Vantage point

Thursday, August 14, 2003


This happened a couple of weeks back when Sunil, Pushkar and I had gone to Pizza Port. This place makes mean pizzas, but their service leaves a lot to be desired. There seems to be an upper cut-off for IQ if you want to be a waiter here. Getting orders confused is as common as baking a pie here. So we usually don't take much offence when a blunder happens. In fact we have stopped finding it humorous at all.

What happened the other day was however mindbogglingly hilarious. We decided on the order - Chicken fried rice, Veg manchurian, Paneer tikka pizza and garlic bread. Read the order again, it shall play a very vital role as the plot unfolds. The waiter repeats the order thrice and then goes. He has not written it down anywhere despite our suggestions that he should do so. He comes back 5 minutes later and says "Sir what was the order you placed?"

"Chicken fried rice, Veg manchurian, Paneer tikka pizza and garlic bread" I repeat patiently.

"Chicken rice, chicken manchurian..."he starts

"No no, veg manchurian", Sunil the staunch veggie protests.

"Ok, Chicken rice, veg manchurian, veg burger..."

"Burger???? Who ordered burger?" I asked.

I sensed that this would take a while so I again asked him to write it down, but he ignored my request, making me wonder if he was illiterate. Then I struck upon a brainwave. All items in the menucard were numbered. So I said

"We will tell you the number of the item, OK?"

He looked pleased with the idea. Pushkar looked up the menucard, told him the numbers and we sat assured that food would be on its way soon.

Five minutes later, the dude comes back with a very apologetic look on his face.

"Sorry sir, there are no fish items available today" he said looking crestfallen.

The keen reader would recall the order we placed. The not so keen reader should scroll up and confirm the fact that we had not ordered any fish item.

"We didn't order any fish item." I said. However I seemed to have spoken in greek.

"In this season, it is difficult to get fresh fish. So there are no fish items, sir."

"Please understand what I am trying to tell you. We did not order any fish items and we do not want any fish items."

"Very sorry sir. Please order something else instead of the fish item".

Now I wanted to go to the manager and tell him about this. This little joke that had unfolded itself in front of us needed to be shared with as many people as possible. I went to the manager's table and said.

"I have been told no fish items are available."

"That is right sir" the manager solemnly confessed.

"The thing is, we did not order any fish items." I smiled, hoping to elicit laughter from him. The way I saw it, we would be slapping each others' backs howling about this amusing misunderstanding.

"I am sorry sir, the weather is such that the fish we get aren't fresh."

I gave up at this point and said

"OK, you dont have fish, we will order something else." and repeated our earlier order.