Thomas Michael McDade, 10/20/2014

Current Occupation: Retired
Former Occupation: Computer Programmer
Contact Information: Thomas Michael McDade is a retired computer programmer living with his wife in Fredericksburg, VA, no kids, no pets. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade served two tours of duty in the U.S. Navy. His poetry has most recently appeared in Release Magazine and The Journal of Military Experience.



Shrimp Cocktail

A fellow waiter said the guy
living down the hall from him
who was lonely, poor and old
would be in for dinner.
If he sat at one of my tables,
treat him right.
New in the profession,
I didn’t know what the hell
that meant.
Of course, I got stuck with him!
Well, he was pleasant enough,
slicked back, thinning hair,
wore an ascot and drank a daiquiri,
ordered cheap, chopped sirloin.
I knew that plate, a meal
the help could eat free.
When he splurged on a small shrimp
cocktail I saw my opening and sneaked
him jumbos that curled
around the dish like trick shop fingers.
Continuing my kindness streak,
instead of the house dressing
on his tossed salad,
I gave him bleu cheese,
that carried a surcharge.
From the smell I figured
it should be given away.
The tip was the minimum.
His waiter pal told me later
of many better methods
to not only shrink tabs,
but boost my income
doctoring checks and dups
with an artist eraser.
I stuck with the shrimp scam and never
quite understood exactly what “cocktail”
had to do with it.
I quit the bleu cheese when a woman
who was either too beautiful for me
or merely thought she was
complained to the maitre d’.


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