Like most Villagers, we eat out a lot, which makes good sense living here. Food is good, plentiful, and relatively cheap. There is great variety, and you can’t beat happy hour prices on drinks.
In addition to limitless opportunities to stuff your face, restaurants in The Villages also provide unrivaled people-watching opportunities. There are many different types of characters to gawk at while enjoying drinks and dinner. A few of the more interesting ones you might encounter include:
The leg-twitcher. You see a leg-twitcher at almost any restaurant. Most of them are male, but there are some female leg-twitchers. For no apparent reason, a leg-twitcher begins to bounce his leg up and down as if he’s keeping beat to a fast tune. Occasionally, you see the rare double leg-twitcher, with both legs simultaneously vibrating and bouncing.
The bloviator. “Bloviate” is a wonderful word invented to describe this person. The word means to talk “verbosely and windily.” Bloviators are men or women. Often at a table of four or more, one person dominates the conversation. He or she is a self-proclaimed expert on everything. Pity anyone else who tries to get a word in. The bloviator completely ignores them or buries them in a flurry of words. The bloviator can talk continuously, even with a mouthful of food.
The battering ram. You’ll only encounter a battering ram if one sits in the booth behind you. The battering ram usually is a big guy or a kid who leans back in the booth with a vengeance. The impact hits you so hard you spill your wonton soup. As soon as you settle nicely, the battering ram reloads and smashes the back of the booth again, creating a vibration equal to 4.5 on the Richter scale.
The complainer. These people never meet a meal they like. They grumble about everything. The choices on the menu are lousy; the waiter is too slow; the meal is too hot, too cold, too bland, or too tough. Every meal goes back to the kitchen because it was overcooked, undercooked, or otherwise. A complainer constantly tells you he or she is a true connoisseur and has eaten at many world-class restaurants. The complainer’s aim is to get the meal comped or get a free dessert. Complainers also leave meager tips.
The scarfer. Watching a scarfer eat is fascinating. A scarfer doesn’t eat food—it is inhaled. They gobble everything on the plates in one continuous eating motion. They never pause, talk, or even breathe. The scarfer’s mindset on food may be like a dog’s. When Fido’s dish is full, he assumes he will never get more food or another dog will eat his food before he can. It is gobbled up in a matter of seconds. Waiters love scarfers because they finish and leave in a matter of minutes, meaning quicker table turnover and more tips.
The lingerer. The lingerer is the opposite of the scarfer. Lingerers dawdle over food and slowly sip drinks. They spend a lot of time looking around and categorizing other diners. Waiters, who want to turn over the table, will ask lingerers at least three times, “Is there anything else?” On the other hand, lingerers generally tip well—probably guilt over keeping the table so long.
Next time you’re in a restaurant, see how many of different types you can spot. Then decide which group is yours.