The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.

FEBRUARY 17, 2012 8:57AM

Across US Sullen Teens Dump Family for Olive Garden

Rate: 9 Flag

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.  It's Thursday night at the Olive Garden restaurant here, and as the line snakes up to the hostess station, Emily Nilson is offering some helpful but pointed criticism of her daughter, Alicia.  "You need to pluck your eyebrows," she says.  "That zit on your forehead just won't go away, will it, sweetie?" she adds as she brushes her daughter's bangs downward.

"Mother--please!" Alicia seethes through clenched teeth, then folds her arms across her chest to express in body language that she doesn't want to talk about beauty right now.

The Nilson's table is ready, and after they are seated, veteran bread-and-water man Tony DiFillipo appears to fill the glasses and drop off some rolls.  "Hey, Princess," he says to Alicia.  "How's my little beauty queen?"

"Your momma--she's got a poker up her butt.  Stay with us!"

"Hi, Tony," Alicia says as she smiles for the first time tonight.  "I'm okay--except for le genitori"--her parents.

"Eesa no gooda to notta respecta your momma and-a poppa," Tony says in the bogus Italian stage accent that Olive Garden employees are required to use during working hours.  "Onna the other handa, soma-times these things don'ta work out," he says with an arched eyebrow, a veiled threat to Alicia's parents.

Alicia is part of a growing phenomenon across America; sullen teenagers of the "baby boom echo" generation who have sought sanctuary among waitstaff and kitchen help at Olive Garden, the Italian restaurant chain whose slogan--"When you're here, you're family"--appeals to youths whose high-pressure upbringing results in frequent disputes and intra-family sniping.

Alicia disappeared for a week last November before the Nilsons obtained a court order forcing her to return to the family home.  "It was terrible," says her father, Lloyd, an executive at an insurance company.  "All that pasta--she gained ten pounds."

Runaway teenagers get together in comfortable group home-like Italian setting.

Three tables over, seventeen-year-old Charles Barker, whose parents are hoping he'll get into one of two Ivy League colleges at the top of his list, buries his head in his entree when his father peppers him with questions about his essays.  "Dad, I don't want to talk about it all the time!" he snaps as Maria della Famina appears at their table.  "Wassa matter?" she asks in a display of warmth that the chain's "hospitaliano" policy requires staff to display, if not feel.

"He won't shut up about my Harvard and Penn applications," Charles says, a bit mollified by the waitress's friendly tone.

"You no need to go to college!" she says, gesturing broadly with her hands.  "My brother Gaetano, he no go to college--he's inna crushed stone business.  My father, Giuseppe--he no go to college.  He make-a good-a living in hees-a shoe repair business.  Fugeddabouta da college--do whatta makes-a you happy!"

A look of enlightenment comes over the young man's face.  "You're right," he says, half to himself, looking off into the distance.  "I'd like to take a year off, learn how to make stained-glass windows."

His father, sensing trouble, looks desperately around for the owner, then spotting him at the cash register, yells "Check please!"

Author tags:

humor, spoof, comedy, satire

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
"You need to pluck your eyebrows"
I say that to Steve every darn day as I hated Rooney;s eyebrows hahah
I am afraid to be in a place where people say they're going to the really great place in town and it's Olive Garden. r.
are you allowed to smack
Linda--the cure for old man eyebrows is, I kid you not, zinc. Other beneficial side-effect--increases male potency.
I never cease to be amused at your fine writing and wit. Always a pleasure to read. Especially inna da Oliva gardena or was that Inna-godda-da-vida? I get them so confused.

Thanks for the Friday funnies.
But, but, but...they have unlimited salad and breadsticks!!!! Whattsa notta to like?!
I never thought of that--I've still got a daughter at home. Maybe she could go live at the O.G. for a while, and stomp around and have snits over there...
We tried that at Chuck E Cheese. Apparently it violates some kind of company policy.
Very, very fun. Made my day a little better.
Oh, and around these parts Olive Garden is a special treat, indeed, and the kids go there for their prom dinners.....
I'd actually like to go but whenever I suggest it to my wife, she makes the same face she did on our first date when I pulled out the $1 off lower-priced entree coupon.
Oh, this is great. I could picture it unfolding.

True confession, my sister works for the company that own Olive Garden and Red Lobster (Darden Inc). She always gives me gift cards and I re-gift. The last one went to the winner of our Ugly Christmas Sweater contest at work.
I'll trade you a fruitcake for an Olive Garden gift card.
It's like all our family . . .
All families are screwed up.
I love people who talk wassail.

Con C. If you need Presbyterian,
Baptist, and great cook visit here?

There is a diner in a nearby town.
Hancock, MD is a poor river town.
Waitresses are like that. Date two?

The great eatery is called`Park & Dine.
Locals have nicknamed it `Pew & Barf.
Grub is just like Pentecostal do cook.
I've also heard of Chew & Screw.