Joseph. In an industry where it might be a law that there must be at least ONE asshole manager per restaurant - Joseph is the one who irritated me the most. If we harken back to yesteryear - or my last blog about two weeks ago - entitled - The Projectile Chili Incident - I shall further expound on the Satan-like existence of Joseph, cashier/manager at The Great American Health Bar.

Joseph was the ancient, diminutive immigrant from, like, the distant mountains of Kazakhastan, or someplace like that, who was herding yak only a short while before he came to New York. My suspicion is that he somehow struck oil while shooting for food, a la Jed Clampett of The Beverley Hillbillies, loaded up the truck and moved to New York City.

First of all, Joseph was barely five feet tall - TOPS - and had only one suit - a monstrously oversized blue pinstripe deal that he probably grabbed off the rack somewhere in The Garment District, without even trying it on. And he wore it EVERYDAY.

The only apparent joy in his life was counting the money in the register OVER and OVER again - particularly the coins. The expression on his face registered one of true bliss. He had this sinister laugh, which reminded me of the dog, Mutley, from the Saturday morning cartoon, Dick Dastardly. You just KNOW that he had this, like, secret dungeon room in the bowels of his house in some obscure part of Queens, where he descended the stonewall steps with an oil lantern, and pushed a button where the bookshelf turned around - and there - was his ancient room. A damp, dark room where he had converted all his wealth into gold coins, kept in metal boxes. There he counted the coins, deep into the night, over and over again with an abacus, while wearing a monocle - even though he knew EXACTLY how much he had.

The only other time I saw him THAT ecstatic was when he was throwing me under the bus - usually trying to make me pay for broken plates and cups, and directing the scant flow of customers to any station OTHER than mine. That Mutley snicker at the obvious torment on my face gave him great joy!

There MUST be a way to get back at him, I plotted in my fevered mind (this was right in the middle of my first mind-snap in 1990). Then - THERE it was! Right in front of my nose! AHA! He would always wear these ‘dress shoes’ with the the hideous pinstriped suit every day when he came to The Great American, but would almost immediately switch to a pair of more ‘comfortable’ shoes to stand behind the register all day. I observed that he would leave the said shoes n the back closet. HERE was my chance!! I would then place eggs in each of his shoes, snickering to myself, as I left the restaurant after my shift. The next day, I would often hear from the other waiters how a perplexed Joseph would grumble that somebody had put eggs in his shoes - and it had ruined his socks!! I must have done this for a week or so, until he finally would look into his shoes before putting them on. HAHAHAHAHA!! That was my greatest joy!!

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!!