My husband’s job requires him to travel pretty often, sometimes as much as four days a week. When he gets home, we normally go out to one of our favorite restaurants as a way of saying welcome back.

Friday night, the weather was nice, not too hot or humid. It was perfect weather for sitting outside. We chose to go to a place in Delaware City along the water, called Crabby Dicks. The name was a not so clever play on all the double entendres and sexual innuendo that one can squeeze out of the name.

We’d dined here once before with a group, and the service was okay at best. The food was adequate, but the server was surly and unapologetically inattentive to us. We chalked it up to our late arriving and indecisive party members.

This time, we went as a couple and arriving early at 5:00, we hoped to sit outside on the waterfront deck. We went to the hostess at the front entrance, but were directed to another hostess for the deck itself. Though we were assured she was out there, we stood at the stand for a good ten minutes before being greeted. There were plenty of empty tables, so when the hostess finally arrived, we got one near the water.

The server’s names were written in chalk on the wooden floor, but were difficult to decipher. Eventually, our arrived and took our drink order, two waters and a beer. She brought the waters first, but left without giving us straws. She eventually brought the beer, and almost left without the straws but we were able to catch her before she left, totally ignoring the closed menus indicating that we were ready to order.

As more time ticked by, the tables around us were filling up. Each one was now filled with middle aged white trash, smoking profusely. The ambiance of the deck was quickly descending into that of a meth fueled barbecue as the cliches of tattoo comparison and petty gossip and jealousy flew around like the rampant house flies.

Finally, the waitresses came back to take our food order, which consisted of an appetizer of snow crab legs, a burger for my husband and a crab salad sandwich for myself. Although my husband’s beer was nearly empty, she didn’t ask if he wanted another.

Nearly forty minutes went by and each of the tables that had ordered after us received their appetizers. Our waitress began checking on the other tables, but completely ignoring our table and my husband’s now empty beer glass. We began to lose hope that our appetizer would arrive as ordered.

Sure enough, our food arrived, all at once. The appetizer was so dried out that it was obvious it had been under a heat lamp for quite some time. As we tried and failed to remove the crab meat from the hardened claws, the flies descended on the other food.

Our waitress never came back to check on us. I eventually had to flag down the hostess who had been having a conversation about how she was quitting soon with another waitress. I complained about all the failures of service we’d experienced. By then, we just wanted our check and to leave. She seemed genuinely concerned, assuring us that she would take care of it and alert the management.

It was another fifteen minutes before our waitress showed up, seemingly unaware that she’d completely ignored us. We were beyond livid, and just wanted to leave. We were shocked that she didn’t even think to have brought it with her. Another ten minutes passed before she slapped it down wordlessly on the table.

It was then we got a glimpse of the method to the literal madness. She was checking on only one table at a time, rather than all of the tables in her section, before going to the register. We realized this after seeing our ticket out of there pass by at least twice, as the waitresses checked on other tables one at a time when all she had to do was drop it off for our signature.

Eventually, we got our chance to leave, but the abysmal service could not stand. We went to find a manager, which took forever. While our complaints seemed to finally resonate, all she could offer was to give is a gift card for the value of our meals. It was the extent of her capacity as a manager, but by then we had enough. There wasn’t enough comped food in the universe to make me want to eat there again.