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Naturally, seismology provides the answer.
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Maybe I'm doing too much mescaline, but I had an idea that table service in restaurants is just so, well, mundane. I mean, sit in the booth or at the table, and stare at the condiment rack until it either talks to you or the surly waitress comes by to ask if "ya wann kaffee?"
I propose that where
you sit needs to show what kind of service you get. The table would be elastic or rubber and could be bent, tipped, turned into a floor-mounted cone, or even wrapped over your knees in those damn drafty door booths. Maybe a few buttons would keep the table connected to the seat for your date to protect her bony knees.
When the watiress arrives with that flat serving dish balanced over her beehive, it fits entirely into the table and gives it structure to eat from. The serving tray could have a stem or pedestal that could fit down the rubber table's center and hold it from the floor. The entire eating surface could be removed and washed instead of redundant wiping of the table AND plates.
A busboy's dream.
Also, the center of the flexible table could be shaped like a funnel, or into a floor drain so even after nasty Sunday-morning brunches with your barfing nephew, the mistake could be easily sanitized.
||//The entire eating surface could be removed and washed instead of redundant wiping of the table AND plates// That's what you get a (+) for; the rest of the story looks like it is based on mescaline.
||// where you sit needs to show what kind of service you get // How does this bit work?
I suppose I was thinking that before you get noticed by the wait-person, the table is the consistency of a wet noodle. This might even help getting into and out of booths by pushing the table out of the way. It could result in more than a few teenage games of "shove the booth" hence motivating the waitstaff to get the dang food on the table.
||The table remains soft and pliable and kind of shows a "food vs. no food" table. Where you sit might be interesting, since you picked up on my mis-typed rambling. If you were by the door, maybe the table is thicker, or warmer, and you get service faster because of the draft. maybe you even get different menus. Booths near doorways would have more bean-oriented foods and chili, whereas landlocked tables would have watercress and quiches.