Yesterday, I had dinner by myself at Oddfellows. I wanted to get a quick bite before going to a book signing. (Rough life, huh?) Oddfellows is perhaps my favorite place in Dallas to eat. The place isn't too crowded--except for brunch. It's a cool restaurant in a great neighborhood, relaxed environment, lots of natural light, and good food. Now you have my two-sentence Yelp review. I was sitting there, reading a book (because that's how I roll). And this server walked up to me. He was probably in his early twenties. He had red hair and a camp counselor smile. He looked like the kind of attractive guy who no one could imagine having sex with, because it'd feel like you were befouling a muppet. The guy cheerfully approached.
"Hey there, big fella, can I get you something to drink?"
Cue the record scratch. Big fella? Big. Fella. What grown-ass adult calls another grown-ass adult "big fella," who? Big fella is what you call a tubby kid when he's at Disneyland. ("Hi, big fella, are you excited to meet Mickey Mouse?") Do not ever call me "big fella."
This casual, faux familiarity has to stop at some point. These diminutive, hypocoristic names -- honey, sweetie, sugar, champ, sport, boss, bro, buddy, pal, chief -- are ridiculous. Unless your name is Peggy and you work at a small diner, in a small town, then feel free to call me "honey" or "sweetie." Otherwise, I seriously have no problem with "sir" or learn my damn name.
I like the casual vibe, but let's not get too snugly with the pet names. M'kay? Of course, I did not flip out at Oddfellows, because then I would look like an asshole. Instead, I decided to blog about it and be a prick. Fortunately, another person took over as my server, and she did not speak to me like I was in the hospital about to get my tonsils removed with ice cream to follow.
No, I did not flip out. I smiled. Tipped 20 percent. And acted like a normal, happy customer.
But to the camp counselor muppet who called me "big fella," at that moment, I wanted to drag you into the street and beat you senseless with my hardcover. Obviously, I didn't, because who does that? And you'd probably kick my ass. I bet you go to the gym. But in my mind, in the wonderful playground of my twisted imagination, you are broken and crying in the street, while some valet guy is honking at you, demanding that you crawl to the sidewalk so he can park the car. No, wait. He just ran you over. Totally not my fault.
Okay. I feel better now.
If you do go to Oddfellows, I would suggest the Buffalo Mac. It is delightful. Or take a few friends for brunch, arrive early. You won't be disappointed.