In pursuit of the American dream of instant gratification during which time I hit a drive-through establishment 2.4 times a week with my 2.4 children I’ve noticed some alarming trends I’d like to discuss with you.
The first trend of note is the line of questioning currently being used as I frequent these fine purveyors of fast food and beverages that dot our great American landscape, the primary offender being: “Will you be eating that in your car?” As opposed to what? In someone else’s car? In a hotel room? In the bushes that run parallel to the drive-through lane?
In view of this disturbing question, I think we can all agree that we’ll need to keep an eye on the situation as it merits further scrutiny. Not to be a killjoy or anything, but there’s more.
Secondly, an even more disturbing occurrence is the fact that I’m being forced, repeatedly, to take the Nestea plunge, quite frankly, many, many more times than I care to. I’ve tried to alleviate this happenstance by asking a seemingly simple question but, as you know, drive-through businesses are not known for their Dolby, high-quality sound systems, so my, “Is the iced tea brewed?” question, I am told, sounds just like, “Is there iced tea, dude?” This is when I get a positive response, netting me a drink testing positive on the "instant" meter which in turn leads to an unhappy interlude whereupon I utter unladylike sounds like, “Urgh, blech, pooey,” as well as using ultra unladylike language.
As I’m motoring way, sucking down a huge mouthful of what should be icy, caffeinated, teabag-utilizing liquid goodness, I’m instead chewing on chunks of powder. I want you to know that I do understand the dichotomy that is my lack of desire for instant tea at a fast food business, but I don’t care. I likes what I likes.
The third trend I've witnessed as I’ve traversed this fine country of ours seeking sustenance is that when ordering a simple item such as a beverage, I am queried as to whether I would like a hamburger and fries with that. Would I be so dense I could have forgotten I was hungry, but I remembered I was thirsty? When is the last time you said to yourself, “I think I’ll go pick-up a diet beverage” and upon arrival at your favorite drive-up window you smell pizza and decide you’re hungry? Oh, okay, well, you know what? I may have to give that one over. That wasn’t the best of my examples.
The fourth development is not so much about the fast food folks, but about those who utilize these mini-roads to quickness. (And by the way, fast food is neither. Can I get a Gretchen Wilson-like, "He#@ yes!" on that one?) Has anyone else noticed the alarming increase of trucks powering on down the drive-through with dogs in the back? What’s the problem, you ask? I’m an animal-lover and if you've read any of my columns (please, would you?!), you know that I live with several canines that make my life full with their love, antics, and cleaning/eating/bathrooming needs. (I rarely sit down until everyone, including the spiders, fall into a coma-like sleep at night.)
As I see it, the problem with having your dog with you is that you are imposing a interpersonal communication upon the driver behind you. The poor sap, in this case me, is embarking upon a solitary venture, enjoying some “me” time in their car and then there you are with your adorable critter, complete with wagging tail and pleading eyes. (Just to be clear the critter has the wagging tail and pleading eyes.)
This is quite a nuisance because in my case I launch my, “Oh my God, look at how cute that dog is,” sequence; waving, smiling and carrying on, as though I’m trying out to be its adoptive mother. I can’t seem to help myself. I see that cute, furry creature and it’s all I can do to grab my hand and say, “Down!” I don’t mind telling you this has gotten me into a bit of a sticky wicket a time or two, mainly, because the owner thinks I’m telling her dog to get down and this has led to some spirited discussions in the drive-through and at the local sheriff’s office.
So, just to recap. Instant tea. Bad. What kind of animal shouldn't be in the drive-through. Dog.
There’s my social commentary for the day. Just writing about it makes me feel better. Instantly.