It was opening night at the Call of the Wild Café. It was more of a traditional sit-down restaurant, than a café, but the owners hoped no one would really notice.
The staff had worked tirelessly to prepare the inside for the public. Everything was cleaned – twice. “Clean it ’til you can lick it” was their motto.
The tables were set. The banner out front read, “We know you’re hungry”. All that was left to do was take down the caution tape around the front carpet – no one had been allowed to step on it. The customers would be the first.
And even though the staff had their doubts about a restaurant completely devoted to serving animals, they were willing to give it a shot.
That’s right, all the diners would be animals. What could go wrong?
A band of horses were the first to arrive, of course. All four of them. They were cover band named, The Four Horseman. They wiped their shoes on the front carpet, removed their fedoras, and requested a booth by the window.
How would four horses fit in a booth? No one knew. But, somehow, they managed and all sixteen legs found their place.
A couple of hawks were next to arrive. They requested a table on the balcony, so they could eavesdrop on passersby and take photos for their Instagram feed. It was one of those that was classified as “Just For Fun” but the hawks took it seriously. They don’t laugh.
Meanwhile, at the front desk, the phone was ringing off the hook. The staff member responsible for answering the phone was in the bathroom.
Petey The Parrot – the Café’s mascot – would call out “Nature’s Calling! Nature’s Calling! Nature’s Calling!” every time the phone rang.
The repetitive nature (pun intended) of Petey’s call would cause the staff member to run to the bathroom more frequently than usual.
Petey sometimes answered the phone and greeted customers with a friendly, “PTP, yeah you know me.” He was a real hoot.
Next to arrive for dinner would be a contingent of fish. Their entrance was through the toilet in the bathroom. They feared they’d be waiting twenty minutes before someone would come raise the seat and take them to their seat.
On this occasion, a staff member entered the stall and proceeded to use the toilet for it’s number one purpose. Such an act was a spit in the face to the fish contingent. Before they could be showered with more insults, they swam away and threatened to give a poor review on Yelp.
And give a poor review they did! It went something like this:
“I was out for a night on the town with nine of my closest friends. We were really looking forward to a nice dinner at a new restaurant we had heard a lot about. I even created a Facebook event for this outing and three people said they were going, five were a maybe, and one still hasn’t checked Facebook, but yet we’re all here. When we arrived in the front foyer, we were met with clean walls and waited on someone to raise the roof. Surely, seeing as how it was opening night, we wouldn’t have to wait long to be scooped up and whisked away to our “Table a la Tank”. Well, we waited forever. But you know what, it was fine. Like I said, I had made a Facebook event and really put a lot of planning into this, and would give some leeway for slow service. A staff member finally arrived and put a lid on our evening, so to speak. You ruined our special evening. I am not a happy bass and I suggest you wipe some class all over your employee’s you know where!”
Can’t please them all, right? At least the horses in the booth were happy.
Next to arrive was a party of 40 dogs. They were there for Valentina’s quinceanera. She was a chihuahua, who left school early that day to get her hair and makeup done. All afternoon, she avoided puddles as to not ruin her look. The whole kit and ca-poodle commended her for staying dry.
The staff didn’t want to bark up the wrong tree with this group, so they seated all of them in an open area, away from trees.
Meanwhile, the hawks on the balcony were getting restless. They could smell dinner, but they couldn’t see it. That bothered them.
And then the restaurant went silent. The goat had walked in – the greatest of all time. There had been murmurs about a celebrity coming to opening night. The internet was a twitter about it all week, but no one thought it would happen.
It was none other than Big Bird, right there in the
flesh feathers! Big Bird came alone because ducks fly together while birds just “grab an Uber”. The celebrity wing of the restaurant had its first occupant.
The balance of the evening was about as chaotic as you’d expect for a restaurant full of animals. It was full of thrills and spills, complete with karaoke, lead by Petey The Parrot who did an eye-watering rendition of “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton.
It turns out Petey has a lot of emotional baggage he’s been trying to unload, but being restricted to one catchphrase at a time limits his ability to open up.
As the animals walked by Petey on their way out, they asked him if he was going to be okay. He made sure to tell all of them, multiple times, that he was coming out of his cage and doing just fine.
He also reminded them to call ahead to book reservations since he would be taking over reception duties. The staff member who took off to the washroom, instead of answering the phone, had been fired. Something about a poor Yelp review.
Petey had already put a poster up on the front window that read: “The best ability is availability. Call ahead. Call ahead. Call ahead.”
Thus concluded night one at the Call of the Wild Café.
It was wild.
If you couldn’t tell, this was a piece of fiction. Let me know what you thought. Thanks.