Monday, March 26, 2007

Things I Don't Want To Think About Too Closely

INT. PIZZA EXPRESS CHISWICK - DAY

Me: I'd like a Nostrana salad, please.

Waiter: Um, sorry, we can't do that, we don't have any boiled eggs.

Me: Oh, right, oh, so I can't have a Fiorentina pizza either?

Waiter: No, that's OK. We've got eggs. We just don't have any boiled eggs.

Me: Um...


37 comments:

belladona said...

Oh dear lord.
You should send them a copy of Delia's 'How to cook'. Or whatever it's called. Nice to see you back btw :)

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Ha Ha Ha!!

That had me chuckling for ages!

I used to be a bar manager and one of the young ladies working in the restaurant part was very sweet and spectacularly pretty, but sadly lacking in the cranial department. This sounds just like one of things she said to customers.

My favourite was when a customer asked for 'anything other than seafood'. She recommended the lobster and couldn't understand why the customer got rather irate and stormed out when she kept repeating that the lobster was good. In the end we had to show her internet video of a lobster in the sea before she would believe us that they were seafood.

Maybe the waiter was related in some way...

Billy said...

When I'm in Pizza Express I always have the pizza that helps you save Venice. Maybe, when I eventually get there they'll welcome me with open arms, "thank you for contributing to saving our city", they might say.

100 Words said...

Well, it does take a long time to boil an egg at altitude. Clearly, Chiswick is at the apex of high society

james henry said...

Ah, 9/10ths' waitress was probably thinking of the Forest Lobster, which swings majestically from branch to branch of the mighty oak, its haunting song floating upon the dusk.

The Forest Lobster's principal diet is Acorns.

Sylvia said...

Ah, Pizza Express - I can't be too hard on them as we go there when the inlaws visit so I don't have to cook. Inlaws seem to be very grateful that we go there instead of eating my own daintily cooked food.
Anyway, had to laugh about the eggs. They probably have a weekly consignment of boiled eggs from head office and are told not to boil any.......

GreatSheElephant said...

Or maybe even the mountain lobster that leaps from crag to crag, subsisting only on abandoned or lost crampons.

james henry said...

Ew!

Oh, 'crampons', sorry.

Sylvia said...

who's lowering the tone now!

Marsha Klein said...

Liked the story about the lobster. It reminded me of a battle my younger sister had with a teacher about that common British bird, the Pine Marten.

Have you ever been told, in Starbucks and similar establishments, that you can't have a "medium" coffee because they've run out of "medium" cups and, no sorry they can't put a "medium" coffee in a "large" cup. "Large" cup, "large" coffee seems to be the way of things.
Someone I know recently ordered a large omelette and was told the restaurant had run out of large omelettes, but "I can let you have two small omelettes for the same price"!!

patroclus said...

Bella: I really think they must have hard-boiled eggs delivered to them, as Sylvia suggests. This makes me feel all icky about Pizza Express. I wonder if anyone reading this works or has worked at PE and can confirm?

Nine-Tenths: 'In the end we had to show her internet video of a lobster in the sea' is the funniest thing I've read all day.

100 Words: Yes, it's just like the upper slopes of Mount Olympus round here. You can't move on Turnham Green Terrace without running into Zeus, or Ganymede, or Fenella Fielding.

Billy: If only they did the same for Florence, I might feel less guilty about always having the Fiorentina. I'm all for saving Venice, I just can't stand sultanas in savoury food.

GSE: Is this the mountain lobster immortalised in song by the B52s? I like the word 'lobster', it reminds me of some places in the far north of Scotland, called Scrabster, Mybster, Nybster, Lybster and Badlipster, which make me think of the Vikings, and then that sets me off thinking about the Picts, and that makes me happy. Except when I remember how callously the Picts have been ignored by Time Team; that makes me sad.

James: Perhaps you should lay off that special orange-flavoured coffee for a bit.

GreatSheElephant said...

Marsha - that omelette story is even worse...

Urban Chick said...

marsha: you went into starbucks and asked for a medium/large coffee and they didn't 'correct' you (to grande, venti, primo, whatever)?

what's the betting that barista has since been sacking under subsection c of their contract 'failure to use company language etiquette'?

chatterbox said...

I don't know about Pizza Express, but boiled eggs routinely arrive ready cooked and vaccuum packed in polythene at an awful lot of catering establishments. In just the same way, cheese arrives ready grated, and bacon is cooked to a crisp in a factory somewhere off a ringroad. You have to go somewhere independent or expensive to get eggs boiled by hand on the premises these days!

