Sunday, November 16, 2008

"You may dispense with the pleasantries commander, I'm here to put you back on schedule..."--Darth Vader

"I find your lack of faith disturbing..."--Darth Vader

"'s treason then..."--Emperor Palpatine

Every once in a while a guest of the restaurant, a friend, or a co-worker is amazed by some little tidbit of inside information that I possess. In response to their surprise, I usually tell them, "I hear everything...I'm like J. Edgar Hoover without the dress or the long-time male companion".

Recently, at a birthday party attended by some current and many past employees of mine, my name apparently surfaced and a debate commenced. Now, I would like to tell you that this debate was a pro/con affair with at least half the attendees defending me and a small group of vile malcontents unfairly impugning my honor.

The debate, in reality, was about whether I was more like Darth Vader or more like Emperor Palpatine.


Now, I have watched all the Star Wars movies and enjoyed them--all of them. I watch movies as entertainment. Because of this fact I rarely watch anything weighty or anything supposedly "socially conscious". By the same token, if a movie, any movie, takes my mind off of the wood chipper that is my every-day life, then its a good movie, period. Don't comment about JarJar Binks or how horrible Episode 2 was, or how Jimmy Smits wasn't right for the part or any of that supercilious bullshit...they are six entertaining movies that made billions of dollars.

But, I digress. I have watched the movies, and I believe I have a decent understanding of the two specific characters to whom I was being compared. The part of me that relishes my notoriety in the local restaurant community thinks I win either way, but that the more accurate comparison would be to the emperor--after all, throughout my entire career I have left those around me wondering, "how did he know that", "how did he figure that out?", and "how is he ALWAYS one step ahead of us/me?" Plans within plans baby, that has been my stock in trade.

The other part of me though--the part of me that hates going to work and is sometimes nearly reduced to tears by the constant barrage of betrayals, both large and small, that I am faced with on a regular basis--that part of me was troubled enough by the debate to ruminate over it for quite a while.

Darth Vader? Really? A character whose enduring persona established in the first three movies is that of an absolutely relentless villain with nary a shred of good or compassion within him--an individual who is only granted the tiniest bit of humanity as he lay dying, and even that humanity framed by hideous physical deformity.?

Emperor Palpatine? The very embodiment of evil, a power-hungry schemer willing to stop at nothing short of total galactic domination--heartless, soulless malice personified?

So I was troubled, and in this current climate when there is so much troubling going on in general I had a hard time shaking the feeling. Then, one night after work I went for a drink or four. Slipping into a favorite bar of mine I approached the bar just as the bartender, a guy I know well, was turning away from his view of the door to ring a check. Not thinking much of it, I walked up to the bar and sat down right in front of the screen he was using with his back to me [a place many in-the-biz people will often sit because it makes it easier to talk to their working friends while they ring and close checks]. When he turned around from closing checks he let out a screech in the lightly populated bar and nearly fell over.

"What the fuck is wrong with--", I started to say before I realized what had happened. My friend had surveyed one entirely empty side of his bar and a closed front door before turning to do some paperwork. As he turned I opened the door quietly [I'm naturally stealthy], walked quickly to the bar [I'm naturally quick], and sat down right behind him. When he turned around, it looked as though I had appeared out of thin air.

Just as I started to laugh at his startled reaction, he said it--"What are you, some sort of a fucking Jedi Knight or something?? Jesus Christ you almost fucking scared me to death!"

And I thought to myself, "Yes. That's exactly what I am. I am a fucking Jedi Knight. Maybe I'm the last one, but that's exactly what I am."

I have attained my position through years of rigorous, exhaustive training. My mentors and teachers were stern, unforgiving, and demanding. I adhere to a code of ethics and conduct that most people consider outdated and anachronistic. I am treated with suspicion and concern by the guilty but sought out by the troubled. No one wants to see me when they are fucking around but everyone wants to see me when they are in trouble. I seemingly appear out of nowhere, and both my actions and judgements are swift.

As a teacher I am stern, unforgiving, and demanding. Many of those who attempt to learn from me do not succeed and are cast away. Those who understood the lessons I was teaching and applied themselves to the tests have gone forth to populate many of the best restaurants in this city, state, and beyond.

I am humble in regard to my successes and aggrieved at my failures--my labors are executed for the sake of themselves nearly as much if not more than for any personally profitable result.

I feel a great dark tide rising and can neither see its specific source nor propose any specific solution--I can only continue working to maintain the sanctity of own little domain.

There is a good chance that I may soon be the last of my kind, and that I will then move to the middle of a great desert to finish my days.

"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try..."--Master Yoda


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is somewhat impulsive of me as I rarely comment on any blog but Merry Christmas.

I very much enjoy your blog and general outlook on the world, politics, and people. From everything you have written you seem like a good guy and it's been enjoyable hearing what you've had to say.

So thanks, Merry Christmas, and I wish you all the best for 2009.

9:55 AM  

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