Omnivore - 'You got served': Petty peeves

I have never received so much e-mail in response to anything I have written as I have over the past couple of weeks. Both the "Turn the tables" story on customer wrongdoing and "You got served," the story about restaurant wrongdoing, generated a ton of reader feedback, both as comments on the website and as e-mails I received. Some highlights:

Harry wrote to me about his pet peeve concerning verb tenses:

I wanted to add one restaurant fault of a humorous nature — the service staff's massacre of verb tenses. Much like the old joke about the tourist in Boston who hopped in a cab and said "take me somewhere to get scrod", at which point the cabbie turned around and responded "mister, over the last twenty years I have been given that same request hundreds of different ways, but never in the future pluperfect" it seems that the special of the evening in most restaurants "will be" some gastronomic delight, at which point I am tempted to ask if it "will be in time for me to order it tonight".

He brings up an issue I purposely left out, because it varies from person to person — the tiny habits of waiters that drive diners crazy. My personal list is woefully long:

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