Apparently, Appearances Are Everything

, , , , , , | Working | February 13, 2019

(I only eat strictly kosher food; this means that the only establishments I can eat at are kosher-certified. There are only a handful in the city and none are near my work. I am out for dinner with my coworkers at a non-kosher restaurant. Typically when this happens I bring my own meal in a bag and eat with them. I’ve been doing this for six years at many different restaurants, from small Somali joints to huge steakhouse franchises, and have never had an issue until now. There are eight of us at a burger/wings joint and I’m halfway through a deli sandwich when a manager comes up to me.)

Manager: “I’m really sorry, but we don’t allow any outside food here. We are a restaurant.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t eat any of your food due to dietary restrictions.”

Manager: “We can try to accommodate your restrictions, but you are absolutely not allowed to have outside food. We usually have security stop people at the door.”

Me: “Are you a kosher-certified establishment?” *knowing they aren’t*

Manager: “I think we have some kosher food in the kitchen. I’ll go look.”

(I know this is impossible but he leaves before I can say anything. Throughout this my friends have been trying to argue with him asking why this is a big deal, as we’re here with a big group, and he has refused to move. I wait with my half-finished sandwich in my lap like a rebuked boy in school while my friends continue to eat. He comes back fifteen minutes later with another manager in tow.)

Manager #2: “Well, we don’t have kosher food in our kitchen, but you’re not allowed to eat outside food.”

(I’m ready to crawl under the table from embarrassment; I just wanted to sit with my friends and this has turned into a whole ordeal.)

Me: “What do you want me to do, exactly?”

Manager #2: “Well, we really don’t want anyone looking at you and thinking they can bring their own food. Can you eat your food off our plates?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. The plates aren’t kosher.”

(They pause for thinking, while my friends continue to try to convince them to let it slide.)

Manager #2: “If we put a lining on top of the plate, could you eat it, then?”

Me: *not willing to argue any further* “Yes, I could.”

(I’d actually much rather prefer not to do this, as making it look like you’re eating non-kosher food is a no-no. But I just want this experience to end at this point. Another five minutes pass and they bring me a plate with a French fry liner on top of it. I put my sandwich and container of farfel — a Mediterranean dish — on it. Five minutes later the manager comes back AGAIN.)

Manager #2: “I’m sorry, but could you just empty your container out onto the plate? We really don’t want anyone thinking you’re eating outside food.”

(It was incredibly obvious to everyone at the table that this establishment served nothing like the food I was eating. Farfel is a bit messy, and all I had on me was a plastic fork since I’d assumed I’d be eating out of the container. I bit the bullet and dumped it out, and for the rest of the meal I held my container in my lap like it was contraband. The funny thing is that my company, which has 400 people, had come to this establishment in the past for a company event. We pretty much agreed that we would talk to the admin team to make sure that never happened again.)

God Gave Rock And Roll To You

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 11, 2019

(My best friend and I are sitting in a coffee shop minding our own business when we see a middle-aged lady dressed like she just got out of church looking at us. I notice her looking at my attire, which consists mostly of black and a t-shirt for a metal band. She gets up to walk over to us.)

Lady: “Here. The Lord wanted me to give you this. He says you might find it useful.”

(She sets an envelope on the table in front of me and then shuffles out the door before I can say anything. Thinking it’s probably just a religious pamphlet, we peek inside and are surprised to see two tickets to see a death metal band playing locally that we wanted to go see but couldn’t afford.)

Friend: “What kind of lord was she praying to?”

Me: “Clearly the awesome kind!”

(We later found out one of our friends knew of her through church. Apparently, her son was a promoter for the venue and he would always send his mother free tickets. Whenever she got tickets for something she wasn’t interested in, she would find strangers she thought might enjoy them more and give them away free. We thank you, strange church lady, for the tickets! My friend and I had a great time!)

A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 6

, , , , | Right | February 7, 2019

Me: “And your total today comes to $6.66.”

(While the current customer pays, I notice the customer behind her looking frantically at the candy in my aisle. I don’t think much of it until she sets her things down and I realize that she has bought the exact same items as the previous customer — plus one pack of gum.)

Me: “And your total today comes to… $7.03.”

Customer: “Thank God.”

