You may have seen the signs elsewhere, but I’m not concerned as much with the one on the right (ubiquitously posted in all places public) as with the one on the left. No Sharing, No Take-out, No Leftover.
I’m not even going to harp on correct grammar here. We all know or at least have noticed that a lot of people say slipper (instead of slippers), scissor (for scissors), stair (instead of stairs, or a flight of, if you want to be really correct), so we know that they mean leftovers when they say leftover. Sa Tagalog pa, “Walang Tira” ug sa Binisaya pa, “Walay Salin.”
I cannot for the life of me understand the No Sharing, No Take-out, No Leftover.
Let me describe the place, if that will help. It’s a small fast-food outlet in one of the malls close to where we live. They have the regular “pick out what you want and we’ll cook it in 5 minutes or less” sort of orders, and then they have a “salad bar” of sorts where you can assemble your bowl of rice, veggies, meat and noodles after paying the package meal price at the cash register. The No Sharing, No Take-out, No Leftover rule applies to the latter.
I was too befuddled with the logic of the rule that I did not dare ask any of the people behind the counter exactly what the No Sharing, No Take-out and No Leftover rule entailed.
The No Take-out rule hits me as strange. There are eating places that charge 5% or so extra for takeout, for the plasticware in which the food gets taken away. I don’t mind paying that, as the plasticware is reusable and actually handy at home. Besides, people who do takeout do not occupy precious seats that can be otherwise populated by more paying dine-in customers. So until someone can adequately explain to me why they don’t allow take-out, I’m always going to walk past that eating place with eyebrows knit.
No Leftover(s) is also strange. I usually don’t get anything from any salad (noodle) bar that I cannot finish on my own. And should there be any leftovers—maybe my tongue didn’t agree with their cook or I may have mistakenly put in too much soy sauce in it—what were they going to do to me when they find a spoonful or two left in my bowl? Hit me with a fine? Ban me from the premises? Hang a sign on my neck that says “Takaw mata” or “Asyang Aksaya” or some such epithet? Or does it mean I can’t ask for a doggy bag? I don’t ask for doggy bags mainly because we don’t have a dog. I tell servers with no embarrassment that I would like them to bag my leftovers so I can eat them in the comfort and privacy of my own kitchen, even while standing in front of the microwave after I’ve reheated them.
Most perplexing of these rules is the No Sharing. Does it mean that if two of us walk into their premises we will need to place two orders instead of just one? And if we did place two orders, does the No Sharing rule still apply? What was going to stop me from sharing the bowl of food—for which I had already paid for—with a companion? Were they going to zip to our table the minute they spy Sam picking off a chopstick full of bean sprouts from my bowl, saying “Ops! Sir, bawal po yan!” I’d like to see them try saying that to Sam. He he he.
I dunno, maybe I should have asked the people behind the counter exactly what the rules entailed. But chances are the counter crew didn’t draw up those rules. And ever since I had that run-in with the counter crew at Tokyo-Tokyo at the Metropoint I have steered clear of run-ins with counter crews, more for their well-being than mine.
But that’s another story.