I was reading a blog by someone who works in the restaurant business. Since I paid my way through college by waitressing in our local ice cream and burger place, I am always interested in peoples’ take on waitressing and dealing with weird (or cranky, or fussy, or downright rude) customers. There was one post from a waiter who worked in a indoor/outdoor restaurant. The most popular seating was around a huge pool outside of the restaurant, and people always wanted to eat there.
The waiter who wrote about this said that most of the waiters really did not like bringing food out to the pool. Not only was it a pain to run food all the way outdoors, but during their busy season it was an absolute nightmare as the pool was way away from the indoor pick up area. Waiters called it the “pool shift,” and absolutely hated it.
When something went wrong or an order was misplaced or lost in the shuffle, and the waiters would have to run in and out to make things right, they would say, “well, ain’t that some pool shift!”
That phrase tickled me, so I now use it for many purposes. When the Crankee Yankee and I are getting dinner or lunch ready and something goes all flooby, one or both of us will say, “well, ain’t THAT some pool shift!” And we laugh our heads off. Funny how a phrase or word can not only stick with you, but also become a house-hold saying.
Sometimes phrases like this evolve in funny ways. When my mother was collecting stories and sayings from her relatives for her book, “Christian Feero, Loyalist of New Brunswick,” her favorite was this gem: one of her relatives told her about a saying that her grandparents said. It started one night when they were in bed sound asleep.
Above their heads was a pine board with some cherished china plates only used for company. They were sleeping peacefully when all of a sudden there was a loud crash and some of the china fell on them. Their cat had jumped up there and knocked everything over. The woman sat straight up in bed and yelled to her husband, “good God, Amos—get up! The cat’s broke all the dishes!” That phrase became a standard that everyone in the family used, especially when something fell or broke.
So these days when something goes wrong or smashes on the floor, the Crankee Yankee and I look at each other and say, “well, ain’t THAT some pool shift?” Makes us laugh every time!