My mom firmly believes that all servers, when angered, piss in your food.
This came to light one evening, after my mother, after having sworn off alcohol for almost 10 years, decided to have a couple large glasses of wine at dinner.
We were at a cute little Italian restaurant in Dallas, my mom, my dad, my husband and I, and when the server came to take my mom's leftovers in order to box them up, she all but wrestled the poor guy to the ground.
"THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK. YOU. Just bring the box and I'll do it myself."
"It's no problem, ma'am, I'll box it for you--"
"I'll do it MYSELF," stated my mom and clamped down on her plate of pasta primavera.
Seeing my mom's eyes glow with the vehemence of Zuul, the server backed away muttering something about getting a box. Poor guy, if only I could explain to him that it wasn't him, it's just that my mom has an extreme distrust of servers. Something about how in a Hong Kong kitchen she worked in, she saw cooks taking the best bits of leftovers for themselves, and putting fat and gristle in their customer's to-go boxes. I really don't know.
Anyway, as the server scurried away and my mom downed the last of her wine, she turned to my husband, who looked noticeably confused and said, "You know, they piss in your food."
This began a lengthy conversation, led by my tipsy mother, about how most servers are angry at their customers, and if they get the chance they will piss in your food. She imagines hordes of full-bladdered servers milling about the kitchen just WAITING for the chance to relieve themselves in your eggplant parmesan. Mind you, both my husband and I have worked in food service, and neither of us have pissed in anybody's food -- that we can recall.
"Literally, unzip and URINATE in your food, mom?" I asked, trying not to giggle.
"Yes. That's why I always box up my own food. If I'm going to eat filth, I'll eat my own filth, thank you very much." Which made me want to ask, "So you piss in your own food?" but I decided it was best not to push the matter.
I don't know if my mom's food paranoia comes from years of having to scramble for food in her youth, or because she has in fact WITNESSED such horrors, but if I had listened to her about eating food prepared by others, I would never have ventured outside of my own kitchen.
"Lisa's mother licks the knife when making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I've seen it. Don't eat anything in her house." How??? You hate Lisa's mom.
"Never eat chili in a restaurant that serves hamburgers. They just dump all the burgers into some ketchup at the end of the day and call it chili. They don't even cover it. I've seen it." Though I have to admit, I've heard this about a certain fast food chain. How my mom has seen it? No idea.
"Nobody wears gloves in kitchens these days. Everyone's licking their fingers and touching your food." Wait for it. "I've seen it."
As fearful as my mom is of food prepared outside of her own kitchen, sometimes I wonder if there isn't some truth to her paranoia.
Take for instance this story that has come to light recently:
...a California teen has taken bully prank-revenge to the next level. The high school sophomore girl brought in seemingly innocuous cupcakes she baked herself and passed them out to her bullies. But her peers soon realized something was up because the cupcakes were so disgusting, many of them just spat it out. When asked what she put in the baked goods, she told them she added nature's secret ingredients: semen, pubic hair, and other bodily fluids including fecal matter.
Even though this was proven to be a hoax, a small, cupcake-loving part of me died when I read that.
Semen cupcakes, y'all. Just the thought incites my gag reflex.
But when it comes to revenge, food is the perfect dish, no? We so trustingly shove treats into our gaping maw that it's no wonder food is an easy target for revenge.
Anybody who has worked in food service always has a story or two to tell about disgusting food revenge.
When I was a teenager working a tiny French cafe just outside of Dallas, not everything was quite up to code. When we ran out of wrapped straws, we had some extra, loose straws sitting in an open jar in a corner of the kitchen. I don't know how many times those straws had been spilled.
Anyway, one day, a particularly difficult customer was giving my manager and me some trouble during the lunch rush. Irritated with how many times he'd sent back his French toast, my manager lit up a cigarette in the kitchen, and selected a straw for his iced tea from the straw jar. "Go bring him his drink," she then instructed, which I did.
Moments later I heard the customer bellowing, and when I arrived at his table he all but threw the drink at me. After he stormed out, I inspected the drink, only to find that the straw my manager had "selected" for him had a tiny, fuzzy cocoon gestating in it. When I showed her, she puffed on her cigarette some more (yes, while frying some eggs) and said, "Don't use those straws, OK?"
And all it takes is a quick search around the Internet to find more stomach-churning food nightmares. Here are a few.
In 2012, a disgruntled domestic worker in Singapore was charged with "committing mischief" after putting some of her menstrual blood in her employer's coffee. She faced a fine and up to a year in prison -- and it was argued that she may not have been exacting revenge, but could instead have been attempting to put a folk magic "spell" on her employer "to seduce and enforce infidelity."
Earlier this year, a man in Virginia was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay $5,001 in damages because he attempted to spike a coworker's coffee with urine. James Carroll Butler scooped some urine out of a toilet (I assume it was his own urine, I hope?) and put the liquid in a in a co-worker's personal coffee pot. Upon attempting to make some coffee his coworker "was hit with a strong smell of urine, observing fluid already inside his coffee pot that he had not put in there." He did not drink the coffee. Did I mention these guys work at a water treatment plant?
Speaking of bodily fluids (again), what is with cupcakes that make people want to add semen? A 16-year-old student in St. Paul reportedly mixed semen into a cupcake he gave to one of his classmates. Then he threatened to burn down the principal's house. Like you do.
Of course there's always the good ol' "laxatives in the brownies" revenge strategy. This one is brought to you courtesy of "lapekes" on Reddit:
Yes - I had a roommate in college that used to eat my food so I made a batch of Brownies with laxatives in them and cut out a piece as if I had eat one and left them out over night. Next morning half of the pan was gone and he was in the bathroom for literally 18 hours.
One night I was waiting on [asshole smarmy businessmen] and they were especially annoying—condescending, not even looking at me when I asked them a question, etc. Oh—not only were they just jerks in the first place, they'd come in about a half hour before closing and only order like a basket of onion rings and a beer each. Anyway, they made me so mad that I went back to the kitchen and told the cook (now my fiancé) to do whatever he felt like to their food. So he opened the "grease trap", which was full of all kinds of unidentifiable floating things, dirty water, etc., and swished all the already-fried onion rings in it, then put them in a basket to serve. I took them out to the table with a smile and gleefully watched as the biggest moron of the bunch ate them with gusto.
Lastly, I leave you with this little story from our very own Claire Lower. It's gross and funny (this is why I love Claire), but also because, well, cowboys:
My dad said that cowboys used to crash his vet school parties, so they started serving wet cat and dog food with Ritz crackers and calling it "pate." The cowboys really liked it.
Do you know any gross food revenge stories? Have you taken part in any food revenge? Have you peed in someone's food? We won't tell.