We were sitting at the counter at a casual clam bar on Maiden Lane in Patchogue (formerly Nancy’s Crab Shack) right by the water. The young cook behind the open counter was totally in the weeds, as all the tables were full and take out orders piling up. The waitress looked shellshocked as the poor guy quietly tried to muddle through. He kept his cool, but when I asked where my chowder was and he responded, “In the microwave,” I knew this duo was in trouble. But not for long…enter the FRANTIC Chef!
Suddenly, all turned toward the roaring of a large white figure behind us cutting through the take out crowd and shouting into his cell, “EIGHT MINUTES. JUST GIVE ME 8 MINUTES. YEAH, 8 MINUTES!!!” (???) The earth was shaking. Totally unaware of anything except the kitchen, he snapped his phone shut, swooped into the small shack through the side door, rummaged through kitchen dupes and began screaming:
“OKAY, WHICH OF THESE ORDERS HAVE YOU STARTED? DID YOU DO THESE CHICKEN FINGERS? DON’T START THIS SHRIMP UNTIL I DO THE CHICKEN. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, IF YOU WERE IN THE WEEDS WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO? OKAY, I’LL START THE $%#@ SHRIMP. DO THE $#%@ CHICKEN!!! $%#$!”
The f-bombs continued as I covered my 8 year old’s ears. She turned to me with her big doe eyes and asked, “Mommy, why is that man screaming so loud? He owes me a quarter for the swear jar.” (Purely reserved for others who swear in her presence. I swear).
Weeded Chef just kept his head down and continued working, answering bellowing inquiries as needed. FRANTIC Chef then barked at a woman who ordered a deluxe sandwich, but was willing to settle for a regular order out of pure fear. The Soup Nazi’s got nothing on this guy, I tell ya.
Because our peaceful nosh suddenly turned into an earsplitting maniacal display, we finished up quickly. And I started to think as we walked toward the water; what would happen if FRANTIC Chef was always so frantic? Just for fun, let’s imagine an empty dining room with just an elderly couple slowly spooning their soup in time elevator muzak. And there’s FRANTIC Chef, clanging pots and pans, breathing heavily and bellowing in the kitchen, “TABLE TWO’S ORDER IS COMIN’ UP!!! WE GOT AN ORDER OF @#$% CHICKEN AND A #$%& SHRIMP!!! COME ON, I ONLY GOT 8 MINUTES!!!”