Dim sum or dim bulb?

Dear Dategirl,

What does a gentleman do if a waiter embarrasses his date and ruins the evening? Wanting to impress a lovely gal who recently moved here from China, I invited her to dine at an allegedly "authentic" Chinese restaurant. She's from Sichuan Province—so, of course, I ordered the restaurant's "authentic" Sichuan specialties.

As soon as the food arrived, I knew something had gone awry. She suddenly lost her appetite and a tear fell from her right eye. It seems the food was absolutely nothing like that in her native Sichuan—and, she went on, it tasted stale and underprepared. Perhaps she'd appreciate my gallantry in summoning the waiter. But he definitely stole the show: He insisted the food was authentic, painting a deep shade of crimson embarrassment across my date's tearful face. To prove it, he argued, a diner from Taiwan had commented favorably on the food's authenticity just last week. Furthermore, he announced to the crowd now listening with curiosity, his restaurant has been favorably reviewed by a local newspaper and is therefore above reproach. He turned on his heel and victoriously strode away. The man needs a geography lesson because Taiwan is nowhere near Sichuan—in fact, it's separated from the Chinese mainland by a body of water. And there I was, not knowing what to say to the brave girl on her first date with an American guy. We talked about the weather until she whispered, "Thank you," and fled alone to her door. Was this a geography problem, did the food just taste lousy, or should I have done something more?

Bittersweet Brad

Dear Brad,

Earlier this week, my friend Diane and I decided to make a trek to Toys in Babeland in order to upgrade our electronic self-pleasure devices. On our way there, we stopped at a deli for lunch. I ordered a delicious all-beef hot dog smothered in onions and mustard, just the way I like it. It had been a day or so since I'd last eaten, so I guess I was a little overexcited at the prospect of food and took a bigger bite than perhaps I should've. Just as I bit into the dog, Diane asked me about my sex life. Even more than I wanted to eat, I wanted to tell her about the new holiday game I'd come up with: "Christmas Day Hooker." I quickly realized I couldn't eat and tell tales at the same time when the wiener got lodged in my windpipe. I couldn't breathe! I started to choke! Tears streamed uncontrollably out of my eyes as I gasped futilely for air! Gesticulating wildly, I signaled Diane to slam me one between the shoulder blades. She did so, and the tube steak dislodged. But even though the meat was outta my mouth, I still had to contend with a stringy onion stuck with one end wedged between my teeth, the other wrapped firmly around my uvula. I continued gagging. Loudly. For some physiological reason I can't begin to fathom, snot started to flow uncontrollably from my nasal passages and my friend pointed out that my face was quite red. I tried to be discreet as I attempted to untie my tonsils, but it was no use. Everyone was staring in horror at the gagging snot-covered girl anyway, so I just opened wide and yanked it free. Then I looked around triumphantly, took a healthy swig of my beverage, and explained to Diane the myriad rules involved in playing "Christmas Day Hooker."

But what does this have to do with my story, you're probably whimpering. My point is you two are a couple of simpering nitwits. Your date cried because the food sucked? What a wuss! How does she react to real tragedies like paper cuts or spilt milk? And you! You let some insolent waiter treat her like a moron? You should be ashamed of yourself. I cheated death and didn't get all boo hoo about it! Jeez. Who hasn't had a crap meal? If the food blows, send it back or suck it up and cross the joint off your list of places to eat. I believe it's always important to show food service professionals respect and courtesy, but if a waiter is being a jackass, he deserves to be treated as such. Though I have to say, if you two pantywaists got seated in my section, I'd be hard-pressed not to spit in your food.

Ask the expert; write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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