It is I, the woman who, along with her husband, tipped Brianna Siegel -- a seemingly mild mannered, New Jersey waitress -- $1,200.
How were we to know that only a few years later, she would be known as “The Jackal of Woodbridge” and we would be to blame.
Let me begin by saying we had no intention of funding the bloodthirsty dreams of a sociopath when we grabbed a light dinner at the upscale establishment, Bar Louie. No, we merely sought to satiate our appetites all while being quite assured that nothing we could possibly do would result in serial murder.
It was August, a breezy Woodbridge Tuesday eve, and we had just completed our penultimate installment of a comedy workshop at the Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center. I have to say, not since my stint in Paris under the tutelage of master clown Philippe Gualier, have I had such impeccable training. If you find yourself in Woodbridge, hit them up, and do treat yourself to a new purse at Brighton Collectibles. They’re wonderful. But I digress.
Ravenous after our splendid workshop, we stopped into Bar Louie, a French-inspired gastropub known for their authentic fusion flatbreads. The smell alone transported me to Cafe de la Paix in Sceaux just off the Rue des Écoles.
My husband and I were frozen, incapable of choosing from the surplusage of flatbreads before us. He was curious about their popular “Buffalo Chicken Flatbread” while I was teetering between the “Roasted Vegetable Flatbread” and the exotic “Thai Chicken Flatbread.” Brianna convinced us to go with the “Verde Chicken Flatbread” and, I must say, we were not disappointed. It was then that we decided to give her $1200 dollars.
Brianna did mention something about “nursing school dreams” and having her car fixed. One would assume that these details would both factor into our decision to give a stranger $1200. But that would be ridiculous. Nursing school, any school, costs much more than $1200. It was all about the flatbread. You have no idea how good this flatbread was.
So, because everyone knows the story by now, I won’t go into too much detail. Yes, Brianna used the money to enroll in nursing school. Yes, $1200 was not nearly enough to pay for nursing school, not even one semester. Yes, her only option, as she saw it, was to use her medical knowledge and access to private information to target and kill anyone with ties to her school’s billing department. Yes, that was just the beginning. Many experts believe that it wasn’t the money trouble that led to the killing spree, that her plan all along was to go to nursing school to become an efficient executioner. Yes, she is still at large today, using one of her dozens of secret identities.
I cannot begin to apologize enough for our unforgivable mistake. The lesson is, of course, very obvious. No matter how elated you might be after your comedy workshop, no matter how delectable a flatbread you devour after said workshop, never, ever tip your server 6000% (25% max for exceptional service) or you might set a course of events into motion unlike any you can imagine.
My heart is heavy with the knowledge that Jonathan B. Louie, executive genius chef and owner of Bar Louie in Woodbridge, was one of Brianna’s latest victims. Adieu, Monsieur. Adieu. Your “Verde Chicken Flatbread” was verde, verde good.