PHILADELPHIA—Though 48 years old and employed full time waiting tables at a New American bistro, local man Phillip Ames sadly does not spend his downtime working on any creative side projects, sources reported Thursday.
“When Phil first started, I’d have guessed he was in a blues band or trying to write a screenplay or a collection of poems or something—you know, something that necessitated having a day job,” said coworker Devin Healey, 23. “But once I got to know him a little better and asked what he likes to do when he’s not working, he just said, ‘hang out and enjoy my time off.’”
“And I thought, ‘Jesus,’” Healey continued. “You’d think he’d at least be recording an album or contributing to an obscure literary journal. Something.”
According to confounded sources, Ames apparently lives in an apartment that contains neither an easel nor a writing nook and spends his time at work exclusively focused on the task of being a waiter. The paunchy, slightly balding man’s daily routine of frantically hustling around a restaurant to take orders, clear tables, and deliver food is unfortunately not being used as fodder for any creative ideas he’s developing on the side.
In fact, sources reported that on days when Ames is not working, the nearly 50-year-old server prefers to dedicate his free time to activities such as watching TV, going for walks around his neighborhood, or playing cards with friends.
“As sad as it sounds, he’s not going home every night and nursing some artistic passion he keeps hidden from the rest of us,” said Healey, who initially thought the Moleskine notebook Ames kept in his back pocket was his sketchbook, but was later disappointed to learn Ames just used it to remember the specials. “This is his full-time occupation. He’s not into drawing comic strips or writing song lyrics. Not in an improv group. He doesn’t have a recurring slot at a stand-up showcase, none of that.”
“I guess when someone asks what he does for a living, he doesn’t say ‘I’m a waiter but I’m also working on a book’ or anything,” Healey added. “He just says, ‘I’m a waiter,’ and that’s that.”
Coworkers said that while they could see how Ames might not have an artistic endeavor that takes up all of his free time, they were surprised to discover that he doesn’t so much as have a single pet project he messes around with here and there, jotting down notes on stray napkins or coasters when things are slow at the restaurant and typing them up when he gets home.
Furthermore, sources confirmed, Ames did not take the job for its flexible hours that could accommodate an irregular practice schedule, nor is he hoping to quit some day once he “makes it big.”
“I thought maybe he’d let me read one of the things he’s working on, but when I asked him he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about,” said fellow waiter Erica Vasquez, adding that Ames was completely puzzled by her offer to provide notes on his work. “I don’t know, I just naturally assumed he’d have an early draft of a novel or one-act play to show me.”
At press time, Ames told reporters it was heartbreaking that his coworkers were still so delusional despite already being in their early twenties.