Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Restaurant Customers Who Were the Devil, Part 1

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Welcome back to Behind Closed Ovens, where we take a look at the best and strangest stories from inside the food industry. This week, we’re back to the reliable, inexhaustible standby of customers who are the apotheosis of why restaurant employees hate their jobs. As always, these are real e-mails from real readers.

Mariana Beaton:

When I was in college, I was an assistant manager of a large movie theater chain, which is basically like a restaurant except you have to con, ahem, “up-sell” all the customers into buying more concession food (“Wouldn’t you like to make that a large for a quarter more?”), you don’t get tips, and instead of cleaning tables you have to clean the theaters, where everyone feels totally comfortable leaving not only their concession trash laying around but also used diapers, condoms, etc. The stories I could tell you. (The book would probably be titled, “Things Seen from the Projection Room.”)

Anyway, we had our share of really horrible customers, and it was pretty much drilled into staff that they were *always* right. At one point while I was working there we were showing “The Passion of the Christ.” It was a particularly awful movie (if you haven’t seen/heard about it, it depicts very graphic torture). Parents would bring their young kids, even after I tried to convince them that it really wasn’t appropriate, but they would ignore me and we’d end up having a line of kids sitting outside the theater crying. Happened every time. Although I got a lot of joy telling youth pastors that no, they couldn’t bring their youth group to see the movie even with permission slips, their parents HAD to be with them. Anyway, I’m really starting to hate these parents that traumatize their kids and start doing everything in my limited power to stop them.

Back to the story. This lady comes in with a few kids, sends them off to a kids’ movie and buys tickets to Passion for her and her friend. I’m happy she doesn’t try and bring them, but warn her that the run times of the movies don’t add up, her kids will be released quite awhile before her movie is over, but she doesn’t care. Whatever.

Later, the kids’ movie is over, and our usher finds them hopping from theater to theater and brings them out to the lobby. I tell them they can’t hop theaters, people complain about it, they didn’t pay, yada yada, and in any case I can’t bear to let these poor kids go into the last 40 minutes of that movie, which is easily the worst part, so I tell them to hang out in the lobby till it’s over. We give them some quarters to play video games. It’s our slow period so it’s pretty much empty and they’ll be perfectly safe and trauma-free, or so I think.

About 15 minutes later I get a call from the person working concession, a poor 16-year-old girl, who is in tears (I was only a 20-something-year-old girl myself, but I was making about $4 more an hour over her minimum wage, so I was prepared to defend her). Apparently the mother came raging out of the theater wondering where her kids were and cussed her for not letting her kids into a second movie. Normally if someone had asked nicely, I’d just let the kids in, but since I had a personal vendetta against this movie and this lady was obviously awful, I decided before going down that I wasn’t going to budge.

As soon as I got downstairs, the lady started screaming at me.

I calmly explained to the woman that her kids were welcome to join her in her movie, but she would have to purchase an additional ticket for them.

“That’s ridiculous! I already bought them tickets,” she screamed.

“But I told you the movie times were different. If you don’t want to buy tickets, they are welcome to stay here,” I said.

“They could be kidnapped out here, and it would be your fault! It’s not safe! I’m leaving and I want a refund!” The once happy go-lucky kids now looked mortified.

Normally our rule is that you can only get a cash refund within 30 minutes of the movie starting, otherwise they get rainchecks. I told her I would get rainchecks for her, and she looked like she was going to shoot bullets out of her eyes at me. She wanted a refund for their food too, which I refused pointing out that they had already eaten it. When I came back downstairs, she obviously had worked herself up further talking to her friend.

“You are a bitch who hates families! You think you’re great? Well, you’re not! You’re a bitch!”

“Ok, that’s fine,” I told her calmly. (I found that it really drove people crazy if I didn’t react to their craziness, and it was pretty much the only comeback I could make that wouldn’t get me fired.)

After I wrote her rainchecks for everyone in her party, she demanded to get my company’s complaint line. I told her there was a corporate office she was welcome to call, and I wrote down the number, which was actually the name of the company, like 1-800-theater. I didn’t have the number memorized, but most people understand how to convert the letters to numbers. She did not.

After she left the theater, and the employees and I exchanged wtf glances, she came raging back.

“You think I’m stupid! These aren’t numbers, these are letters! I told you I wanted the number! And I saw you laughing at me when I left! I’m reporting that too!”

“Ma’am, we weren’t laughing at you, and I promise that’s a legitimate number, there are letters on the phone’s dial pad,” I responded.

