Something Fishy

I almost managed to get through a shift unscathed. Almost.

It was a relatively uneventful Sunday night. No major problems. No run-ins with loonies. I was nearly ready to go home. And then it happened.

A guy called me over to his table to ask me if he could “exchange” his iced tea. I nodded in assent and was about to ask him what he would like to exchange it for; I had no intention of asking him why. He, however, had every intention of telling me why.

He claimed that his freshly-brewed iced tea “tasted like fish”. I said, “Okay. I’ll change it for you.” When I returned with his Sprite, I sensed that he seemed unsatisfied by my disinterest in what was, I’ll admit, a fairly unusual claim. He felt the need to elaborate.

He wanted me to understand that his iced tea had not tasted “fishy”. That it had, in fact “tasted like fish”. I assured him that I had fully comprehended his meaning; that my first priority was to insure that he was not beverage-less. I informed him that, having now accomplished the latter, my plan was to look into whether something may have gone awry with the iced tea. (I didn’t tell him this, but I had also planned to sample the lemonade, in the event that it had somehow acquired a reindeer flavor.)

I don’t know, maybe he sensed that I wasn’t really taking his complaint seriously. Because I wasn’t. Or, maybe he picked up on the fact that I wanted to get the hell out of there. Because I did. Whatever the reason, he again found it necessary to repeat to me that he did, in fact, want to make it clear to me that he had returned his iced tea because it had “tasted like fish”, not because it tasted “fishy”. He had a burning desire to be sure I understood the difference.

I was then required to stand there and listen to his interminable explanation of the distinction between “tasting like fish” and “fishy”, a distinction which any reasonably intelligent native speaker of the English language should easily and instantly recognize. He just went on and on and on. Finally, I said, “Sir, I get it. ‘Fishy’ means “suspect”. It doesn’t always mean that something tastes like fish. I also understand that your initial report did not contain the word ‘fishy’. ‘Fishy’ was a word that you introduced secondarily.”

Holy Shit! All of this because he didn’t like the iced tea, which, by the way, tasted perfectly fine to me. Nope. Nothing “fishy” about it. In either sense of the word.

10 thoughts on “Something Fishy

  1. javaj240 says:

    Thanks! I liked that line, too.


  2. ethelthedean says:

    I didn’t tell him this, but I had also planned to sample the lemonade, in the event that it had somehow acquired a reindeer flavor.


    Write a book. Please.


  3. javaj240 says:

    Agreed! And, no, it wasn’t sweet!


  4. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    Was it sweet tea? Because tea that isn’t sweet is definitely fishy.


  5. javaj240 says:

    You are correct, sir! My method was “fishy”! I would never taste someone else’s drink! I just took one from the iced tea urn where his came from. It tasted fine to me, but I hate unsweetened iced tea, so I will admit that my investigation was cursory, at best!

    Really, though, how could someone’s iced tea taste like fish? (And, no…. There was no fish on the table… That was the first thing I looked for, LOL!) it was a very strange complaint. Very strange!


  6. rossmurray1 says:

    Wait a sec. Did you taste his allegedly fishy iced tea? If not, you can’t conclusively determine that it was entirely fishless. If you did taste his iced tea, then EWWWW!


  7. javaj240 says:

    Live and learn. LOL!


  8. This weekend my husband and I ate at Red Lobster (my husband had a need for endless shrimp). Anyway, they seated us in the bar area because the restaurant was full. I had a guy’s butt in my face the whole time as he was resting on our booth drinking a beer. Also, my food tasted terrible (it was too fishy…like in the taste!!!), the waitress never came to bring us drink refills and we waited an eternity for our bill. However, I thought of you and didn’t say a word. I didn’t want to be written about in someone’s blog!!! LOL!!!


    • javaj240 says:

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with complaining about bad food or poor service. Certainly you could have asked the guy to get his butt out of your face, LOL. If it was busy, that’s probably why she took so long bringing the check. I know folks who work at Red Lobster. Endless Shrimp is a ton of work. A ton.

      But, certainly, it’s fine to complain or to send your food back if you are unhappy. I just write about the loonies. Folks with legitimate problems do not fall into that category.


      • motherhoodisanart says:

        Good to know!! I did ask the guy to move but unfortunately the place was so packed so he could only sidle over a little and I still had half a cheek in my face. I don’t care how much my husband begs and whines for endless shrimp again…I’m not doing it!!! LOL!


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