You’ll have fettucine

I went with some friends tonight to a newish restaurant in town. Great-sounding menu, decent enough food but nothing to drool over. Pricey. I’d go back for drinks and desserts, but probably not for dinner.

Great bathroom with a nifty sink, a few feet wide and sloped toward the middle, with faucet handles shaped like antler ends. But perched on top was a lone pump bottle of cheap hand soap. In such an expensively designed bathroom, they can’t spend $10 on an attractive soap dispenser and budget for a nice-smelling soap?

What really made me want to write about this place was the waiter. He did this amusing thing where he only described food in the second person future tense. For example, in reciting the specials:

“You’ll have fettucine, you’ll have a chili cream sauce, you’ll have shrimp and asparagus on that.”

Maybe it’s a technique to get people to imagine the plate steaming, fragrant, in front of them, to envision themselves savoring the food even before it’s ordered. Maybe it’s an even simpler tactic of using the language of commands with a casual tone of voice. I just had to suppress the urge to giggle.

He also did the trained-salesman thing where he nodded while making suggestions, hoping you’ll subconsciously nod back and, therefore, agree (to spend more money).

People have written volumes about the power of suggestion and how consistently people unconsciously mirror each other’s gestures. It was amusing to see it in action tonight.

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