“Give me the number!” she yelled.

So I very obviously looked at our phone sitting right there and converted the letters to numbers, so she could see. After I handed it back to her, she threw out several more expletives at me, and as she was leaving screamed, “I’m watching to see if you laugh at me again!”


Cliff Regan:

My mom has a lot of good qualities, but something about eating out turns her into a giant, demanding, entitled, stingy asshole. She likes to go on and on about gluten and her “allergies”, order things that are not on the menu, make sour faces and loud, critical comments while eating the specially made food, get aggressively drunk, demand extra dipping sauce, monopolize not just our server but ALL the servers (and the hostess and/or manager too if she can swing it), and then stiff the server on the tip. Once she demanded salad for the entire table, “family-style,” meaning in a large bowl so she could serve it to everyone herself. The server and the manager both explained that they liked to present it artfully on individual plates, plus they didn’t have any large serving bowls and they didn’t want it to look bad in a steel mixing bowl, and even offered to discount the price for her if she would just take it the normal way. But no, she still insisted, and they ended up bringing it out in a wide-mouthed flower vase, with a thick poppyseed dressing that was, in retrospect, probably half spit. She loved it.

This behavior is almost as agonizing to endure as a bystander as it is for the server—I know because I’ve worked as a server and bartender. So I came up with a solution: when she wants to go out to eat and my best efforts to put her off have failed, I call ahead to the restaurant and tell them she’s had a stroke which has changed her personality. I explain that she is unpleasant but can’t help it, and that I will be leaving a big tip for the server’s patience and understanding. Then I do, whether or not she’s paying. It’s a bit underhanded, and God knows she doesn’t deserve the nice treatment she gets as a result. But the effect is that the servers seem much less frustrated, and I can only hope that I eat less of other people’s spit, too.

(Editor’s Note: Some of you are going to ask why Cliff has never tried to talk to his mother about this. This is a fair question, which is why I asked it myself when he submitted this story. Here’s his response:

It’s a fair question. I didn’t mention it in the letter, but there have been many “speak truth to power” interventions, which have not improved things. If you have read “Assholes: A Theory,” this fits in nicely with the definition of an asshole, one part of which is that assholes are immune to criticism. Thus the necessity to deal with them in other ways besides expecting them to shape up, because they never will.

Duly noted, Cliff! Stroke excuse it is.)

Raymond Francis:

In my mid-20’s, I ran a room service operation for a corporate hotel in San Diego. 450+ room hotel, 3 outlets, banquets and room service. Not far from the city/county courthouse and being in the middle of law-firm central in the CBD, we had many lawyers staying with us, in addition to regular business people.

During our overnight shift, we would collect those doorknob menus people hang outside their doors at 2am. Once collected, we’d start getting things set-up and ready for their delivery within a 15 minute window. I had 3 guys just delivering food with one service elevator over 20 floors. On busy days, we usually would have about 50-65 orders to deliver between 6am and 9am. Continental breakfasts on trays, American breakfasts on carts, breakfasts for 2-3 people, sometimes just coffee and juice.

One day during the week, I took a call from an irate woman who was calling to find out where her coffee and water was. She had a delivery time of 7:00-7:15am and it was 7:17. We didn’t use walkie-talkies so the only time I could communicate for any amount of time with my waiters was when they came to drop off signed checks between running deliveries. I would expedite the food and put the finishing touches on the orders and leave them in front of the elevator for the waiters to pick up and deliver, in between taking phone orders, cashiering and setting up orders.

So this woman gets me on the room service phone SCREAMING bloody murder as to where her fucking coffee and water was. I looked up the check in the MICROS and saw there was a check made at 5am. So her order was processed and being worked on. I couldn’t leave Room Service because someone had to answer the phone, or else I’d deliver it myself. Front desk couldn’t help as they were busy, as were the bellmen.

Now, when Room Service delivers orders in the morning, the guys have standards to go through – they have to be cheery when you are being an absolute dick, ask where you would like your breakfast placed even though every flat surface is covered with your shit, offer to pour your coffee, smile, thank you and wish you a nice stay in between having to smell your rank morning breath, your smelly shit you didn’t flush in the bathroom, inhaling your morning sex stank that reeks of masturbation cause you only ordered for one person. So naturally, my waiters would have to allocate a few minutes for every order to ensure they met their standards. The orders thereafter would sometimes get a little delayed because of this. We couldn’t just drop and run – as much as we’d like to sometimes. On top of this, having housekeepers and bellmen steal my designated elevator and leave them on different floors – causing us to lose even more time – didn’t help. Hence the 15 minute delivery window!

