Model Behavior

In the mid-’80s, when I was living in Center City Philadelphia, I worked, after my “regular” job as the best legal secretary in the universe, as a busgirl at a very popular upscale (or “yupscale”) cafeteria-style restaurant called “The Commissary”. When I wasn’t busy dismantling the hilarious sculptures that the more adorable customers would construct out of plates, flatware, and empty sugar packets, I was in the back of the restaurant, hanging out by the bussing “station”, which was only several feet away from the small bar.
This vantage point not only afforded me a clear view of everyone’s entrance and exit (“Oh fuck, that pain in the ass who asks me to open her Saltine packets just came in” … “Oh good, those schmucks with the Sunday paper who think this place is the goddamned library are leaving”) but also allowed me to cackle (internally, of course) whenever some errant customer would come back to the bar and timidly ask for a drink. I can’t stand timidity. Especially when there’s no reason to be intimidated. “I’ll have a Diet Coke, please” isn’t public speaking.
One day this tall girl in a short skirt came in, probably in her early 20s, and headed toward the bar. Apparently she’d spent just a little too much time watching MTV’s “House of Style” or CNN’s “Style”, because she didn’t just walk back to the bar like a normal person. No, she slunk. Shoulders down and slightly slumped forward, but with an outrageous pelvic tilt that positioned the rest of her body, from hips up, at a 30-degree backward-leaning angle. I suppose that in her imagination, this ridiculous posture was just like that of the runway models.
Anyway, she slinked/slunked/slank to the bar, settled into a pose, and then opened her mouth to order.
“I’ll have a Doooy-it Co-o-o-o-ke … a gleeeee-iss of milk … and a cappuccino!”
Diet Coke and a glass of milk, ordered in an accent that was so undeniably, stereotypically Philadelphian that it was laughable. And then “cappuccino” pronounced in an Italian accent to rival that of Anna Magnani.
Apparently she’d watched just a little too much “Jeopardy” as well.