Scene From an IHOP

INT. IHOP — NIGHT

EUGENE is sitting in a booth.  He has a sore throat, and so is trying not to speak.  There is a laptop computer open on the table in front of him, into which are plugged the headphones he is wearing. In the booth adjacent to Eugene’s, a MAN and a WOMAN are having animated conversation.  A WAITER enters, carrying a glass of water with no ice.  The Waiter places the glass of water in front of the Woman.

WAITER

So you’re whining to Bob for your water now?

WOMAN

What?

WAITER

Bob tells me I need to bring out a water with no ice.  When did you get so picky?

WOMAN

(Points at glass.)  That’s not mine.

WAITER

You didn’t order this?

MAN

Dude, this girl is all about ice.

WOMAN

Yeah, I’ll take a water with ice, if you want to do any actual work tonight.  But that’s not mine.

WAITER

Huh.

EUGENE

(Begins to wave at the Waiter.)

WAITER

I wonder what Bob was thinking.

MAN

(Sees Eugene waving and points at him) I think it’s that guy’s.

WAITER

(Not looking at where the Man points) No, you’re my only table.

MAN

He’s waving at you.

WAITER

(Finally looks.) Oh!

The Waiter approaches Eugene with the glass of water, which he places on Eugene’s table.

WAITER

Sorry about that.

EUGENE

(Nods and smiles.)

WAITER

I just assumed it was hers, because water with no ice is something girls order.

(Beat.)

Um, not to call you a girl.  It’s not an insult.

(Beat.)

Well, obviously, it is an insult!

(Long beat.)

No, I didn’t mean that.  I mean, it’s true.  But I can’t help that it’s only girls order water with no ice.

(Beat.)

Well, sorry anyway.  You aren’t actually my table.  They are.

Exit Waiter.  The Man and the Woman begin to talk again, but Eugene raises the volume on his laptop so that he can no longer hear.

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  1. A similar thing happened to me once at a BENNIGANS. My brother and I met our parents for dinner one night, and since my half of the group arrived second, I had a bit less time to peruse the menu. When Waiter Dude came over to the table to take our order and he got to me, I said, “Oh, I don’t know yet,” to which he immediately responded, “Oh, women can never make up their minds.” The entire table basically stared at him, and the comment left me speechless. He proceeded to do the back-pedaling that you described above, with a touch of self-defense, as we all waited for it to be over. He even tried looking to my brother for help, and saying, “Man, I know, I have a wife at home…” ERRGH.

    I had the Turkey O’Toole.

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