There are many offensive things about Americans, and many offensive things, but perhaps the most offensive is the famous Parker House restaurant, Boston, shown below in a photo taken by a friend of mine, historian Jim Wald. The Parker House is the home of Parker House rolls and Boston Cream Pie. Then there are the customers: Colin Powell and John Kennedy among them. It’s also the site of the Saturday club of Emerson, Longfellow, Holmes, Agassiz, Dana, and Charles Dickens; he lived in the Parker Hotel for two years. But more remarkable than either is that its staff have shown a singular tendency to go off and become revolutionarily anti-American after working there for even a short time.
Among Parker House employees we find Malcolm X, he worked as a busboy under his original, given name: Malcolm Little. We also find Ho Chi Minh, a pseudonym taken — it means, the enlightened one or the one who will enlighten (strangely enough, Genghis Kahn also means the enlightened one — in Mongol) was a pastry chef. he arrived in Boston as a ships cook, and worked in the hotel as Nguyen Cung. After Boston, he moved to Paris where he again made cakes and pies but changed his name to Nguyen O Phap (Nguyen who hates the French). Eventually, he and Malcolm X revolted against America and managed to turn the tables, as it were, on their customers.
Why do workers in this hotel turn out this way. Perhaps it’s because the hotel tries to hire hard-working, intelligent staff. You’ll notice, in the photo above that the waiters look more physically fit than the customers and at least as sharp. They are as engaged in their conversation as the customers, but this is not the entirety of the issue. I suspect that the waitstaff in this location constantly listen to socialist discussions from the customers, and then are sent off for coffee, or ignored, and perhaps insulted as well.
My guess is that Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh became socialist revolutionaries because they came to believe they deserved more than they got from the customers at Parker House. I’m reminded of the “Uber” driver in Kalamazoo who picked up customers between bouts of a shooting spree. Apparently he showed no sign of mental illness, and got a five-star rating from his last customer.
So what can you do if you eat at Parker House or any fancy restaurant? I think it pays to tip. Don’t tip so much that your driver/ server feels like a peon, but tip. It would help to chat, I think. It’s likely to leave a good feeling — important if your waiter is homicidal — and if your waiter becomes famous some day, you might get a mention, or have the basis for a great story — “Me and Genghis go way back…” It’s nice if the next world dictator doesn’t hate you. I’m given to understand that the people hate Satan is that you can serve him, but he never tips.