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12/03/2007

SANCTITY: Edition #3

by Jeremy Hooper

And now for our third installment of :

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Today we recognize the unsung hero who triumphs over adversity in order to keep the cocktail hour moving at a peaceful flow. The one who, in the name of good times, resists the urge to cry or rage when they are routinely passed over for the more popular options at hand. The person who may be offering up less-than-stellar wares, but who make up for the nasty noshes with a warm smile and a sparkling personality. We are of course talking about:

The cater waiters ...

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...with the subpar hors d'oeuvre trays

You know the ones. While the scallops wrapped in bacon, sushi, chicken skewers, and ever-popular drink trays are successfully making their rounds during the early hours of the wedding reception, there is always at least one platter of provisions that is almost unanimously recognized as a culinary misstep. Sure, your Uncle Sal might accept the wares off this tray when they are offered up; but then again, you once saw him eat a piece of bread that had been stuck in his beard for an indeterminate length of time. The rest of the attendees wisely steer clear of the cold, congealed mess of an appetizer.

But behind that platter is a human being. Someone who would love to have the more crowd pleasing dish, yet who was hungover and arrived to work late, and thus ended up with the bunk-ass edibles. They didn't choose their grub. It was a predestined decision that they can blame only on their affection for Jack Daniels. But here they find themselves, forced to suffer the indignity of snooty rich people literally spitting artichoke bits in their general direction.

Yet despite the unfortunate fate, these brave souls rise to the occasion. They keep their attitude spirited, partly because they need this job and partly because they are still a little drunk. When Aunt Sarah bitches and moans about the free food that she finds displeasing to her taste buds, their inner monologue might be filled with expletives and ideas of where Sarah can stuff the canapé. However, their external manifestation is a mere, "Oh, I'm sorry ma'am; might I suggest one of our other options?" And when they find themselves with fewer admirers than a USO show starring Osama Bin Laden, they don't throw their tray up in frustration and question the nature of human decency. They remind themselves that when their ancestors arrived at Ellis Island, not a single one of their peers wanted anything to do with the nasty-ass bread that they'd been sitting on for days on end. And they decide that they too can muddle through the great hardship that they've been dealt.

So we salute these spurned yet lovable souls and the multitude of services they provide. For instance, they help to ease traffic at the sushi bar by making people think they have something good on their platters. Free time on their hands, they also are the go-to people for questions like "Where is the crapper?" or "Do you think the bride's breasts are real?" And their less-busy state also makes them more available to take empty drink glasses and used toothpicks off your hands. That's much more than we can say for Mr. "Oh My Tray's So Popular That I Have No Time For Witty Repartee," who almost knocks us down during his many trips to restock his serving dish. While he's just a middle-man between food and mouth, his less-popular cousins have heart. We like heart.

The cater waiters with the subpar hors d'oeuvre trays: The third inductee into the SANCTITY Hall of fame. Look for future honorees wherever sarcastic takes on the idea that marriages are sacred hetero-only institutions are sold (i.e. right here at Good As You).

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