Many years ago, while in the restaurant business, we had a very faithful customer by the name of George. George would come in to eat every day. Sometimes two or three times in one day. He called my old boss, Jack, over to him one day. He told Jack he was getting married Saturday and could he have his wedding reception there at the Weiner King. Now, George wasn't playing with a full set of teeth, if you know what I mean. Of course, Jack said. We'll even throw in ice cream cones for dessert or get you a cake. Sure enough, right on schedule, George and his whole entourage showed up. Big hot dog party. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries. Milkshakes and Cokes. The orders kept flying. Plus we had to wait on the other customers, but we had reserved a special section for George and his new bride. After all was said and done, his whole bill came to about $13.00. Back then, if my memory serves me, a hot dog was around 35 cents, maybe 50 cents for a quarter pound burger. Yup, ole George did all right for himself. Everyone had a good time. I think they were going to honeymoon at the old Ringoes Drive-In. George was back that Monday for lunch.
Years later, George approached Jack one more time. This time, he asked him if he could borrow $50. Of course, Jack said. George told him he'd gotten into some kind of a financial mess. Don't worry about it, George, I know you're good for it. Well, George never came back in again. Never saw him around town like we used to, you know, "Hello, George!"
One day, Jack was in downtown Flemington, on Main Street, and sure enough, there was George. Jack asked, "Hey George, where have you been?" George tried to hide his face, like an ostrich sticking its head in the ground. "Listen, forget about the $50 you owe me. You were such a good customer over the years, we just want you to come back. Don't worry about it." George told him, OK, sorry about that. I'll start coming back.
We never saw George again.
Years later, when I owned my own Wiener King, I had a regular customer similar to George. One day he asked if he could borrow $50. I thought about George. I'm not going to let this happen to me. I thought more about it and said, "Of course you can." I never saw him again. You think I would have learned my lesson.