Saturday, May 14, 2011

would you like some water with your lemon?

This is for Sara, who has obviously served an old lady or two - though the lemon with water phenomenon is not relegated only to the elderly.  Students and middle-aged women are pretty equal in their lemon consumption and perhaps even bolder when it comes to tea-bagging (please excuse the other connotation of this term) or make-shift lemonade creation.

Nothing in life is free - except lemons?

Perhaps the lemon request began in tropical sea ports where an abundance of this cheerful, tart, yellow fruit found itself a delicious addition to any beverage. 

As the America's populated, though there was scarcely enough food to provide for crew and passengers, surely the prevention of scurvy on the ocean crossings was important enough to warrant everyone being given enough lemons to avert such disease (as other unpreventable diseases ran rampant, they had to fight what they could).

So here we are in present day; evolutionary forces have created in us a need for free lemons, right?


Let me tell you how I really feel.

There are many things I could say about the cheapness of guests, indeed I have mentioned the basic concept of the cheap guest here.  But this post is about lemon consumption specifically.

I believe there should be a surcharge for lemons: to be applied when a guest is sharing his/her dinner with someone else at the table (or having an appetizer for a main course) and purchasing nothing else.  This is not unreasonable, as lemons - contrary to the average persons thinking - are NOT free! 

Even a small token would be an interesting experiment.  How outraged would these guests be if they were charged $0.05 or $0.25?  I would love for a restaurant to find out, any takers?

Beyond being cheap these lemon chasers are rude and irritating; Asking for lemons separately, as the server returns again and again with side plates of lemon wedges, they request sugar/sweetener (and more lemons) squeezing and stirring vigorously until they have achieved lemonade of a sort.  "Uh, that'll be $2.79 ma'am.  Lemonade is not free even if you make it yourself, in fact, that lemonade is 'freshly squeezed' so it's gonna run you closer to $5".

As for the experience regarding secret tea bags (Thank you Sara for bringing this to light!) I must admit I have never encountered such a thing!  Though I have to admit, I'm in no way surprised by the gall of people.


  1. Don't forget to mention how dirty those lemon slices are! The people that clear your dirty dishes and napkins and who touch money also stick their hands in the lemon bowl multiple times during a shift! They probably have as many germs as a toilet!

  2. Let us not forget the packages of crystal light pulled from the recesses of a garish and over sized purse and added to tap water by guests who usually arrive via large air conditioned bus with Michigan plates. In lieu of drinking the house-made unsweetened ice tea, the "dietary needs" of such guests require they consume this aspartame laden chemical powder, for health reasons.

  3. Madelyn's has (in the recent past if not still) had on their menu:
    Tea - $1.75
    Hot Water - free
    Hot Water with Lemon - $0.25
    Hot Water with Your Own Tea Bag -$1.75

    and I believe Down the Street has started charging a quarter for their lemons as well.

    I would also like to point out that water, although free flowing from the tap, is not free either. Anyone who has been plagued by a running toilet for a month can attest to this dramatic increase in the bill. Imagine giving 200 people 1-2 glasses of water a day.

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