The lone diner.
Perhaps it’s the middle-aged lady you spot in the Mongolian BBQ joint on a Friday night. At first glance, she appears to be confidently sipping her zinfandel and truly enjoying her evening…alone. But as the throngs of cheerful, chatty people line up next to her—excited about their night out with friends—her facade shows some structural damage due to…loneliness. She has nothing to focus on, no conversation in which to engage, yet she valiantly remains composed—mercifully saving her inevitable tear-filled breakdown for her drive home to her pathetic apartment or her cold home, where her husband hates her and her kids disrespect her (or maybe it’s the other way around). You half-expect her to stand up and scream, “I am not lonely. I love this! This is my ‘ME’ time!” because you just know that’s the mantra on repeat in her head.
Or maybe it’s the guy in his early-30s, who’s taking a break from the couples-infested farmer’s market to grab lunch at the nearby Ethiopian restaurant. He finds himself alone in a sea of tables bursting with chatter and laughter—the kind of activity utensil-free meals tend to generate. He has no one to laugh with him when a clump of his beef order tumbles out of his injera and rolls down the length of his shirt. Defeated, he looks down at the mess as if to say, “Of course this would happen, my life is utter bullshit!”
But it’s usually the older gentleman, at every goddamned restaurant ever established. Ever. There he is, staring into nothingness. He shovels bite after sad bite into that drooping mouth-hole part of his weathered visage. Perhaps you overhear him strike up a conversation with a waiter or a nearby patron and it causes you to physically and mentally wince (forever. You’ll never be the same). You assume his wife is dead, his friends are all invalids and his children only visit when he has a health scare. You are consumed by his apparent heartache and have thus lost your appetite.
You make a mental note: never dine alone. But if solo dining is ever a must, at least remember to bring a damn book.
Fortunately, Chipotle recognizes that we face a troubling lone diner crisis here in America and they have created a wonderful solution: busy work!
That’s right, in an effort to keep those pesky lone diners focused on something that isn’t staring into oblivion and bumming out everyone in their vicinity, the blessed burrito chain will now print short pieces of literature on all of their cups and bags. Hallelujah! Let’s hope that this is just the first step in a full-scale plan to assign duties to restaurant patrons of the singular variety, as a means to prevent pitiful-to-witness dining experiences.
So in honor of revolutionizing this upsetting byproduct of our society, each of this week’s tweet selections are named after other tasks lone diners could perform in Chipotle and beyond. You know, in order to to keep themselves off the radar of people who just want their hijacked appetites restored. Please follow each of these amusing tweeters and check back each week for a new installment of funny tweets.
1. Entertain crying babies:
I did a 20-minute victory dance when the voicemail I got was just a hang-up, so, yes, I’d say I’m an introvert.
— Exploding Unicorn (@XplodingUnicorn) May 14, 2014
2. Report the people who fill their Chipotle “water” cups with soda, because they are lying liars who ruin everything good in life:
No I will not walk a mile in your shoes They are hideous
— sara (@SomthinBoutSara) May 18, 2014
3. Sweep under tables and chairs. Hey, this could give the lone diners an opportunity to practice chatting with a stranger:
How much for the antidepressants? Ma'am those are puppies.
— Swishergirl (@Swishergirl24) May 16, 2014
4. Refill the fucking tea dispensers in Chipotle—seriously, someone needs to stay on top of this pressing issue and lone diners are perfect for the job:
While you're sleeping, I'm wondering what happened to Carol and Mike Brady's first marriages.
— Kelley (@KelleysBreakRm) May 13, 2014
5. Escort anyone who blows their nose at the table directly into the nearest garbage bin:
It's more like a dreadmill for me.
— Trey (@treydayway) May 14, 2014
6. Carry a roll of duct tape around their wrists and place a thick strip over the mouths of loud-talkers:
I'm at Whole Foods, fighting the urge to loudly declare "mmmm, I love gluten!"
— Willowbottom (@Willowbottom) May 16, 2014
7. Usher out any patron who uses speakerphone in the establishment:
I am woman, hear me Blah, Blah, Blah.
— Pandoras Shadow (@Pandoras_Shadow) May 14, 2013
8. Mop. This one was added to the list by an employee who really hates mopping:
Ya know how moms can get super-human strength & lift a car off their toddler? Swear that just happened to me opening a jar of salsa.
— Randi Lawson (@RandiLawson) May 15, 2014
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