Monday, July 21, 2014

1359 A Tale of Two Restaurants

We wrote the other day about the great humanitarians at the Sarasota, Florida Cracker Barrel restaurant who fired a 70- something Viet vet for giving away a few packets of tartar sauce to an apparently homeless man who wanted a little something to dress up the fish he planned to cook over a fire.


Here’s a story about another restaurant -- also a chain outlet -- that handled things in a completely different way.


Mr. and Mrs. X of Columbia, Missouri were regulars at the local Red Lobster.  They loved the place.  It was their favorite.  They celebrated their first wedding anniversary there. And then their second.  And their third.  And their fourth.  In fact every anniversary up to 30.


Some time after their 30th, Mr. X passed away.  And when the anniversary date rolled around, their daughter thought she’d take mom to Red Lobster just to keep up the tradition.


And so they went.


Everyone at the place knew Mr. and Mrs. X.  And when their waitress suggested to the manager that they give Mrs. and daughter a dessert on the house he said “No.  Give them the whole meal, soup to nuts.”


Waitress sneaks into the back room, takes out one of those little plastic folders used to put the check on the table and instead of a check, writes a note.


The note says Red Lobster and your friends who work here and know and love you want to make you a gift of this meal.


This story was first told on the website of NBC’s Today Show. It did not identify the couple by name.  Privacy in a world without privacy.


It doesn’t much matter that you don’t know the names as long as you know the idea.


The corporation that owns Lobster chain is selling it.  They figure it’s worth a couple of billion. They’re in a bit of a financial jam -- aren’t we all? -- and Lobster is their crown jewel.


We don’t know if they have a policy about giving away food.  And we don’t know for sure whether the staff paid the bill out of their own pockets.


But as of now, no four legged lobsters have been boiled alive.  And it’s highly unlikely that anyone’s going to get anything but praise for this act.


The contrast between Barrel and Lobster is indirect.  But for one, it comes down to “let no good deed go unpunished.”  For the other, it shows there remains in this world people with heart.


Shrapnel:


--Of course there’s also plenty of room for the opposite, too.  For example, Vladimir. How is he going to explain shooting down that Malaysian plane?


--How long before Obama drops the charade and starts openly siding with Hamas?  The inhumanity of the moment inflicted by Israel is little compared to the decades of inhumanity inflicted on it.  We have a short attention span.


Grapeshot:


-Nice tribute to James Garner on YouTube.


I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2014

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