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Night Spies 

We are at Shaw's Crab House.

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I was a waitress here at one point in my illustrious service industry career. It was a Friday evening, and very busy. My entire section had just filled up when I got another two-top, a couple. It was a moment before I could get to their table, and their entire experience ended up taking much longer than expected. Before the entrees came out I told them to save room for dessert, as it would be on me because of their wait. The woman was upset but willing to forgive, and the husband too. The entrees came, the meal was fine, they were pleased, and so I dropped off the dessert cart. The man asked about the pineapple napoleon and, having tasted it, I thought to myself, "It tastes like what Hawaiian Tropic tanning lotion would taste like," but I couldn't say that to the customer. So instead I said, "Well, its saving grace is that it has fee-low dough." The woman said, "It's fie-low!" I said without even thinking, "Fee-low, fie-low, toe-may-toe, ta-mah-toe," and the woman's jaw dropped and the man guffawed. I turned around and thought, "I'm fired," but they enjoyed their free desserts instead. The kicker is this: it actually is fie-low, not fee-low. I looked it up that night. I had a ta-mah-toe for dinner to commemorate a fine evening.

--Caryn Culp, rock musician


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