BUTTE, Idaho –
Local man Ed Vermeulen, 37, actually thinks the story he is telling about the bad service he got at a restaurant today is interesting. The bore is, in his deluded opinion, regaling friends at the same dinner party with information on how rude the waitress at Don Pedro’s was, that he was given goats cheese in his chicken salad instead of regular feta, and that their prices were disproportional to their customer care.
“He’s telling us about how he almost didn’t give a tip,” friend Roger Walter mumbled. “At least if he had carried through on that, there’d be something interesting about this anecdote.”
Vermeulen is oblivious to the fact that his hosts are looking nervously at their watches, trying to lead their faltering party in a different direction. He doesn’t even realize that they’ve already interrupted three times, in an attempt to move on to the next course and a new topic of conversation.
“For the amount of money they get paid – and yes, they get paid minimum wage which is more than they deserve – they really should put more effort into their work,” he is saying, drawing an attempt at an argument from one liberal friend, who is shushed by friends who will do anything not to let this story carry on any longer than it needs to. “I mean, Don Pedro’s is a respectable establishment, with a reputation to keep up.”
Acquaintances are nodding their heads, in the hope that he’ll stop talking if they don’t actively participate, but Vermeulen is continuing, saying, “It’s not the only place that’s in my bad books,” bringing audible groans around the table.