Well “Madame” was having none of it. She is berating me that “it’s now 7:18 and her coffee isn’t there yet.” Yelling, screaming at me that we are “fuck ups and she’ll have my job for this and she’s calling the GM” in between more yelling as to where her coffee is. I apologized to her and told her I’d comp her coffee. Unbeknownst to her, while she is keeping me on the phone, I can’t go out front and finish orders to help my guys. Now she is causing a domino effect for the rest of the deliveries.

She yells again at me “don’t you put down this phone you son-of-a-bitch!!” At which point I did put her on hold, just to not have to listen to her pathetic “my world is exploding cause my coffee is 3 minutes late” bullshit. She hung up and called back. Two minutes later when I saw one of my guys I asked them about the order and he said he has it for the next delivery. I said get it there and get out. All the while, this beast is back on the phone berating me. I apologized again and said I would pass her to the Assistant Manager at the Front Desk where she could complain some more. She started screaming at me again.

I put her on hold, rang up the Asst. Manager, and gave a quick synopsis of what was happening. In between checking people out, the Assistant Manager gets in a “please tell me it’s not the woman in 1201” as I hit the transfer button.

It was. Apparently she was in such a mood when she checked in (something happened that wasn’t the hotel’s fault) that she caused a scene in the bell desk and in lobby at the reception. Anyone who crossed her path was forced to endure her wrath.

My guys and I thankfully finished the breakfast rush. Afterwards, we discussed her order to see if we did get it set-up with all the other doorknob menus (we did) and how to handle her the 4 days she would be staying with us. Naturally we flagged any order she had – especially her 7:00-7:15 coffee that would be delivered at 7:00 promptly. This woman proceeded to have other issues with housekeeping, laundry and waiters in the restaurant during her stay. But just the fucking nerve of this woman to treat people like she did.

Because of the kind of person I am, I would never do anything to anyone’s food, as others have suggested they have done. That’s not me. But this has been the only time in my hotel career where I saw a GM tell a guest to never come back the hotel.


Dana Torrance:

My former brother-in-law, who was a seller of “what fell off the back of the truck” merchandise, if you know what I mean, involved my entire family in some epic restaurant bullshit. This Fucking Guy [insert Jean-Luc Picard meme image here] once sold the trees on an empty lot adjoining his office, where he “worked” in “leasing”, to a timber company. They came out and cut down and hauled away all the trees. Did he own the lot? No, no he did not.

Anyway, it was the 70’s and I was a little kid, the youngest of a family of six, most having several children—so, a big group. Former Brother In Law invited everyone to a family dinner at Black Angus, his treat in honor of my parents’ anniversary. The day before, his wife, my sister (not exactly in the top ten of my favorite people either), came over to my parents’ house, hysterical. FBiL didn’t have any money to pay for the dinner, but couldn’t back down from his grandiose plan, so she needed to borrow the money from my mom to pay for it—SHE ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT TELL MY FATHER. My mom gave her the money.

Next day we all go to the Black Angus. At the conclusion of the meal, he and my dad argue a bit over the bill, but FBiL wins and we all go out to the parking lot while he settled up.

Next day, the Black Angus calls my dad (in whose name the reservation had been made) demanding payment. Asshole FBiL dined-and-dashed the entire party, and kept the money my sister had borrowed from my mom!


Dana Willoughby:

The restaurant I worked at had daily all-you-can-eat specials. Monday was all-you-can-eat half-pound burgers, fries, and coleslaw. The AYCE special was a couple bucks more than the standard burger price, and the restaurant made money because most people would maybe get one re-order of fries or slaw, or maybe once in a while someone would get a second burger. I mean, how many half-pound burgers can one person eat?

Enter Denim Jacket Guy. DJG was a small, pale man, and regardless of the weather, he wore a denim jacket every time he came in, which was nearly every Monday. DJG would order the AYCE burger special and a 40 oz Colt 45 (not all our beers were shitty; this guy just wanted the biggest, cheapest beer). He would come in around 4:00 in the afternoon and stay for a couple of hours. His typical meal would include three orders of steak fries, three orders of coleslaw, two 40 oz beers, an entire bottle of ketchup, and seven half-pound burgers. This was in the late-nineties, and the check would total around $13 or so. And he would leave a generous $2 tip for your troubles.


