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An Annoying Question From The Waiter

I am made wary when servers ask, "Have you dined with us before?" Why do they want to know? 

My unindicted co-conspirator Nancy Leson says a lot of times, the question has to do with a cryptic menu the patron may not understand. 

“It’s a away of letting patrons who may not have been there know that perhaps they should have six sharing plates among three people, or that kind of thing,” Leson said. “Or, on the other hand, it could just be the restaurant being self-important.”

That's my default opinion. (And don't get me started curmudgifying on the topic of sleepwear in public.)

And I'm not the only diner 'round here with a beef. The KPLU news staff contributed to this week's list of Annoying Things That Can Happen in Restaurants. Environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp grows impatient when ignored by servers, and news director Erin Hennessey can sniff out a soured bar towel from 15 paces. 

What's on your list?

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."

-- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.