Hibachi Chef

The drunken-master Hibachi chef told us in his mix-match clichéd talk that he was a military man who claimed Florida as his home. He specifically said, “Well, you’ve got to claim someplace.”

This went through my head: by his claiming Florida, it meant he was unhappy in Washington. I say this because, unlike him, I would never claim any place other than Washington as my home.

At the Hibachi restaurant, we experienced a minimum wage working American playing the part of the fool. He degraded himself for tips. He was at least fifty years old and could have been a legitimate chef once with clients who adore his genius of combining plum sauce and fresh scallops. Now, he pretends to pour cheap plastic-bottled vodka onto the food he’s grilling for you. He holds the so-called vodka, which is really water, and shakes it at you, telling you how it makes you feel better at around 10 p.m. (I think that part might not have been a joke. He looked like he spoke from experience.) We giggled at his mania and decided his comedy, not cooking, warranted a big tip. It was like he performed without taking his clothes off. His comedy sucked, but his desperation showed.

Dear Drunken-Master Hibachi Chef,

I think there was truth in your statement, it saddened me. Florida was your only home and now you work in demeaning ways for everyday survival. Who were you in Florida?


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