Caroline Blake:

I worked at a somewhat upscale Pacific West coast (seafood, really) restaurant that had an enormous patio on a dock, with gorgeous views of the water and downtown Vancouver. Sometimes it was possible to take a moment from sweating and running around like crazy in your khakis and too-short golf shirts (yes, that was the “casual upscale” summer uniform, complete with visible love handles, even if you were a size 2) and be amazed at the beautiful sunset reflecting over the water. Needless to say, it was very popular, especially with tourists. Who knew that there are so many cultures that don’t tip?

It was a beautiful summer night, which made it all the worse that my section was now stacked with a group of women, who...oh dear God. Our restaurant had a policy that you can’t be seated until your whole party was there (pretty standard in such a busy place), and these ladies had been waiting to be seated for 20 (!) minutes because three people in their party of 7 weren’t there. They were becoming so loud and obnoxious that my manager sat them at three of my tables in my six table section (because they needed room!) and they barked their drink orders at him. Unfortunately, in the chaos of having a slammed restaurant, he forgot to tell me their drink order. The bartender was also so slammed that it took about 20 minutes to get their drinks by the time I figured out what they had ordered. They were not amused, and proceeded to be the rudest table I have ever had for the next FIVE HOURS to make up for it. An example:

Me: “Would you like any more coffee?”

Botox Betty: “NO SHE DOESN’T!” (Not the one I was offering the coffee to)

Botox Barbara: “OF COURSE I DO!”

Botox Betty (to Barbara): “Oh. Sorry Sweetie!”

Botox Barbara (to Betty): “It’s okay darling, SHE should know if she was any kind of a waitress.”

Sadly as a server, it is sometimes usual to get an “I’m better than you lowly servant” attitude, but they were full on hostile and would mutter that I’m an idiot under their breath between loudly discussing their divorces and the recent work they had done on their faces and their houses and demanding water with “just one ice cube.” Their bill was huge because they kept ordering the most expensive things they could find to take one bite of and then send back, and copious amounts of wine because I didn’t dare cut them off.

After they left, I was at the server station adding up their bills and I realized that not only had they not tipped me, but they were 20 dollars short. With our automatic tip-out policy (we had to give 5%), it ended up that I would have to pay about 60 dollars for the “honor” of serving them.

Tears were welling up in my eyes as I was cashing out the credit cards when a customer, who was sitting two sections over from my section, came up to me. She stuffed a twenty in my hand and patted my back and said, “Here’s twenty bucks for having to deal with those raging bitches.”

It made my night.

Sally Quentin:

My corporate restaurant relies heavily on the online survey printed on each receipt. About a year ago one came in with a complaint about me and my service a few weeks prior.

Once the complaint was read to me, I vaguely remembered this family. Mom, Dad, and two boys, roughly 8 and 6 years old. They were sitting at a booth by a window with the children on the inside by the window.

Her complaint started out with my warning her children their plates were hot, please be careful about touching them, and refusing to allow kids to handle them. This is something I do for all my customers: children or adults. She went into a tirade about her children being able to handle their own plates and it is not my job to tell them what to do, i.e., warning them about the temperature of their plates.

BUT this was not the main complaint. First, allow me to describe my uniform. I wear all black dress pants, long sleeved button up dress shirt, black apron, and black shoes. I am also a big busted gal with a DD bra cup.

According to her complaint, when I leaned over to place her children’s plates down, my BOOBS (her words exactly) landed in her bowl of salad with each plate I handed to them. She wanted me to be written up over my breasts.


Thom Layman:

A couple of years ago, I mentioned to a friend that I don’t have seafood often enough because my wife doesn’t like it. So he insisted that we go get some great seafood that weekend, his treat. He chose a popular Houston-based chain (Pappadeaux, if you’re familiar with it). He said there was a Mahi Alexander I just had to try. I must add that I’d never gone out with this friend without there being a large party along with us. So I hadn’t really experienced his restaurant personality without a buffer.

When we were sat at our table, my friend (we’ll call him “Jim”) picked up the menu immediately to find the entrée he had suggested. To his dismay, it said “Tilapia Alexander” this time. So he turned to the hostess (because we hadn’t even met our waiter or ordered our Diet Cokes yet) and said, “Excuse me. Where is the Mahi Alexander?” in a very annoyed tone. The teenaged hostess just looked confused. She finally said, “Um, I don’t know. I’ll ask your server for you?” Jim gave a curt “thanks” and then started reciting to me his rant about tilapia. Apparently, tilapia is “just a genetically-engineered fish” that’s “bred for its cheapness.” And it was “insulting” and “ballsy” for the restaurant to pretend it was a fair substitute for Mahi. I tried very hard to understand his annoyance while suggesting we just order a different dish. But he didn’t relent.

