Wednesday, July 20, 2005

the pudding variations

An overlooked detail of my taxation has got me in a (very) minor panic, and yesterday I agreed to take several more catering gigs through the end of the year. Careful readers and friends will note that I've said a million times that I have to stop catering; well yes. I do. But not just yet, apparently. I can't burn my tux yet. Although the tux shirt I wore tonight is ready to be retired. It's got a mysterious new stain, and has gotten too thin to wear without a bra. Which in my case means: has gotten too thin to be worn to work, period. Perhaps I should save it for the next time I plan to attend a party as a guest and get loaded and do my best dissipated playboy impression--hang an untied bow tie around my neck, see if I can get pretty girls to sit on my knee, etc. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Anyway. Tonight was a gala for the professional organization of event planners, so you can imagine what it was like. People flooding into the dining room once it opened and immediately snapping pictures of all the floral arrangements and noting the designers who had provided them, holding forth on wine regions, talking to their neighbors about whether the lemon in the salad dressing overpowered the wine, speculating on how much it cost to rent the space we were in. Best behavior time for us; our employer had fought to be the company that provided the service (four different caterers provided the food--one for each course) and we had to know our stuff. So: the pinot noir is "silky", and the sauvignon blanc is from the first people in New Zealand to make sauvignon blanc. Don't you feel educated? Six years of catering and I am as basically ignorant of wine as I was to begin with, but I can sure talk the talk.

We were on our best behavior, and largely so were the guests--until the dancing started. I was in the staff room, wolfing down lamb (ha, okay, that was unintentional but I'll take it) and some chocolate mousse thing (excuse me, a bombe--I believe that is pronounced byeuuuuuhm) with serious dried fruit involvement off a styrofoam plate, and our salesperson Melon came in.

Slick, she said to the guy who was managing, S and J [two of our waiters] are out dancing.

What? Slick asked, clutching his manager's book tighter, his eyes darkening behind his fashionable rectangular frames.

It's okay, Melon explained. I gave them permission. Two of the female guests grabbed them. They said they had a shortage of boys on the floor and needed guys to dance with.

I nearly snorted bombe out of my nose.