My first job was as a server at Boston Market. One of my favorite regular customers was a man I thought of as Meatloaf Man. Really, this was not the most inventive name I could have come up with for him, but it suited him.

You see, once a week he came in for lunch and ordered a meatloaf meal with two sides: rice pilaf and creamed spinach. He also looked like the sort of guy who would order meatloaf. He was about 6’3″ and weighed at least 250 lbs. He had a ruddy complexion and thin, almost-black hair and big eyebrows. He would often wear a plaid flannel shirt under dirty overalls. This man was meatloafy through and through.

Then one day Boston Market stopped serving rice pilaf. Meatloaf Man came in and ordered his regular: meatloaf with rice pilaf and creamed spinach. I informed him, regretfully, that we didn’t serve rice pilaf anymore. He looked heartbroken. He took a step back, looked at the menu, and stewed a while. I think I asked if he would like mashed potatoes with brown gravy instead, and he said no.

Finally he decided on a sides meal: chicken salad and two other sides. No meatloaf.

He didn’t come in as often after that.

I thought of Meatloaf Man today when, for the fifteenth time in the last eight months or so, Jon Boy and I got a Five Buck pizza: medium, half with pepperoni, ham, and sausage, and half with ham and pineapple. It’s our regular. And I wondered whether the Five Buck Pizza employees have a nickname for us.

I can’t think of anything quite as catchy as Meatloaf Man, but then, I’ve already proven myself to be less than inventive.


    I’m guessing they still don’t really recognize us, because they GOT IT WRONG.

    When I used to work at Tomissito’s I had nicknames for all of the regular customers too. They weren’t creative or memorable, though, because I really don’t remember any of them.

    Did you work at the Tomassitos in the Cannon Center? If so, I hereby use this comment to mock you.

    When I was at McDonald’s, there was a little old man, thin and frail-looking, with white hair and an old brown coat, who used to come in and order a cheeseburger. Only one cheeseburger, always to go, always no bag. And he always paid with exact change.

    I loved the cheeseburger man, and I was sad every time prices went up. I would never tell him the new price, but other people must have, because eventually he’d come and pay the raised price in exact change.

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