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Nicholas Lander

One subspecies of cartoon in the New Yorker addresses the balance of power between diners and waiters. The caption above, from a cartoon by P.C. Vey, accompanies a drawing of a bemused couple holding menus, and looking at a waiter who is sitting at their table with a glass of wine. Absurd as this hypothetical situation is, it pricks at one of the central difficulties that all fine-dining restaurants must address: the distance kept by, and the demeanour of, the person without whom diners would be inhospitably stranded in a room that offers the promise of infinite riches.

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