Related:
A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 5
A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 4
A Price For The Devil To Pay, Part 3

Oh, Halal No!

, , , , , , , | Legal | February 7, 2019

My friend works as a lawyer. He was invited to a restaurant to meet with a potential employer/business partner, but was not able to attend due to his religious dietary restrictions.

He received the following text message once he let them know that he was not able to attend:

“Kosher was introduced centuries ago when the food supply was unreliable, and many were getting sick.

The same is true of Halal food.

But today, with refrigeration, government inspections and so on, adherence to Kosher is no longer relevant.

I am concerned that we may have difficulty working together if you adhere to this and other non-rational practices.

Including adherence to non-rational holidays. Being a criminal and deportation practice, my phone rings 24/7/365 and I need to be available to work.

I will have lunch and a beer with [Big Lawyer] at an Italian bistro next Thursday.”

My friend was surprised that someone would say something like this on record, being that this is a blatant Human Rights violation in Ontario.

Born Again Hypocrite

, , , , , , | Related | February 5, 2019

(A few years ago, my wife’s father became a born-again Christian. At first, everyone was happy he had found something that made him happy and that he was passionate about. However, over time his personality drastically altered and he became far more outspoken and critical towards his family. Over time he changed from being a laid-back guy to an almost fanatical Christian. Before our wedding, he was a nightmare to deal with. He blew a fuse when he discovered we weren’t getting married in a church and briefly threatened not to come before his wife made him see sense. My wife was badly affected by this as they used to be close and now she was scared to visit him. He became particularly unwelcoming towards me over time, as well, but thankfully, our wedding day was wonderful and incident-free. Six months later we are visiting her parents for the first time as a married couple. From the moment we get there, we can tell it will be a difficult visit since her father gives us a frosty reception. At dinner, he says a grace which is ten minutes long and contains a lot of ranting about sin; he shoots me several nasty looks in the process. After eating, we look to move our luggage upstairs.)

Wife: “Okay, we’re just going to take our stuff upstairs.”

Father-In-Law: “[Wife], you’re in your childhood room; [My Name] will have the room at the end of the hall.”

(Both of us pause for a second to see if he’s kidding, but soon it dawns on us he’s serious.)

Wife: “Uh, Dad, we’re married now!”

Father-In-Law: “I repeat: [My Name] is at the end of the hall!”

Wife: “Are you serious? Dad, we’ve been married six months. He will sleep in the same bed I do, end of discussion.”

Father-In-Law: “This is my house and I will not be disrespected! He sleeps in the room I tell him!”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, for goodness sake, [Father-In-Law], they’re not dating anymore! They’re husband and wife. Lighten up!”

(Suddenly, he bangs the table with his fist and sends a couple of glasses off the table.)

Father-In-Law: “NO! UNTIL THEY’RE MARRIED IN A CHURCH UNDER THE EYES OF GOD, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, THIS IS NO MARRIAGE AND MY DAUGHTER IS NOTHING BUT A W*****!”

(The mood in the room turns very unpleasant. My wife is barely holding it together while her mother has an angry look that could melt ice.)

Mother-In-Law: “Well, looks like I’d better go check into a hotel, then!”

Father-In-Law:What? What are you talking about?”

Mother-In-Law: “WE GOT MARRIED IN VEGAS WHILE YOU WERE ON LEAVE FROM THE ARMY, YOU IDIOT! THERE WAS NO GOD OR CHURCH INVOLVED!”

(Her father goes quiet.)

Mother-In-Law: “Funny how you’ve spent the last 35 years happily overlooking the fact that you’re apparently married to a w****, and yet your own daughter is apparently a human being who disgusts you! On second thought, maybe you should go somewhere else if you can’t stand to be around all these sinners! The choice is yours: be nice or go away!”

(Her father went an angry shade of crimson and then stormed out. He spent the rest of the evening hiding in his office. For the rest of the visit, he was sulky and withdrawn and wouldn’t even say goodbye to us. Sadly, her parents divorced less than a year later due to several other traumatic events, one of which resulted in him assaulting one of his openly gay cousins. As a result, most of the family has cut ties with him and my daughter refuses to speak to him. It saddens me how much his persona changed and how unapologetic he has become.)

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