comes with that?

Whatever comes with it, she said, that’s what you all are getting.

Can I get a black coffee with that, I asked.

I’m not serving no coffee now, she shouted back. You should’ve asked for it with your order.

I had a tiny glass of water on the table. Reuben, the boxer, had his head cradled in his hand – eyes closed.

Nan and Ike were in near hysterics when they saw me reach behind me to a counter and somehow pour out a glass of iced-tea and set it on my table.

I said, what do you think she’ll do if I ask for lemon?

At this point they had their own issues to deal with. Nan had gotten the roast beef but couldn’t cut it. And Ike was chiding me for not warning him about the roast beef. I insisted that that was all there was to order, so what should I have told him.

Well anyway, it was the Vera show for the hour and then she rushed us out saying she had a second sitting to prepare for.