Then he mistook a random bus boy for the waiter and re-launched his assault on the tilapia. If I didn’t know that Jim’s mother was alive, I would have assumed she was brutally murdered by a gang of tilapia. The bus boy was as confused as the hostess, but immediately went and got the manager. Jim then talked to the manager for ten straight minutes about how tilapia was a sorry substitute for Mahi. He even argued, “My family has been coming to your restaurants for years and the quality has really gone down.” He repeated the phrase “genetically-engineered fish” at least a dozen times. The manager, a polite but firm woman, explained kindly that the Mahi was out of season. But she offered to gladly substitute any meat on the menu for the tilapia and have it prepared in the same way.

After a few more minutes of Jim berating the manager with words like “ridiculous” and “unacceptable,” he finally decided he’d just order the newly-contrived “Halibut Alexander.” Then he dismissed the manager with a wave and a scoff. It was only after this that we met our waiter and ordered our Diet Cokes. The food was delicious and the service was great, which was a relief to me as Jim had nothing else to yell about for the remainder of the meal.

We went to play pool later that night and he spent the first 10 minutes lecturing the manager about the lack of chalk at our table. While he was arguing, I found it on a nearby windowsill.


Ruth Cameron:

Our average turn time for tables is a little over an hour. One night, a family lingered over their meal for three hours and several bottles of wine. In the process of leaving, the father noticed that his jacket was missing. He swore that he had hung it on the side of their booth which is adjacent to both the bar and the bathroom line. He immediately assumed that it had been stolen and concluded that the restaurant was liable. His epic temper tantrum began with him calling the police to file a report, and while my manager was checking the security tapes, he threatened to call the FBI because he didn’t think we “cared enough.” The police arrived, and while taking his report, they somehow figured out that his jacket was in a cab and got it on its way back to the restaurant.

The man came back inside, ordered another glass of wine and waited. When the cab arrived, a police officer delivered the jacket to him. At that point, our GM informed him that it was time to pay his $350 bill.

Now, this is when a normal person would apologize, pay the bill and leave, but not this precious snowflake. Instead, he insisted to the manager that he should not have to pay because the whole ordeal had been so upsetting to him. She insisted. He doubled down and threatened to call the cops again. We all encouraged him to do so, and were about to call for him when he finally agreed to pay his bill. Naturally, he stiffed the server ($0- tip on a $350 bill, 3 hours of camping at the table and an additional 2 hours of terrorizing the whole restaurant), but the cherry on top was that in his whole delusional rant about why he shouldn’t have to pay he informed my manager that “If you knew me, you’d know that I’m actually a really good customer.”


Lindsay Newman:

When I was 16, my mother was an assistant manager at the local Pizza Hell (Pizza Hut, but we literally never called it by it’s proper name) and so lovingly shanghai’d me into the wonderful world of the service industry. I had many a horrific adventures in Pizza Hell, but the worst were the ones that involved the local Santa Claus, who was hatefully nicknamed “Psycho Santa.” Psycho Santa got free food. No one knew why, no one knew who started this long standing tradition, but he always got free food from November till March and no one ever questioned it.

The Psycho Santa tales ranged from groping servers and offering to “stuff their little stocking with his North Pole” to him walking into the kitchen and harassing the cooks who were preparing his food. I was already terrified of this guy and I hoped that everyone was just trying to freak me out. None of those stories had prepared me for the unbridled hell that he would unleash on me.

My encounter with Psycho Santa was on a fateful November afternoon. There was a birthday party in our back room, and in the winter season, Psycho Santa would randomly show up in full yuletide regalia and crash birthday parties, demand free food, and generally fuck the server’s day to hell. Today, he sees we have a party in the back, turns heel and leaves. I breathe a sigh of relief—I had heard the legend of Psycho Santa and had yet to deal with him, and I think today is my lucky day.


Ten minutes later, I hear the quietest little sound behind me and turn to see the mother of the birthday boy, a look of extreme concern on her face. She beckons me close and whispers, “I’m so sorry to bother you Miss, but there’s a little problem.”

She’s so polite and seems afraid of offending me, so I slap on the sunniest smile I can manage and reply, “Of course! Tell me what’s up and I’ll do my best to take care of it.”

