Bob Evans

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The site of the tragedy.

Aunt Ginny’s lunch at Bob Evans on April 4th, 2003 is known for the worst service ever provided to a customer at an eating establishment. The unmarried, sixty-something woman’s Saturday afternoon this day was "the worst since the time her teeth fell behind the sofa"[1] and the restaurant was not visited by her again for several weeks following the incident. The service was very, very, very, very, very, very bad.

Waiting time

On the overcast spring day, for the first time ever, Aunt Ginny was required to wait to be seated at Bob Evans. It was an unreasonably long wait. Aunt Ginny counted fifteen minutes, which in layman's terms is about five. Looking back on the wait, Aunt Ginny has suggested the following ways she could have spent her "fifteen minutes" were she not forced to wait to be seated at Bob Evans that day:

  • Browsing grocery coupons
  • Organizing the sweets pantry
  • Watching Jay Leno’s monologue (were he on that time of day)
  • Scooping the cat’s litter
  • Writing a letter to the editor of TV Guide about sexual content on TV

The wait may have been understandable if Aunt Ginny had not spotted a recently used table that would have seated her and her bridge club companion (Marilyn Boyd, age 63) yet sat untended to for the duration of her wait. Eventually the table was not cleared and wiped until two minutes after Aunt Ginny was finally seated (in a section of the restaurant that was "so chilly she wanted to go back to her car to fetch her shawl"[2] but did not because the car was in the parking lot, and thus too far away).

The food

French fries. Much moister than those consumed by Aunt Ginny.

Aunt Ginny ordered the Homestyle Chicken Sandwich with fries that day, and the fries were not moist. Not only were they not moist, they were the least moist fries she had ever eaten in her entire life. Aunt Ginny had mentioned to the waitress not once, but twice, that she would like her fries moist; once when she placed the order and once when the waitress was bringing out the sodas for the table behind her but "she could tell the waitress was purposely ignoring her".[3] The result of Aunt Ginny’s request for moist fries was for naught, as the fries were truly by no stretch of the imagination, moist. Aunt Ginny managed to finish all of the fries, but doing so required copious amounts of ketchup and the experience was very unpleasant.

The chicken sandwich was adequate.

The waitress

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Bob Evans.

The waitress was a young woman, aged twenty at most, and referred to my Aunt Ginny and her companion as “yous guys”. Her nails were painted flamboyantly with glitter and polish and were "certainly not the nails of someone who’s there to work hard".[4]

When asked what the soup of the day was, the waitress was ill-prepared to answer, requiring a visit back to the kitchen, which took as least "ten minutes". It turned out that the soup of the day was clam chowder, something my Aunt Ginny would never have ordered anyway, "because sometimes you get some sand with the clams, and she hates that".[5]

When Aunt Ginny ordered her free senior citizen’s cup of coffee, she was requested to produce identification by the waitress despite the fact that all of the other waitresses knew her by name. The coffee came soon after ordering, but when the waitress set it down it made a clunking noise that startled both Aunt Ginny and her friend.

It was the worst waitress that my Aunt Ginny ever had.

The napkins

It is hard to get wrong something as simple as napkins. That day Bob Evans did.

The clincher for the whole experience that made it the worst restaurant service ever was the napkins. The napkins were not the type they usually had, and they were very grainy and coarse. My Aunt Ginny uses napkins to wipe her hands and mouth, "not to scrape her skin off to the bone, because that’s what it felt like".[6]

Furthermore, all of the other tables seemed to be supplied with the usual, much softer napkins. When Aunt Ginny asked for some napkins from a different table they were brought over, but it must have been a coincidence because they were coarse just like the ones at her table and not like the usual ones. The waitress had probably used slight of hand to make it look as if she was giving my Aunt Ginny the napkins from another table, when they were in fact the same napkins from her own.


The service my Aunt Ginny received that afternoon at Bob Evans was undoubtedly reprehensible and no dignified woman should have to endure what she did. However, I swear I will whack her in the fucking head with a baseball bat if she brings up those goddamn fries one more time.


  1. Szymanowski, Virginia. At Thanksgiving dinner table. November 25, 2004.
  2. Szymanowski, Virginia. At cousin Amy’s wedding reception. July 9, 2006.
  3. Szymanowski, Virginia. In Grandma’s hospital room. February 1, 2005.
  4. Szymanowski, Virginia. At Toledo, Ohio Bob Evans restaurant. March 28, 2005.
  5. Szymanowski, Virginia. In airplane cabin during flight to Florida. February 9, 2007.
  6. Szymanowski, Virginia. At Toledo, Ohio Bob Evans restaurant. May 24, 2008.

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