Gepost door: Frank de Zanger | september 30, 2012

Humour at JFK Airport

 Romans/eBoeken/Luisterboeken van Frank de Zanger zijn te verkrijgen/bestellen bij de boekhandel en bij webwinkels. Meer informatie bij Uitgeverij Tournesol: www.tournesol.nl

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Humour at JFK Airport, New York, if you like it

I don’t think that humour was invented in the USA. However, sometimes there is a spark, for example at JFK Airport in New York.

Being there this spring on my way back to Europe, I wanted to eat and drink something. I made a mistake not going to a restaurant in the public area, but in the area limited to travellers who have passed immigration. There was no choice anymore; there was just one restaurant with a funny name that I forgot. But it was a bizarre type of restaurant; a restaurant that I never experienced before, and really I am a world traveller.

What do you think, when you read the list of drinks and there are no prices on the list? One might think that I entered a luxurious restaurant, where the prices for invited guests are hidden. But no, it was not a luxurious restaurant. It was just a noisy burger like thing. I wanted a glass of wine and having some experience with wine prices in New York, I wanted to know the price. So, I called a waitress and asked for a list with prices on it.

‘There is no list with prices.’

‘No list with prices?’

‘No.’

‘So, how do I know the prices?’

‘Well …’

‘Why don’t you have a list with prices?’

‘That’s a management decision.’

Laughter. ‘Clever management you have. A surprise package for tired travellers? ’

‘If you say so.’

‘You don’t want to tell me what the price is of a glass of wine?’

‘Well, I can tell you.’

‘Ah, you can tell me, but they don’t want to write it down.’

‘Management decision.’

‘What is the price of a glass of this wine?’ I pointed at the list without prices.

‘Like 11 dollar.’

‘What do you mean with like?’

‘Well, as I said, it is like 11 dollar.’

‘You cannot be more precise?’

‘Management decision.’

‘Is the price to day different from the price yesterday?’

‘Well, are you going to order?’

I ordered a glass of wine with a price that was hopefully like 11 dollar. On the bill, later, it was correct; indeed like $ 11.20. I wondered what could be the benefit of such a system. Would a waiter just look at a person at the table and think, well, this person could pay a price of like so many dollars? And another person something like that, but OK less something. I looked around and found a middle aged couple next to me. The man did not look happy above his pint of beer. I asked him whether they had the same experience. Oh yea, he ordered a beer, he said, and the price appeared to be like nine dollar. ‘Crazy, don’t try this in Ireland.’

A new experience, mysterious management; smart? I doubt it. Oh yes, I’ll recall this restaurant for ever. Was that the purpose? Sometimes humour lies on the table, whether you like it or not.

© Frank de Zanger

30-9-2012

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