I really like memoirs that are casual, chatty, and detailed enough that you feel like you’re there, fast enough that you skip the parts you’d not have liked about being there.
So I liked this book. It got repetitive in parts, and it wasn’t so much a “how I learned to balance my world” story of growth as a “wow, it’s really crazy working in restaurants” ride. Which I enjoyed.
Dubalanica’s humor is dry, sarcastic and irreverent. I loved it. Like his comment about a customer who pulls out a Black American Express card, very expensive, and asks if he’s ever seen one before, kid.
A black Amex feels like a piece of tile. They say you can use it to buy a yacht. I see at least one every week.
“No sir,” I gush. “I don’t. They’re very exclusive.”
Then he shakes the guy down for a $500 tip on a $1200 dinner and wine tab with his prostitute date – who he’s hooked up with spaghetti and meatballs because she doesn’t recognize anything on the menu and he feels sorry for her.
The compassionate bits between his loutishness make for a rollocking ride. Dublanica’s stories range from philosophical to bordering on mysogeny, but what I really liked about this book is that part of it is about writing the book. He doesn’t pull back from talking about why he wanted to or how he set about doing it. Or the people who encouraged and discouraged him. That was fun to read about.
A full 20% for WAITER RANT: Thanks for tip – confessions of a cynical waiter.