GOLDEN PEPPERMILL AWARD © 2017, Alan John Mayer, Mirror Image Presentations
PRESENTER: Members and guests of the Golden Peppermill Society, every winter the Golden Peppermill award for Best Waiter is bestowed upon a Master, outstanding in the field of service. Any recipient of this coveted prize has been WAITING a lifetime for this. The envelope, please. Thank you, Laquisha. This year’s Golden Pepper mill for BEST WAITER goes to — drum roll please, — author of the Young Adult Quadrille, A BOY ALONE, ‘Obsessed’ now on Kindle and paper, — MASTER WAITER – AL-AN JOHN MA-YER!
Thank you for the applause, Mr. Toastmaster, Mistress of Ceremonies, esteemed members and guests of the Golden Pepper Mill Society. Two awards in one month, you like me. You really, really like me. I have a few notes to keep my train of thought on track. I cannot accept this golden Pepper Mill on my own merit. There are so many I have to thank. Like my friends Jane Wagner, and Lily Tomlin … Steve and Doris Lubin. Mummy said she might consider coming tonight, maybe, I looked but I don’t see her. I used to be able to always count on her, to let me down. My friend Wolfgang thought of coming but he’s gone too, Heaven. Fool’s gold, but it is the coveted Pepper Mill. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a dream come true. Let me set this aside.
I have been asked to pinpoint the three stages of a dream. Close your eyes, disengage the mind not now Donna. Later. Free the imagination for take-off.
I did not set out to be a gifted Toastmaster comedian. As a boy in Bavaria, my dream was to become a waiter. Mummy seldom took us out to eat, and then only at the Kaiser’s Hof Wurscht Kuechel. I noticed the tall, handsome waiter the first time we ate there, Wolfgang. I looked up to Wolfie. Well, it was dark, and I was only four-foot two, so maybe he wasn’t that tall or that handsome, but I admired the respect with which he took our order. He would lean in, pencil and pad in hand, and in a deep voice, he would ask “Vhat’ll it be, Sir?” Mummy has selective hearing, and she ignored him anyway because he was only a waiter.
Relatives sent me menus from around the world. I couldn’t read Asian, so I focused on building my résumé waiting Mummy’s table. Next I knew, she promoted me to dishwasher. I was elated. I found a purpose. Between meals I would memorize menus, and I familiarized myself with her hic – wine cellar. Excuse me.
Before I knew it, she put me in charge of linen. I took the napkins to school and folded them into swans during recess for Show & Tell. Yes, they did beat me up.
For my 10th birthday, Mummy surprised me with a waiter uniform. I already had the regulation cap and sensible shoes, but even with the full duty uniform, I got no job offers.
Then, before her big birthday Christmas party, Mummy put me in charge of the bar. Johnny Walker, Jose Cuervo and I got friendly, standar-hic-dizing quality. Excuse me.
Every guest left me a tip. I earned 38 D. Marks. Minus Mummy’s commission, I cleared 25 Marks that night. One day Dad came home and announced “I bought 3 fares to the States. We’re moving”. I looked up to him “You forgot to include me”. “Oh, eh, Squirt, I’ll buy your fare tomorrow, he, he” — he would have left his son behind.
That night I packed my uniform, threw in a fresh change of underwear just in case, and I went to the Wurscht Kuechel to say good-bye to Wolfie. “Tomorrow fliegen wir to Amerika” I said in Mummy’s Germglish. He lit a fresh Lucky Strike off his butt. “Kind” he said “You gonna be a big star. Pfft!” I cried, I waved “Auf-wieder-sehen”.
Which brings us to STAGE TWO * TAKE FLIGHT. Engage the imagination, soft music, soothing voices.
