Hey, Waitress! (2002)
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Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Oct 14 15:05:23 UTC 2002
THE USA FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRAY
by Alison Owings
Berkeley: University of California Press
334 pages, hardcover, $29.95
Unfortunately, this book was light on the slang. No "Adam and Eve on a
Raft" is mentioned in the entire book.
The back cover has nice blurbs from Anthony Bourdain (KITCHEN
CONFIDENTIAL), Barbara Ehrenreich, Susan Brownmiller, and Letitia Baldrige.
The book is all interviews. Pages 6-26, "A BRIEF, AND SUBJECTIVE, HISTORY
OF WAITRESSING," might have mentioned the waitress slang a LITTLE bit, but
Pg. 87: In Margie's experience, "Drop me one!" meant that the kitchen should
start cooking a chicken-fried steak. "Pig walkin'!" meant putting together a
pork barbecue sandwich to go. Her volume asserted its own pronunciations,
encompassed in her strong rural Tennessee tones. The word "floor" got two
syllables. The word "believe" got one. She referred to her regular
customers as her "reggers."
Pg. 97: "I call it nit-pit stuff." She does, spelling it out, _n-i-t p-i-t_.
Pg. 131: ..the "Bless This Mess" sign...
(I'll check the databases next week for this--ed.)
Pg. 252: Irena wore a button that read "Tipping is not a city in China."
(Another one for the databases, unless Fred wants to beat me to it--ed.)
Pg. 269: From her red-lipsticked mouth issue blazing campy, vampy voices and
lingo one deduces from context--"doing Bertha" means cleaning, while "'tron,"
from the non- (Pg. 270--ed.) sexist yet mocking term "waitron," means
waitress--for why interrupt the show?
(Hey, author! How about giving us some cites for "waitron"?--ed.)
Pg. 270: "I started out cleaning the restaurant, not 'tronning."
Pg. 273: Child customers, a.k.a. "Bam-Bams," were prey, too.
Pg. 288: Staff drinking, she rushed on, involved "torpedoes": taking a
coffeepot to the bar, putting a drink inside, and "inhaling" the contents.
Pg. 311: "I am ballsy, and I grab guys' balls occasionally. They give me
too much trouble, I grab 'em. 'Hey, I got control here.'" She grabs "at
_least_ once a night." Some guys like it, she added. "You can feel a little
fluffer coming on sometimes."
Lucy and Aileen laughed and laughed.
"A _fluffer_?" asked Brian, reddening.
(I EAT AT ALL THE WRONG RESTAURANTS!--ed.)
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