*Walk* around the Block

By Kaleb Alperin and Max Levine
Published: October 2010

On a cold afternoon in mid-October, we were dining at the infamous Johnny’s restaurant in Newton Centre.
Max had ordered his fifth water and at this point we noticed that the service was horrendously slow.
We observed our waitress was flirting with the busboy instead of serving us and finally decided to leave.
Upon our departure we stumbled across the idea of waiter racing and recreating our own race with the help of Max’s brother and his friends.
We gave him a call and told him to meet us at the Levine estate with five of his friends dressed in the fine linens that we call waiting uniforms.
Ten minutes later, a small crowd of surprisingly well-dressed 13 year-olds gathered outside the entrance to the residence.
We exclaimed that they had been assembled for the sport in which they would race around one standard Newton Highlands block carrying one glass of water on a tray.
The winner of the race would receive one dinner at Johnny’s – all expenses paid.
Glasses, trays, and water were fetched so that the race could begin. We set up a makeshift table outside of the house at which we would sit and wait for our water.
A boy named Max Cooper was first up. The order was placed, and after his first two steps, tripped over a tree root and was immediately disqualified (we have no sympathy for those who have an underdeveloped cerebellum and basal ganglia).
The next contestant, Mini Snax successfully completed the lap around the block; however, upon further review, the tap water had mysteriously become carbonated.
After deliberation, we decided that it was:
a. illegal,
b. disgusting,
c. worth of disqualification, and
d. grounds for immediate dismissal.
So far, our contestants were falling well short of our expectations and the remaining three needed to pick up the slack.
The next two contestants completed the task at hand in a whopping 3:15 and 3:43, respectively.
We were finally at our last contestant. The order for a glass of pure Newton Highlands tap water was placed and his lap was completed in 3:20; however, upon review, it was determined that the water tasted especially yummy.
Therefore, we subtracted five seconds from his lap time.
For the sudden-death round that would decide the winner, the course was drastically changed so that the distance was increased.
Two glasses of hydrochloric acid were added to the tray, and the contestants had to retrieve one Five Dollar Foot Long for each of us.
Our foot-long orders were taken and the race to Subway began.
We did not follow the contestants. We did know that one completed the task in just under 20 minutes and the other had the acid spilled on his waiting hand, dropping the tray as a result (immediate disqualification).
Any old shmo can run around a standard Newton Highlands block or carry around a tray of water, but it takes an elitist to balance a tray with a glass of water.
That is why, once again, we needed the skills of the fit and naturally selected eighth graders.
Next time you are waiting for dinner at a restaurant and the service is subpar, consider the skill it takes to successfully and efficiently serve customers with a smile.

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