My younger sisters both work at a Mexican restaurant in Lafayette called El Charro. Often, one or both will return home, shirts splattered with refried beans, with stories that usually revolve around the ridiculous restaurant patrons of Lafayette. One such story Kelly told me was about an old man who tried to order vermouth. Really, really wanted some vermouth. Sadly, El Charro was out of vermouth. Kelly tried to apologize to the man, but he could not be comforted. "What kind of a restaurant doesn't have vermouth?" he asked her. "It's a bar, but there's no vermouth?"
Even as the meal progressed, he kept bringing the subject back up. Kelly takes food orders: "I keep running this through my head, but it's just not making sense to me. There's no vermouth at all?" Kelly brings complimentary replacement drink from the bar: "Thank you... it's just, no vermouth? Totally out of vermouth?" Old man clasps Kelly's hand as he pays the bill: "I don't blame you. It's not your fault. You're not in charge of ordering the vermouth."
Fast forward to two weeks later. I and a group of friends dine at El Charro and have the pleasure of having sisters Kelly and Molly as our waitresses. All is going well until the end of the meal, when Molly approaches our table to apologize. El Charro has run out of guacamole. As per our family's usual tradition of running jokes into the ground, I begin imitating the old man.
"What kind of a restaurant doesn't have guacamole?" I ask. "I mean, this is a Mexican restaurant, right? And... there's no guacamole?" Molly gives me a tight-lipped smile and a small chuckle. Energized by discount margaritas, polite laughter and the melodious sound of my own voice, I continue.
"I'm trying to get this straight in my head. This is a Mexican restaurant, and you just ran out of guacamole?" Molly continues to grin, but her face starts to waver. I go on and on, until Molly mutters something about searching for extra guacamole downstairs and darts away.
It is only then that I realize, Kelly was the one who had to deal with Captain Vermouth. Molly doesn't know about the vermouth guy. All she knows is that her older brother has been berating her for five minutes, in front of his friends, about the lack of guacamole; guacamole that no one has actually requested, guacamole that no one cares about, guacamole that Molly is now frantically searching through El Charro's catering offices to find.
Everyone is disappointed in me. Kelly threatens to beat me upside the head with a menu. Molly, bless her little heart, comes back, arms laden with single-serving-size guacamole, and is puzzled when no one at the table takes one any from her. What kind of a brother sends his little sister on a pointless Mexican-condiment-related errand? I keep running it through my head, but it's just not making sense to me.