“Well...Santa Claus has just shown up at my son’s birthday party. He knocked on the back door and we thought he might be an employee.”

“Okay,” I say slowly. Usually, people like when Psycho Santa shows up and tip their server like they booked him themselves for their little darling.

“Well...We’re Jewish.” I nod understandingly, slightly horrified at that alone, but her tale is not finished. “And when I told him that we were Jewish and did not celebrate Christmas, he told me that everyone celebrates Christmas...even Jews.”

And I know right then that whatever kind of good day I was having has just gone down the toilet. I tell her that I am so sorry for the confusion, that Santa does NOT work for us, and that I’ll go and get the manager on duty—which was the GM, a useless fucking paper clip that never dealt with anything, ever—who informs me that I, in my infinite teenaged wisdom and experience, need to deal with the situation.

I gird my loins and march back, and ask Psycho Santa to come with me; amazingly, he complies. I inform him that he’s not wanted at the party in the politest way I possibly can, but he doesn’t seem to understand.

“But I’m Santa Claus!”

“I understand that, sir, but they’re Jewish, and they don’t celebrate Christmas.”

“Don’t celebrate Christmas? That’s the most un-Christian thing I’ve ever heard!”

“That’s because they aren’t Christian. They’re Jewish.”

“Well, even Jew kids like Santa!”

“Sir, many Jewish families don’t teach their children about Santa because that’s not part of their beliefs...” On and on this goes for 15 minutes, until he finally gets pissed off enough that he just plops down at a table.

“Fine. I’ll just get my free food and go then.”

I’m just thankful that he’s shut his face anus about being fucking Santa and that everyone fucking loves Santa, so I agree, take his obscenely large order, and push it through as fast as possible. He takes his food, leaves, and I get a generous tip and a thank you note from the birthday party in the back, along with a slice of cake. And I think that I have survived, and that the worst was over.


The next day, I go about my shift feeling like a champ because I made it through my skirmish with Psycho Santa unscathed. Sure, the guy’s a fucking throbbing pikestaff, but I’ve dealt with worse.

Until he marches through the door with the boxes of food he got yesterday. He slams the boxes down in front of me and yells in my face, “Do I look like I’m gonna put up with some entitled little c*nt ripping me off?”

That alone is enough to send me into the shakes, and I start bobbing my head around like a terrified chicken. My logical brain is wondering “how exactly do you rip someone off when they got free food?” but my gut is like “agree or he’s gonna fucking hurt you.” Thank god for my gut.

He proceeds to yank open the box on top, whips out a fucking pocket knife, and cuts open his “P’zone”. For all you younguns, that was a thing at Pizza Hut before this “artisan” bullshit started. It was like a pizza folded in half without any sauce inside. I refuse to call it anything else, that’s what it was. So Psycho Santa starts brandishing this fucking pocket knife at me, screaming something about me ripping him off and not putting “enough” toppings on the damn thing. Well, in my terror, all I can think to stutter is “I’m sorry sir, we followed the company specs, that’s how much is supposed to be on the P’zone.”

So Santa does what any reasonable human would do: he stabs the fucking pizza box with the pocket knife, walks over to the nearest table, picks up a fucking chair and hurls it down the hall that leads to the back party room, screaming obscenities at me. By this point I’ve wised the fuck up and ducked for cover under the counter, crying for help like the sniveling terrified pissbaby that I was.

The Momager is the manager on duty, and she hears the chair and her sniveling terrified pissbaby daughter crying for help over the noise of the kitchen and gets up front.

Psycho Santa is no match for the Momager. She’s armed with one of the cast iron pizza pans we used for the pan pizzas and she has gone from her usually sweet demeanor to full-on She-Hulk. She comes at him full speed, screaming at him to “get the fuck out before I bash your fucking skull in.” This is a direct quote that has been chiseled into my skull because it remains the most bad-ass thing I have ever heard my mom say.

Psycho Santa is scared shitless and bolts. Momager calls the local yokels, who laugh it off and tell us, “Well, that’s just (Psycho Santa’s real name). He left, didn’t he?” Momager says yeah, and they tell her not to piss him off. Gotta love small town cops.


Do you have a crazy restaurant story you’d like to see appear in Behind Closed Ovens (on ANY subject, not just this one)? Please e-mail with “Behind Closed Ovens” in the subject line (or you can find me on Twitter @EyePatchGuy). Submissions are always welcome!

Note: I do not want poop/vomit stories. Please stop sending me poop/vomit stories.


Image via Daniel Korzeniewski/Shutterstock.

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