(BIG BREATH — HARSH BLOW) “Will-kommen, meine Damen und Herren an board Lufthansa Flight Sex Sex Sex nach Neu York, Ooh-Es-Aah. On behelf of our Keptain, Herr Käptän P. von Stupp, ve vill cruize at sexteen sousand sex hondred sex und sex-ztig feets –- AL-TI-TUDE, I am your head Stewardessin, Fraeulein Peh. von Tul-pen-sten-gel. You vill enjoy our qwisene — Schnitzel. You vill enjoy our in flight entertainment — Ze Rise of Ze Sird Reich. Now sit beck, releks. Ve take you over.”
Before landing, Frl. Tulpenstengel let me collect empties, and she pinned her flight wings to my lapel as we deplaned. “You gonna make it BIG” she said — “Ellen”.
Then came the Connection. A soft sexy whistle into the microphone, “Pwwtt” a shake of a blonde head of hair “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board Delta Flight 777 to Denver, Colorado. I am your flight head attendant, Debbie-he-he. Today’s in-flight movie – Ma-ry Pop-pins. Hotdogs and Cokes for all.
STAGE THREE (three fingers) our landing. Calm, collected, ready to tackle life’s tasks. Immediately I took to speaking Amerikanisch, but even with fluent Mexican on my résumé the only work I could find was as a prosti – eh, teacher. I did it for the money. I loved teaching, if only the students wouldn’t have gotten in the way of my paperwork. It’s either that or guns.
One day God spoke and I happened to be listening. So I wrote the Young Adult Quadrille, — A BOY ALONE – 16 years it took to get it on Kindle on paper, but even that I could not have accomplished without my friend Steve.
My 103 year-old father read the first book, ‘Obsessed’, and he died laughing. Now I am just waiting for Mummy — to laugh. I played 14 leads in Hollywood, but my dream of becoming a waiter continued to torment me. I was born to serve. My talent lies in waiting. Until Mummy had her lawyer throw me in jail. I had not paid her commission.
One day I walked into the Red Lion in Silver Lake, California. I slicked back my hair, as I entered. I tried to look cool, as I sat on the stool. From behind a voice spoke “Vhat’ll it be, Sir?” I jumped up and danced! It was Wolfie! Hier in Amerika! – Head vaiter — Oi!
“Kind” he inhaled deep “I saw your ekt on T.V. — Ppth! Fromm ze whirrled famous Laugh Factory. Vhen you gonna stop foolin’ around, und get a real job — vaiting tables?”
It was then I realized, I thought myself worthy of taking orders but never giving them. The thought of settling on stardom troubled me, but Wolfie mused me. “KIND” he said, as he inhaled his Lucky Strike “Never give up on your dream, because some day, some where, somebody is gonna look into dose big blue eyes of yours, and say Pttt — ‘Vhat kind of Strudel you got today – Pttt!'”
Then the unthinkable happened. Wolfie wrenched his back reaching for a jar of Sauerkraut. “Auuuu — Vatem I gonna do?” he looked at me, stretched and pointed in his pain “Meyer, only you ken fill my shoes”. I just happened to be wearing my waiter uniform and my duty shoes. I grabbed his pad and pencil, and checked my hair.
Wincing, he briefed me “Do you know de Menu?” I nodded “Ja”. “Kennst Du die Wein Liste?” I nodded “Ja”.“Go — do your best.” I took a deep breath, extinguished my cigarette, put on my smile, and stepped forward into into the Great Unknown – to wait.
“ELLEN!” I turned. “You stepping out a star, but you coming beck” he snapped his fingers “A vaiter”.
Cruise back to reality for a REVIEW: Close your eyes, disengage the mind now Donna. Release inhibitions, voices, soft and gentle. Come in for your landing, calm, collected, ready to tackle life’s tasks. We may crash, but what do we do? We jump back up, and we KEEP on TRUCKIN’ — Why? Because we are human becomings, Amer- I CANs. Ladies and gentlemen, this award belongs to all of us, — you, me, anyone who has ever eaten at – the Kaiser’s Hof Wurscht Kuechel. No longer am I waiting for your love. I am waiting for your order. “So, Herr Villie, — vhat’ll it be? Soupe or Saläd?”