random brain spurt

I've had too much caffeine (which for me, is not much - I don't consume it regularly so it's easy for me to get wired on the stuff) and so you get another post from me before I go try to fall asleep.

I wrote a rather enthusiastic but perhaps not entirely relevant review of Mystery Man's The Toy Maker. Hey, it was fun, but if you looked at the first link, I think you'll see the effects that caffeine have on my thoughts are rather similar to the effects on the spider's ability to spin a coherent web. Or at least, it feels that way at the moment.

Then I read this tidbit on Jane Espenson's blog:

I'm reminded of one of my first jobs. We were working together as a staff on a script. We had just put in a stage direction: Fran enters, walking on eggshells. After a moment's thought we changed it to something like Fran enters cautiously. The show had a very eager and very literal crew, and we feared that actual eggshells might appear on the set.

Which reminds me of something totally not related to screenwriting.
When I was a chef in Prague, one of the keys on the register was "misc food." When someone wanted extra dressing, or a side of bacon or whatever - the waitperson would ring it up as "misc food" with an appropriate price, and then was supposed to write on the ticket what the item was before giving the ticket to the kitchen. But, well, sometimes they would forget.

Cooks are troublemakers. Incompetent waitstaff are their favorite toys... and the tricks can be cruel, because incompetent waitstaff make our lives difficult and make us look bad. It's not uncommon for the cooks to stick a plate under the broiler and "forget" to warn the disliked waitperson. Which is not funny - it's downright dangerous. As a chef, I encouraged a little creativity among my staff in order to avoid the more extreme or nasty (such as spitting in the food, or dropping it on the floor) commonplaces. Misc food was our favorite.

One particularly vapid and annoying waitress (whom we had nicknamed the "Barbie Doll for her blonde hair and the cause of her glassy-eyed smile) was constantly making mistakes, who kept her job because she was a consummate brownnoser. Once she was so busy following the owner around, she had a table walk out on her. She never, ever wrote down what the misc food was supposed to be. So, we would set out a small side plate with her order - containing miscellaneous food. One olive, a crust of bread, and, usually - an eggshell.

She never did get that right. She ended up getting arrested when she ran out of happy pills and tried to slit her boyfriend's throat with a broken mirror. Yes, while she was on shift. Fortunately, it was in back of the kitchen rather than out on the floor. Barbiturate addiction is a terrible thing.

Oh, yes - my days as an expat are full of colorful characters and dramatic stories. It'll take a lifetime to weave them into my work... (so I don't need any more tragedies, OK universe? I'll be perfectly content to have happy stories from here on out.)