Ok - to continue on last week’s theme - let’s proceed with an actual case study, ok? We learned last week about catering lifers - the unfortunate souls who realize that the only thing left to do - is to undergo training to be a catering captain. Yes. A catering captain. Of those who do survive this realization, it almost always means the bitter end - albeit with a pay increase. Minds snap with an alarming regularity at this juncture…that is what happened to Toby a while back. I saw it all unfold before my very eyes - and it was not pretty - I can tell you that.

Toby was one of these permanently bitter, large Baby Hughie type queens who was a main captain for one of the catering companies I worked for regularly. He, himself was one of those wide-eyed musical theater aspirants who arrived from Middle America with a pocketful of dreams - but that was 20 years ago. At this one event, for reasons unbeknownst to all, he had taken to wearing these fake plastic black framed glasses. With NO lenses. He reads aloud our assignments from the even sheet. This is the first sign of trouble.

Maybe an hour and a half later, when we have finished setting up for the event, I go up to ask him again what my table number was. He looked very perturbed.

“Oh, Montaperto, I can’t see anything!”

“Where are my damn glasses?”

He fishes about his jacket pocket, finally finding and putting on the said glasses.

‘Ok, Montaperto, you have table 34.”

These are the glasses with no lenses, mind you.

Uh oh.

A while later, we have finished dinner service, and my table wants to know what the desert alternative is. I come up to ask Toby what it is.

“I don’t know ‘nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies!”

“What?’ I ask again, puzzled.

I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies!” He exclaims again.

Mind snap!


i don’t see him again for another year and a half. True story.

Next week we will explore another case study of a waiter who went quite mad.

Joe Montaperto

Writer, murderer, bon vivant par excellance - I pay the rent as a catering bartender, and sometimes shoot poison darts at white people from trees in Hoboken, while shouting UUUMMMBBAAAAGGGGAAAA!!