Hackles up; head down.

Dear Feastlings,
I’m writing this to you from the past- yesterday at about 6 pm, the plumber, whose wisp of a moustache indicated that he couldn’t have possibly had time to attend trade school of any sort since he arrived at puberty, informed me that after nearly three hours of “doing everything (he) was trained to do” was all out of solutions and was unable to predict what day someone could come out with a camera and look at the three toilets at Feast, none of would flush at the time. What DAY.
So here we are, having had a day that as of 6 pm had fallen about $4,700 short of our breakeven point, ten months into the pandemic, all of us thinking about whatever it is we need to think about in order to keep from bursting, and a plumber who appears to be about 14 years of age is telling me not only that he wasn’t able to fix it after investing every available hour that isn’t billed at time-and-a-half, but that the company for which he works won’t even be bothered to tell him when they’ll be out to survey his ineptitude, let alone tell me. So we’ll see how this has shaken out by the time this email goes out, but I’m focusing now on remaining positive by reminding you that we’re
a) sending out deliveries to people in the north and northwest suburbs tomorrow, and you’ll need to order by the end of the day today in order to receive your order. Here are the details:

North by northwest

b) there’ll be a wine tasting tomorrow, for which you can still order samples;

It’s summer somewhere

c) we’ll be delivering to parts south, like Academy Village, Vail, Sahuarita and Green Valley on Sunday, for which you’ll need to order by tomorrow;

Down south

and d) we’re still hoping that enough people contribute to our donation run to St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s hospitals next Tuesday and Wednesday that we can, in turn, donate another 40-plus meals ourselves:

Recognition where it’s due.

I hope very much to footnote this email in the morning to say that everything has come up roses and daffodils, but so far, I’ve only been interrupted to have it suggested to me that it’s possibly the grease trap, though when I noted to him that were it the grease trap, our various other drains would be backing up rather than strictly the toilets not flushing, at which he thoughtfully scratched his head, and said, “oh, yeah.” This was followed by a suggestion that he remove all the toilets and send the snake down the barren holes in the floor- I showed him where the cleanouts were and suggested he try that first. I got another “oh, yeah.” These suggestions have been punctuated in between by a speakerphone conversation with whichever plumber with actual experience he’s gotten a hold of on the phone as he tromped back and forth through the kitchen.

If there’s no notation on this email past this point, it means I’ve committed a felonious assault on an incompetent but otherwise innocent junior plumber, and unless I’m allowed to email from jail, you won’t hear from me until I’ve made bail. Fingers crossed there’s another notation.

Your potential felon,


You’ll be pleased to know, or you may not feel strongly about knowing, that the young plumber was spared last night. After spending over four hours on the project, a more experienced plumber was called in. Our young plumber in the meanwhile had retired the snake in favor of a smaller one that would fit through the cleanout and set to work while he waited for the senior plumber to arrive. The grownup arrived, came through the back door and asked me if there was a plumber working somewhere in the restaurant. I raised an eyebrow and suggested that I might not use that term to describe the person at work, got a smirk from the new plumber, and he, switching back to appropriately sized snake, managed to clear the blockage in less than half an hour. Ah, youth. Here’s hoping you have patience with the youths in your life today- more than I had last night- and that there’s some experienced person who’ll step in, like my new friend Tom did last night, to save the day.


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