A waiter saunters up to your table, seeming somewhat aloof, with pen and pad in hand. As you and your guests pore over menus, your server introduces himself and rattles off the day’s specials. He asks for your drink orders, scribbles a few notes in shorthand, then disappears into the bowels of the kitchen. Two minutes later, he returns with your drinks, then takes a more detailed order for food.

No matter how many dishes you order, with all sorts of special requests - extra mayo on the BLT, hold the mustard on that bacon cheeseburger, no ice in the Diet Coke - the waiter finds a way to cram every bit of information onto one slip of paper, no more than three inches wide and six inches tall. Did he really get everything?

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