I Wait on Famous People


In 1957, Andrew Hicks serves Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra a Chocolate Thunder From Down Under at the Outback Steakhouse in Springfield, Ill.

Last week at work, I thought I spotted the guy who played Craig’s dad in the Friday movies. Turns out it was one of the Isley Brothers. But it got me thinking, I’ve waited on a ton of famous people in my years as a server. Here are some highlights:

  • While still in server training at Long Horn, I had to cut Bob Dole‘s 6-ounce sirloin into tiny pieces tableside. You know, because of that whole dead-arm thing he has going on.
  • Not long after his gastric bypass surgery, I served Al Roker a grilled cheese from the kid’s menu. He ate two dainty bites and tipped me 135 percent.
  • As a young cocktail waitress, I served a round of peach schnapps shots to Jesus Jones.
  • I once laid out some paper towels for Ricky Martin during a restroom attendant shift at a seedy strip club called Chez Nutz.
  • I sold George F. Will some Trojan Magnums and Corn Nuts at a convenience store in Tupelo, Miss.
  • In 2007, I entertainingly prepared a hibachi grill dinner for the entire Season 3 cast of “The Suite Life of Zac and Cody.”
  • I was paid $80 to play solo violin for 3 hours in a five-star Scandanavian eatery for the Captain and Tennille‘s 35th anniversary dinner. At one point in the meal, Mark “accidentally” dropped his violin bow and got down on his knees to retrieve it, all in a shameless attempt to peek up Tennille’s dress. I’m still not sure exactly what specialties are native ot Scandanavian cuisine.

My favorite celebrity encounter was at a five-top table consisting of Leonard “Mr. Spock” Nimoy, three hot young blondes and CCR frontman John Fogerty. When I took Leonard’s order, it went down like this:

ME: Have you made your selection, sir?
LEONARD: Yes, I’ll have the 8-ounce filet.
ME: That’s a highly logical selection, as the 8 ounce is 30 percent larger and only costs an extra two dollars. How do you like your steak?
LEONARD: Medium rare.
ME: A warm, red center. Unbelievably tender. That’s a highly logical temperature selection. And it comes with two sides…
LEONARD: Give me double mashed potatoes.
ME: I always run out of mashed potatoes halfway through my steak. The double side is unbelievably logical.

This Thursday night, there’s a reservation on the books: Tom Cruise, 6:45, party of 2. Most likely, it’ll be some other guy who just happens to have the same name as the huge movie star. But it just might be that crazy couch-jumping Scientologist flamer we all know and love. I’ll be sure to shave and wash my work clothes on Thursday afternoon, just in case.

Image by Eric Dohman

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