Don’t Create Peas on the Cob

Father Guido Sarducci did a great bit several years ago about monk who through genetic engineering developed peas on the cob. The punchline was, "Now, to me, 'dis makes a no sense at all. You take something that taste bad, and you make it a difficult to eat."

Last night, I experienced peas on the cob at Godfather's Pizza. Tuesday night is buffet night so it was busy. As we walked in, a women and two children were walking out and she warned us, "Good luck finding a place to sit. They've got all these tables reserved."

So as we walked up to the counter, I noticed that every table that wasn't occupied had a "Reserved" sign on it. I naturally felt concerned. There was no line, so I stepped right up and ordered three buffets with my coupon for a dollar each and asked, "If we can't find a place to sit, can I have my money back?"

The girl at the register looked at another girl, who shouted over to us, "The reserved seats are for PAYING customers. So once you go through the buffet just take a reserved table." I relaxed about finding a place to sit, but I became anxious about why all these non-paying people were at Godfather's on a Tuesday night.

I sent my sons through the buffet while I went off to hunt us down a table. I secured one close to the endless stream of pizzas and clearly claimed the "Reserved" table with my plate and the boys two drink cups. Then treated myself by filling my cup with ice-cold Dr. Pepper.

When I returned to our table, two people were starting to sit down there. I said, "Excuse me, but that's our table."

"No," they replied. "It has a 'Reserved' sign on it so we can sit there."

"And my plate and two cups." The woman was quite large and honestly, quite scary. Plus there were plenty of "Reserved" tables, so I continued, "Let me get my stuff, and I'll move to another table."

The rest of the evening, we made sure that at least one of us served as a table sentry guarding are precious booth while the rest of us refilled our plates again and again. When one of the roaming table monitors came within our vicinity, I asked, "Excuse me, but I'm just curious, what problem are you trying to solve with these 'Reserved' signs?"

"Well," she explained, "Tuesday nights are buffet nights, so they are our busiest nights. When people come in they often have to stand in line, and so some people would go and reserve tables, while their friends or family would go order. We had people who had paid, but couldn't find a spot to sit, while those who hadn't even paid yet already had tables. So now, the 'Reserved' signs are only for people who have already paid."

"So did that fix the problem?"

"Oh, yes. Now only people who have paid can sit down."

In the meantime, they walked at least one family, created tension for me twice, and in the process convinced me never to return to buffet night. "Now, to me, 'dis makes a no sense at all. You take seats that are hard to find, and you make it a difficult to understand."