Way back in the day I was a waitress. It was a wonderful job with flexibility for school [then family] and afforded me nice money on a nightly basis.
One Thursday evening I was working the cocktail shift at our restaurant which was located near a business park. Every evening M-F we had our regulars. Folks that worked in the park that would stop for a beer or three before heading home. This particular Thursday I had a party of 10 regulars that came in to celebrate a co-workers birthday.
And these folks were hell bent on drinking this guy under the table.
They were a fun group of people I had waited on in various groups of twos and threes, but never all 10 of them at once. They weren't exactly running me into the ground, but they were drinking so much that by the time I dropped off one round of drinks I was headed back to the bar for another round.
Then one of the gentlemen sitting at the opposite end of the table from the birthday boy stood up and followed me back to the bar where I was ordering their drinks from the bartender. He asked if he could please have the birthday boy's next draft beer order. I asked him why as I didn't want him drugging the poor man [they were already plying him with shooters, shots and beers - he was wasted and the night was still young.] The man held up a plastic bag with water in it and showed me a goldfish.
A live goldfish that he now wanted me to put in birthday boy's drink.
Um....No. I did hand him the beer tho' and wished him luck. And wouldn't you know? Luck was on his side that night because he managed to get that poor fish in the guy's drink and serve it too him. The birthday boy took a few sips while the table broke down in hysterical laughter. Then he noticed the fish and all of a sudden he starts yelling,
"Waitress! OH WAITRESS! There is a goldfish in my beer! Oh waitress!"
As the rest of the restaurant went completely silent I ran over to remove his glass and apologize but he wouldn't let me take his glass. He thought it was great and he was going to drink that beer. Ohhhhkay sir you are seriously inebriated. I convinced him to relinquish it, grabbed him a new beer and managed to get the poor fish out the beer and into a cup of tap water.
The best part of the night? My tip! Since it was a party of 10 I was allowed to add 15% gratuity -to a $400 bill- $60.00! Cha-ching. That was a lot of money for me at the time and I was so excited. Still, it was to get better.
I always explained to my "auto grat" tables that the tip was included so there wouldn't be any surprises. This table wasn't having it. They insisted that I go back to the kitchen and find a bowl. A bowl? Again...ohhhhkay? [Drunks, gotta love 'em] I retrieved the only thing I could find - a huge pail we mixed greens in. I handed it over, wished them a happy evening and proceeded to go and check on my other tables.
Do you know what they did? They passed the pail around the table and everyone was to throw in additional tip for me because I had "done such a great job"! The total that came out of the pail?
$196. One hundred and ninety six dollars. I am not kidding. I still remember the total to this day as I did try to argue and return some of the money because, seriously, they were drunk and they didn't realize how much it was until I pointed it out. They said nope, bid me a good night and proceeded to pour themselves into various taxis lined up out front to ferry them home to a sure to be had hangover the next morning.
So for a few hours of serving drinks I made $256 and I got a goldfish out of the deal! :D
And do you know? That little sucker lived for about six more months.