My boys and I have decided that we’re bad news for the local Pizza Hut’s waitresses and waiters. They suspiciously disappear after our weekly visit—except for one young man, who had an irresistible weapon.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I pull into the local pizza joint, where we eat at least once a week. Sometimes I pay, and sometimes my boys pay, depending on who actually has any money that week. If none of us have any money, we don’t eat at all, which probably makes the employees very happy.
As we approach the restaurant, a sign informs us the door is broken and directs us to the other entrance—a futile effort to keep us out, perhaps? “Alrighty then, but that’s a dollar off the tip for making us walk,” I joke.
“Oh, you’re just so funny, Mom,” Joshua, my sarcastic fifteen-year-old,
We make it inside, and a jaw-dropping, traffic-stopping, brake-screeching,
twenty-years-too-young-for-me, cute waiter tells us to sit anywhere we’d
like. I try not to trip over my tongue as we head to a booth in the back.
While we decide what to order, I sneak peeks at the waiter over the top of
the menu. I may be old by a teenager’s standards, but, gosh darn, I’m not dead. Wow. I haven't seen anything that good-looking in ages, especially in Bryson City. Too bad he’s not much older than my oldest son.
“I wonder if they’ll get our order right this time?” Benjamin, my seventeen-year-old, asks.
Our waiter of the day could dump our drinks on top of the pizza and serve it
to us right out of the freezer, and I’d still think it was perfect. I know.
I’m a sexist female pig. Dragging my attention, kicking and screaming, away from the waiter, I say, “I’ve noticed none of the waitresses and waiters who have waited on us over the past month still work here.”
Joshua says, “Well, you’re the one who complained about the breadsticks.”
“I didn't complain. I very nicely asked them if they had charged us for
breadsticks, and, if so, could they please take them off the ticket, because
we never got them.” I didn’t want to pay for something I didn’t get. Later
I make a liar out of myself. “It’s not my fault they get all flustered and
give them to us for free.” The last waitress also threw in our drinks and
salads for free. We ended up getting a thirty-dollar meal for thirteen
dollars. I bet they fired her quicker than a hummingbird flaps its wings.
“You know what?” I ask. “Maybe we’d better quit eating here. Every time we
come in, someone gets fired.” For some reason, Benjamin and I find that
highly funny, as if we’re a curse plaguing Pizza Hut employees. It’s one
of those laughs that gets started, and you can’t stop no matter how hard you
try—and the more you think about it, the funnier it gets. My mom used to
say, “Good Lord, who whacked your funny bone?” when we’d go into one of
those laughing fits as kids.
Finally we get it under control just as our waiter—man oh man, how handsome
can one man…er…boy be?—arrives and takes our order. God, he’s so cute, I
think as he weaves around the tables back to the kitchen.
“Mom! He goes to school with Benjamin!”
Oops! I think I may have said that out loud.
With a laugh, Benjamin says, “No he doesn’t.” Then he looks at me and asks,
“Okay, Mom, what about him makes him cute? I’m just curious as to how women
define cute in a guy.”
Before I can answer, Joshua says, “Well, look at him. He’s not fat. He’s
got sexy dark eyes surrounded with long, black lashes. His nose and mouth
are shaped just right and sit on his face in the right place. He’s got a perfect haircut, and he has smooth, tan skin you’d love to touch.”
Our table goes quiet, and Benjamin and I stare at Joshua with our mouths
open, unable to speak. Then we burst into more funny-bone-whacking
“I’m not gay. I’m just thinking like a girl,” he says in his defense.
“Okay…but you're a little too good at it,” I say.
“Definitely scary,” Benjamin says.
Our waiter arrives with our order, breadsticks in tow. They're supposed to
come with the salad, but hey, I’m not complaining. At least we got them
this time. The waiter warns us not to touch the pan and leaves us to our
meal. All three of us reach out and touch the pan. It’s just one of those
things you have to do.
“Uh-oh,” Benjamin says in an ominous tone as he reaches for the serving
spatula. “He forgot the beef on our pizza.”
I glance at the large cheese-lovers pan pizza. “No, he didn’t. I see beef on
“Mom, that’s burnt cheese,” Joshua says.
“Hey, Mom, tell them our waiter forgot the beef topping, and we might get
the pizza free—plus another one free just because they messed up,” Joshua
says, his eyes ablaze with excitement at the prospect of taking home free
Horrified, I say, “And get the waiter fired? No way! He’s too darn cute!”