What a lot of useless information I have at my fingertips :(

Sylvia said...

And besides, haven't the pizzas in PE become smaller over the years? They used to hang over the edge, but now, they barely fill the plate. I think I need to get out more.....

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Ahhh, the majestic Forest Lobster. Sadly missed off the last series of BBC's Planet Earth.

While we are at it, lets consider those other land crustaceans:

The sprightly Gobi Desert Shrimp,
the mysterious Amazonian Flying Crab and rarest of all the Scottish Burrowing Land Krill.

I have more, but I think I'd better stop there....

Tedward's Missing Ear said...

bet that wouldn't happen en France

Tim Footman said...

Sylvia's right about the size of pizzas at PE. At one point in 2002, they threatened to edge out house prices as the number one subject of conversation at middle-class dinner parties in the South East.

llewtrah said...

I worked with someone whose culinary skills were limited to putting milk on cornflakes or man=king cheese sarnies. When his mum went on holiday, this guy had to go to Tesco restaurant for his meals. Boiling eggs was advanced stuff he never tackled.

Billy said...

I'm assuming it's a typo, but I really want to try this cheese sarnie that makes a man equal to a king.

Marsha Klein said...

I'm so confused! My omelette story has been bothering me. I definitely came across it recently, but am beginning to think I read it somewhere or heard it on the radio. Unfortunately, my ability to tell the difference between things which have actually happened to the real-life me and the imaginary/cyber me is becoming increasingly blurred.

Marsha Klein said...

Oops! I didn't, of course, mean "my ability to tell the difference between...is becoming increasingly blurred", I MEANT "I'm losing the ability to tell the difference between..."etc etc.
My grammar's gone to hell n'all.

Sylvia said...

It's ok Marsha - we know what you mean....you're amongst friends here. Tim - I've been think sometime of the three things that have replaced sex religion and politics as subjects not to be discussed in polite company, and I think that I've cracked it now, thanks to you - education, houseprices and how PE pizzas have shrunk over the years.

Hannah said...

Patroclus' and 9/10ths' waitresses clearly from the same school of stupid that had one of the girls at school convinced that ducks had four legs. When told they had two, she replied: "No, you're wrong. I remember you tried to tell me that about pigeons as well, so I won't fall for it this time."

Now a doctor. Alarming.

Spinsterella said...

Chatterbox - that is enlightening and quite depressing.

Vacuum-packed eggs. God. Never happened in my day etc...

Then the comments continued to get increasingly worrying.

4-legged ducks?

patroclus said...

Hannah, your schoolmate may actually have known whereof she spoke.

Mangonel said...

Sylvia, your link goes nowhere helpful - wossup?

Helen said...

That made me laugh :) Mangonel, for me it goes to a BBC page about a duckling with 4 legs...

Spinsterella said...

There once was an ugly duckling, with feathers all stubby and BROWN, and every something, sonmething something - QUACK, GET OUT OF TOWN!

That 4-legged duck has made me awesomely happy.

Mangonel said...

Thanks Helen, no I got the Ugly Duckling, poor little sod, I meant Sylvia's own name, which should take us to a profile, and thence to a blog. Even Cello, who doesn't blog herself, at least has a profile.

Spin - 'And all the other birds in so many words said . . .'

Kieran said...

Clearly you were served by some kind of sadistic genius.

Sylvia said...

Mangonel, I'm touched. You're actually curious? Hmm - I'll see what I can do....

Mangonel said...

Sylvia - Shangri-La! My second favourite part of London. Second to Chiswick, natch. The Stamford Brook end.

And Bleak House is fab. Can never decide between that one and Dombey and Son.

Sorry Patroclus, but if the woman won't get her own blog . . .

patroclus said...

Ooh no, please don't mind me.

Billy/Llewtrah: I spent quite some time this morning giggling at the concept of "man=king cheese sarnies".

And now I'm giggling at it again. Hee hee hee.

Coming up this weekend: stunning photography of bloggers in the wild!

Mangonel said...

Like these lovely folk?

patroclus said...

Eww, no, not like that.

Omission said...

Not quite as unpleasant, but related to restaurant idiocy and pizza sizes, I ordered a 12" pizza at a bar once, and was told they didn't have any 12" bases left. Never mind though; I could have two 6" pizzas for the same price.

All my math-fu couldn't convince them that only four 6" pizzas would satiate my hunger. Fools.