It’s Thursday night and the restaurant is packed. It’s nine o’clock and there’s a line out the door. The manager’s i-pod shuffles through a rock set. Diners yell to hear each other. Servers like me, bend and spin around crowded tables.
Upstairs in the office, it’s quiet, except for the constant ringing of the phone lines.
A solitary receptionist hits the blinking lights that represent anxious people in search of a reservation.
“Thank you for calling _____, please hold, thank you for calling______please hold, thank you for calling _____, please hold. ” She saves breathing for after the last blinking light is touched.
She inhales and clicks onto a line. The receptionist can tell from the crackle of traffic and men talking in the background, that she’s on speaker phone.
“Thank you for holding. Can I help you?”
The voice on the other end yells to be heard. “Yeah. Hi. This is Casey Affleck. I need a table for four in fifteen minutes.”
The receptionist explains that the restaurant is booked. That the reservations are booked one month to the day in advance. The actor insists. He’s Casey Affleck. He’s in the neighborhood. He needs a table now.
The receptionist recalls the name, but can’t quite place his face. Other than being Ben’s brother, who is Casey Affleck again? The receptionist calls the manager for help. Is there something that can be done?
While the curly haired woman waits for an answer, she IMDB’s the actor’s name. So, he’s been in the Ocean 11 movies. That’s right, she thinks. He’s the funny side kick guy. Oh, and he was in that Boston movie about a girl getting kidnapped. Never did see that movie, she muses.
The manager steps in and suggests there could be an opening. A reservation has no-showed. He’ll do his best to squeeze in Affleck, along with the rest of the walk-in’s. Before the receptionist hangs up, the manager offers one small caveat: “Tell him he might have to wait a while.”
A while later, the curly haired actor (and his mini-posse) is seated.
A server like me, but not me, approaches the table. She greets Casey Affleck and his friends with a smile. They look up from their menus with Los Angeles upper crust disdain. Casey Affleck nods to the server. She blushes a little when he stares at her, all intense with his semi-famous dark eyes.
“Listen,” he says. “People usually send out appetizers for me when I come in. You can let the kitchen know I’m a vegan.”
The server does a double take. What did he just say? The server spins away from the table, dazed.
The server approaches the kitchen and pulls the chef aside. She repeats verbatim what Casey Affleck–the actor–has just told her.
“So…Uh, are we going to send him out some beets or something?” the waitress asks.
The chef calmly nods his head. “Hell no.”
For your consideration…