“It was around this time that I noticed he was not just a tad disheveled, but was actually in what my mother would describe as ‘a state.’ His tie was loose around his neck, his collar sweaty, and his white, button up shirt had what I assume were barbecue sauce and mustard stains on it.
“‘I'm going to have to go to the ATM,’ he told me. He then gave me his credit cards and ID to hold and stumbled out of the bar.
“About 15 minutes later, he returned, sans sports coat. ‘I'd like a sauvignon blanc,’ he told me.
“‘I'd like $14 for the first one you drank.’
“‘Right, right. It's, uh, it's in my jacket.’
“‘I'm going to call the cops.’ Even though this was a bluff on my part, my manager overheard me and took it upon himself to call the cops anyway. I had a pretty rad manager.
“‘That's fine,’ the man said, ‘cops love me, I'm a candidate for president! I have a business card... ’ He started fishing around in his pants pockets for another card, but in doing so also discovered a large wad of cash.
“As he paid me, the police arrived to escort him out of the bar. They told him they were going to take him to a parade and he willingly got in the back of the squad car.” -- Josh Harrelson
Quite honestly one of the best stories I’ve ever received
“My family (parents, maternal grandparents, aunt, aunt's then-boyfriend) and I are on vacation in Maui. I am an adorably chubby three-year-old with a really loud belly laugh I employ every few minutes because, I don't know, everything is just fucking hilarious to a three-year-old. Also, I think I insisted upon only eating Gerber's sweet potato baby food goop at this point, and despite still being in diapers, I was smart enough to have conversations and shit. I just didn't wanna grow up, and I didn't give a crap about how I acted in public as long as it didn't piss my parents off to the point they'd take me home. I think I may have flashed half the restaurant because fuck you, I'm a fat three-year-old covered in non-Newtonian fluid sweet potato.
“ANYWAY. My grandparents are hard-nosed heavy drinkers from Jersey City. My grandma in particular is... well, you'll see.
“So, we go out to dinner. (I insist on this, because I liked covering myself in sweet potato in public and then groping myself as I played with my fat rolls or something. It's performance art, you judgmental little shits.) We go to a standard touristy bar/grill, with standard bar/grill rock music playing in the background, and I frankly forget what everyone else eats. I ate my goddamn sweet potato slime and I LIKED IT THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
“My grandparents drink a lot, and no one tries to stop them because they usually respond to that by just doubling their next drink order.
“They. Are. SMASHED. Not aggressive-angry-drunk, but stupid-weird-giddy-Jersey City-old-people drunk. My grandma is... er... dancing? Along to each song, but that's normal for a lot of drunk people. We eat, the food is fine, service is good, yadda yadda. And then Peeves the fucking Poltergeist possesses my grandma or something. What happens?
“Billy Joel's ‘Movin' Out’ comes on.
“Grandma determinedly sways back and forth, not at all in time with the song, but something has changed in her. Fat baby me is giggling because hey, my grandma is sooooo drunk lol where are my sweet potatoes lemme touch my baby dick for no reason. According to every retelling of the story, my mom and my aunt's Drunk Grandma Spidey Sense has been activated, because grandma drank like this even while raising them. (Ah, the '80s. Such a wholesome time.) When DGSS goes off, Grandma is about to do something inexplicably crazy, even for a drunk person.
“'He works at Mr. Cacciatore's down on Sullivan St'
"'Across from the medical center'
"'Yeah, and he's tradin' in his Chevy for a'
“The chorus ends, Billy Joel no longer cares about the Cadillac. Grandma does, though.
“My mom's shooting daggers across the table at her mother because of the singing. Both her and my aunt are frantically shout-whispering ‘Mom! Mom!’ at her in an attempt to snap the beast out of its trance. Eventually, it works.
“Fat baby me is sad that grandma stopped singing. ‘Again, grandma, again! Again again again!’
“‘CA-DI-LACK-ACK-YACK-YACK-AH-AH-AGH --’ (coughs, slurps her drink)
“The entire restaurant is staring at us. My grandma has been quite loud. The waitstaff is crowded by the host stand in stunned silence.
“‘Mom! Stop it!’
“‘Again, Grandma, again!’ I was an evil baby. Still am.
“The next round of the chorus comes on, this time you can never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mind.
“Grandma: ‘YACK-YACK-YACK-YACK-YACK --’
“Entire restaurant: (agape, pointing and whispering)
“Waitstaff: (prob wondering if someone will tip more because of this)
“Me: (fat giggling baby covered in sweet potatoes)
“Grandpa: ‘SHUT UP, MAYH!’ (my best approximation of his JC-accented version of her name)
“Grandma: ‘SHUT UP, JAWGE, YACK YACK YACK YACK YACK --’
“Family: (so ashamed)
“We left soon after. My parents tipped well.” -- Ken Garretson
In addition to collecting the usual restaurant, home-cooking, and any other food-adjacent stories, we're looking for stories of college assholes from dining hall workers. If you have anything you’d like to see appear in Off the Menu, please emailWilyUbertrout@gmail.com with "Off the Menu" in the subject line, or tweet at @EyePatchGuy.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.