Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Waiting in Line

Last week I wanted a hamburger. I've been eating healthy lately (i.e. eating a bowl of delicious raisin bran for dinner, drinking vitamin water, etc) which inevitably leads to the "revolucionario" inside of me to break out and demand fats and/or sugars.

"Is for de peeple" he always says. "Sink of dee cheeldrin!"

Who can say no to that?

Well, when revolution struck last week, I drove to a small joint that I had (ironically) spotted while running. It was a little dive called "The Rocky Mountain Drive-Through". The small building was painted in the earthy colors of the 80's - deep, poopy browns and whites that had faded into the yellow-Grey of a smoker's teeth. Such charm must certainly mean good food.

I approached the drive-thru with an eager smile. There was a little sign on the menu that said "Please say 'hello' when you're ready to order." I scanned the array of coronary nightmares and chose the "Rocky Mountain Burger." The picture looked like it was taken in the 80's, and to be frank with you I couldn't really tell what all was on the burger, but the burger was generously stacked with a variety of heart-healthy meats and cheeses.

I cleared my throat and said hello.

... nothing happened ...

I put the car in park and took my foot off the brake pedal. It was a nice night and with the window rolled down I could just begin to smell the grassy scent of spring.

Saying hello to a mechanical box is always awkward, ya know? So after another moment I cleared my throat again, hoping that whoever was on the other side of that speaker would hear that and say something. But they didn't.

"Hello?" I asked again.
"Oh, just a sec"

And then I sat back and waited ten freaking minutes. I know it was ten minutes because at minute eight I had decided that I'd give them two more minutes.

"Umm. Hello?"
"Oh... just a sec"
"That's what you said ten minutes ago."
"Oh." ... "Okay, what do you want?"
"I'd like a Rocky Mountain Burger combo."

Seriously? Who the hell says, "oh" to an order?

"Umm. And that's all I want."
"Okay. The total is *garble garble* around to the first window."

I pulled up to the window where a kid - with a face that lacked any hint of intelligent thought - stared vacantly at me. I stared back, puzzled at why he didn't say anything. This faceoff continued until I cautiously handed him my card and the window closed. At that precise moment in time I had my "Oh " moment.

I realized that the restaurant was being run by four or five others with similar brain capacity. They stumbled even at the most primitive of fast-food tasks, such as filling a drink or mixing a shake. And they all had that same thoughtless look in their eyes.

I would have forgotten the whole thing right there and just taken off, but they had my credit card. So I waited. From my previous experience with the ordering process, I decided to turn off the car, rather than let it idle and risk running out of gas.

At five minutes, I saw the lady that was behind me in line pull away from the line and roar out of sight. I envied her like much like a prisoner would envy a visitor who walks away into the free world.

At fifteen minutes my patience got up, flew out the window, and straight into the side of the restaurant. I watched it flap it's wings in useless futility for a moment before its death. That's when I knocked on the window and that kid came over.

"Hey" I tried to keep calm. "It's been about 15 minutes. My food should be ready."

"Oh, yeah. Yours must be this one right ... here."

He handed me the food and my drink and then ran the card. HE HADNT EVEN RAN THE CARD YET!? I gaped, literally GAPED, with disbelief as he handed me the receipt. The whole process was so entirely wrong that I couldn't really grasp how mad I should have been at the moment. Nevertheless, I proceeded to stay calm, signed my name, smiled at the kid, and handed him the receipt back. He smiled, which was nice. But not worth the price of a cold, undercooked meal and 30 total minutes of waiting in the drive-thru. I think I saw a hair in my burger, too, but wouldn't allow myself to examine it for fear that I may vomit upon discovery of it's contents. I just threw what was left of it away.

So what's the moral of this story? Don't eat at the Rocky Mountain Drive Through. It's gross. It's run by a bunch of drugged-up, hippie thugs. It's a disgrace to the concept of "fast" food. If you must eat, and the only restaurant in sight is this one, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a pinecone from the park across the street. It will hold you off until you find a decent place to eat.

That is all.



  1. Mmmmm, I heart pinecones!

  2. good to see you back, Bar!I'm sorry! I, myself, had a DELICIOUS chili cheese burger (carl's) that was the BEST burger I have had in a very long while! Not to rub it in, but you must get one. Hey, I will even buy one for you next lunch-time we are together!

  3. Lol...you so much more patient than I am! All that for a burner! Darn teenagers!

    You should try the Teriaki Burner at Carls Jr...It's delicious!

  4. Barry, what has happened to you? Did you disappear off the face of the earth? You promised more blogs and DAMMIT I want to see them!!! Oh, and have a nice day.