Wood-smoked burgers

February 9, 2009

Okay, so last night I’m at a diner (NORM’S) and my companion and I are sitting around talking about grenade launchers, when suddenly the hair on the back of my neck stands up, because:

This guy with an Eastern Bloc accent and CRAZY EYES has sidled up to the counter and snagged himself a stool. He is not wearing any kind of crazy-guy outfit. He has an expensive douchemeister haircut and is wearing fancy sneakers. He proceeds to lay into the female server:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Hey! Hey. I’d like to order. Maybe you didn’t see me here! Maybe I’m invisible.

His tone is sufficiently creepy that the other Norm’s patrons stop eating their mediocre diner food: like the moment in a Western when the black hat strolls into the saloon all menacing-like and says “I’m lookin’ for the Marshall.”

The female server ignores him. The male server comes over to deal with him.

MALE SERVER
What can I get you, sir?

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
(slams hand on menu)
This turkey! Is it wood-smoked?

The server pauses. What? This is Norm’s. Everything they sell has been deep-fried and coated in ranch dressing.

MALE SERVER
I don’t think so, but I can check–

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Nevermind! What about your burgers?

MALE SERVER
Well, we have beef, turkey–

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Which one is best and most sumptuous?

MALE SERVER

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Get me someone who knows about your beef!

MALE SERVER
…sir, I don’t know who that would be–

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
(to passing female server)
YOU. Which of your burgers do you prefer?!?

FEMALE SERVER
I’m a vegetarian.

Crazy Possibly Slavic Guy throws up his hands, turns back to the male server. Fixes him with a steely glare:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
Your burgers. Are they wood-smoked?

MALE SERVER
…Sir, I’ve never heard of a wood-smoked burger.

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
That’s ridiculous. I smoke my burgers all the time.

EVERYONE IN THE DINER TRIES NOT TO LAUGH.

Because you can’t tell if this guy is loopy because he did too much cocaine, or if he’s some kind of Serbian mobster WHO WILL CUT YOU.

Here, reality diverges. I think the following happened:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
I’m going to get mine.

He gets up and stomps out of the diner, climbs into a Lexus, and drives off.

ELANA, WHO HAS SEEN TOO MANY CRIME MOVIES
(mentally, very quietly, not making eye contract with crazy guy)
OH NO, what if he’s going to GO GET HIS GUN?!?

My companion thought that he either said:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
I’m going to the ATM.

Or that he meant:

CRAZY POSSIBLY SLAVIC GUY
I’m going to get my freaking wood smoker. FUCK YOU GUYS. I’ll show you how it’s DONE.

Either way, he did not return. Which is good in terms of him not coming back and trying to kill someone, but sad in terms of how great it would have been if he had some back with a smoker.

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3 Responses to “Wood-smoked burgers”

  1. Nathan Says:

    Of course, we’re just glad you didn’t get caught in the ensuing smoking incident. For God’s sake…beware the Serbian Mobsters WHO WILL CUT YOU!

    OR SMOKE YOU!

  2. Chris Kittinger Says:

    OK, now I want a burger.

  3. dean Says:

    I am currently sitting in a very old school diner called Joe’s Cellar. Older waitress actually remembered Jesse, the Mayor of NW Portland. Her new Jesse is called Brad. He was removed yesterday by cops and came back an hour later with glasses on claiming to be Brad’s twin brother. I will write a post on this…


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