Here I am, my bags and guitar cases littered at my feet, I finally collapse on the bed of the Marriott Hotel in Newport Beach, CA. I'm tired, I have a show later, and I'm hungry. With a couple of hours to kill I splash some water on my face and meander down to the hotel bar.
I'm greeted by the bartender, professionally dressed like a penguin, and he asks me politely what he can get me. I ask if there's a local beer. He pours me one. I order a sandwich. Within ten minutes I am eating it.
Cue group #1. A gaggle of loud, yelping, early 20-something's flood up to the bar.
"Hey there, can we get a drink?"
"Hi guys, of course, can I see your IDs?" Asks the bartender, understandably and politely. For the purposes of this story, I shall name him Bill.
"Oh. Hey, how are you too" says Entitled Child #1.
After checking their ID's, and ignoring this blaring sarcasm, Bill kindly thanks them and asks them what he can get them.
"Can you make me a Jack Nicholson?"
"I'm sorry, I have no idea what that is, there's a drinks menu right there though."
Disgruntled, Whining Child #2 looks down the list and decides they should all have margaritas. High pitched yapping commences. I think this means they all agree. Bill writes it down.
"Can I get you anything to eat?"
A girl with the kind of voice that sounds like she's always complaining pipes up.
"urrr yeah, you know, like, I'd like the turkey burger, but can you do that with a pretzel bun, and romaine lettuce instead? And I'd like, I mean have you, like, got a chili mayo I can, like, get on the side?"
The only thing original to the menu was that the burger patty was made from turkey.
This is, and should be, a simple transaction. Look at the menu. Is there something you like? Good. Order it. There isn't? Go hungry or go elsewhere.
After taking similar ridiculous requests from the rest of them, and confirming that yes, he would be happy to bring everything out to the pool for them, Bill resigns to making them their order.
Cue wealthy, orange, Golf fanatic. His skin looks like old leather stretched over bones. Like an emaciated cow. I imagine him firing someone from The Company while making a put on the 15th hole.
"Hey you", he shouts to Bill, "there's a place setting missing from our table"
Bill politely nods, puts down what he's doing, walks across the room to the table next to wealthy orange golf fanatic, picks up a napkin, knife, and fork, and places it on his table.
Surely after all his 138 years on earth, wealthy, orange, golf fanatic could have done this for himself. I did a quick check. Yes, he had all of his limbs. Perhaps it was a brain and some common courtesy he was missing. Perhaps the dangers of sunbeds had fried that out of him. I can't help but imagine this is what Entitled Child #1 will be like when he is older.
Bill takes his order too. Some ridiculous drink that requires a Bachelors of Arts and a tiny piece of Bill's Soul.
Meanwhile, as if he was listening to my thoughts, Entitled Child #1 enters the bar again.
"Hey. Any chance we can get our drinks, like, before the food?"
"yeah, I just want some alcohol" Whines complaining girl, who had somehow crawled in too.
Bill nods, explains there is only him here, apologizes to them for the four minute wait, and tells them he will be there shortly.
They shuffle off, whinging to each other. I think to myself how awful it must be to be them. Living in a constant state of disappointment.
I glance at my watch and finish my beer. Bill asks me if there's anything he can get me. I ask for the cheque, but tell him there's no rush, he's a busy man after all.
Bill closes out the tab, I pay him. He thanks me for my patience. I thank him for his. He smiles, and gives a little chuckle. He knows exactly what I meant.