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The Atlantic reports that 70% of complaints about restaurants relate not to food, but service. 70%! This number astounds because:
1. more Americans can agree that waiters suck than can agree who should be President, whether abortion should be legal, and whether Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian is a good movie. Which means…sorry waiters, I guess you must really, in general, suck! I suppose more Americans can agree that God exists, but I’m not sure why.
2. my longstanding perception that the employees of Soul Vegetarian on Georgia Avenue don’t like me because I’m white (though I suppose, they may not like me because they perceive I am an asshole, though, in general, I must take the position that I am not an asshole) is not influenced by the (in my opinion) mediocre quality of their food. In fact, I may find Soul Veg’s food mediocre simply because I perceive that its staff does not like me! In addition, I may find Harmony Cafe’s food mediocre not because it is mediocre, but because I always feel bad for the one woman who has waited tables there every day, alone, for as long as I can remember, which is at least 10 years, and probably longer. Maybe if Harmony Cafe had a larger staff and this poor woman had some goddamned help for once, I might, in fact, perceive that Harmony is the best Chinese restaurant on the East Coast! Though I doubt it, as Harmony is mediocre (at best).
3. If 70% of the waaa-waaa-waaa about this-or-that restaurant isn’t food related, but service related, that means that presentation isn’t 50% of the meal (as a boss of mine once told me), but 70% of the meal, aka the majority. In other words, our senses are easily influenced or, as Ebenezer Scrooge explained in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, “a little thing affects them.” In other, other words, the whole concept of a palate is a sham perpetrated by the sensuality industry, aka the Food Network, Food and Wine Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, the food sections of all surviving American newspaper, the producers of the 2000 film Chocolat, my favorite big grrl Paula Dean, New Yorkers generally, high end grocers (aka Whole Foods), the “foodie” contigent of our society, all of our mothers, and this blog.