"I worked as a bartender/waitress at a bar inside an upscale health-food grocery store (it's a real thing, I promise). Most of our clientele was well-off retirees and 30-something recently divorced men hoping to get a date with someone coming in after a yoga class. Generally a nice group of customers, but definitely rich, uptight people. Forgetting to bring salt to some might be a huge offense, but automatically bringing it causes others to give you a lecture about sodium intake. It was a difficult balancing act.
"It was St. Patrick's Day. There was also a March Madness game with the local university team playing and we were short-staffed. Needless to say, it was an insane evening with me rushing around serving corned beef and cabbage, pouring Guinness, and making sure no one was becoming belligerent.
"For some reason, the bar supervisor always liked to have food specials on display for people to see. While I get the concept, it generally just caused us to get mean looks when we told people they probably shouldn't eat it, as it wasn't a sample and had been sitting out for hours. Since it was St. Patrick's Day, we had a giant display of the corned beef and cabbage dinner special, complete with gravy, potatoes, and Irish beer bread.
"As the night was beginning to slow down, I had an older couple sit at the only open seats -- adjacent to our food displays. I was clearing tables and leaned over to let them know I'd be right with them, and a plate slid off the mountain of dishes I was carrying, plopping right into the food display. The 12-hour-old gravy and potatoes somehow still had some fluidity to them, and flew up, then dropped… right into the man's lap.
"I was horrified and apologizing profusely while trying to set down the mountain of dishes. The man looked up at me and said, 'I just have one thing to tell you.' He slowly leaned in -- at which point I was thinking he was about to spit in my face -- and he said, 'I don't have to fart anymore, you scared it out of me.'
"It was the laugh I needed that night, and he wouldn't even let me give him a free beer as an apology." -- Belinda Farragut