Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fast Food


I shot this yesterday off the road that leads down to the Islander on Gwynn's Island. This serene water scene belied a cruel and unusual punishment that I was about to endure, and that's what this post is about.

Yesterday, Chesapeake Bay Daughter and I went out to take some pictures because I am bored with the 4,000 I already have taken.

We stopped over at the Islander, and then, because I was feeling guilty for dragging her along (sitting in the back seat while your mother drives two feet, pulls over, snaps pictures of Who Knows What because you have no idea what she could possibly find interesting enough to photograph), I told her I'd take her to Hardee's drive-through for a milkshake. A milkshake would buy me enough good will to be able to drive down to Haven Beach to take even more pictures.

First, some background:

1. I am exceedingly non-confrontational and would rather eat undercooked poultry served up on a skewer as an appetizer than complain to the waitress that it was uncooked. (Just ask my friend Kathy. When Kathy told the waitress it was "rare" chicken, I smiled and said, "Yes, but it tasted fantastic.") I do not like to make anyone feel bad for any reason whatsoever. (Unless it's my sisters or family, and then it's clearly spelled out on my job description that I must be aggravating.)

2. I have had The Worst Possible Luck Ever in the History of Bad Luck with all fast-food restaurants and their drive-throughs. I could write a book on this topic alone.

3. This Hardee's in Mathews--at the risk of being sued for libel/slander--is without a doubt The Slowest Drive Through in the History of Drive-Throughs.

In spite of these well-documented facts, I pulled up to the Hardee's drive-through to get the daggone milkshake. Surely with only one car ahead of me, and hardly any cars in the parking lot - and it being well after lunch time- there would be no problem.

Why did I think that?

I placed the order and drove around the corner. With two cars ahead of me, we sat there for five minutes. Ten. Fifteen. Not budging. Nobody moving. No money being exchanged, no food being passed into vehicles, no cars pulling away. Nothing.

Then I started to play the game that you play where you consider other options yet don't act on them because you'll jinx yourself. Why don't I just pull over and walk in to get the daggone milkshake? Answer: Because that's when the line will move. Why don't I just go somewhere else? It'll take too long and there's only one fast-food establishment in Mathews. Why not just tell Chesapeake Bay Daughter we'll get it some other time? Because I need her to be a willing participant so I can get more pictures.

Well then, let's just wait. TWENTY MINUTES PASSED.

We finally made it to the window. The lady quickly took my money and said, "Your milkshake will be ready in a moment." Chesapeake Bay Daughter said, "I wonder what she thinks a moment is."

Come to find out, a moment at Hardee's is defined as six more of the most excruciating minutes that you ever plotted to strangle someone.

When she finally passed me the stuff, I said, "TWENTY SIX MINUTES IS A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF TIME TO WAIT FOR A MILKSHAKE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT US COMING BACK HERE AGAIN."

Boy, I sure told her and gave her What For! I'm sure she will miss our three-times-a-year visit and that'll really get 'em in the pocketbook where it hurts.

She said she was sorry, and then I felt bad. I started to realize hormones could be a factor here, but then I quickly got over it. If she had just said to me, "Ma'am, I'm sorry you had to wait so long, we're understaffed today," I would have been all, "Oh, don't worry about it, we weren't in any rush." But no!! She just passes me the stuff and says nothing.

Because Chesapeake Bay Daughter has experienced each and every one of my "fast" food nightmares, she started laughing after we drove away. Then I did too, and good thing because my temples were throbbing a pre-stroke throb.

In other "fast" food fiascos, I once was forced into an argument with a most nasty and impatient voice coming through the loudspeaker at Burger King in Richmond* and ended up pulling away from the window on TWO WHEELS hollering that I would never, EVER, NEVER go to a Burker King again.

But that's yet another story for another time.

*Richmond is not only the capital of Virginia, it is also the Capital of the World's Worst Fast-Food Employees. There was a period of time when it had the reputation of being the Murder Capital of the United States. Coincidence? I think not.

22 comments:

cats said...

Not only do you wait forever, At the Hardes in Mathews, they hardly ever get your order right. I don't know how some of these people get out of bed in the morning.

nativedevil said...

The Hardee's in Mathews IS very slow. The one in West Point is even slower, and they never get your order right. The West Point one is also very rude. Yep, I live almost five hours away now, but the slow Hardees in Mathews still sticks in my mind.

Anonymous said...

...but they got the best breakfast biscuits of all the fast food joints in the country. Except, the privately owned greasy spoons:)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Cats - I don't understand it either.

ND - I try to avoid the Hardees in West Point and usually go to the McDonalds, which is also not without its troubles, but is a hair above Hardees. A very tiny hair....

Anonymous - I am sure you're right about their biscuits but I won't ever find out because NEVER AGAIN I tell you!

I think it is worth mentioning, also, that Chesapeake Bay Son spent the night at a friend's house last night, and this morning when I picked him up, I said, "CB Son - Daughter and I went to Hardees yesterday...." AT just the mere mention of Hardee's he said, "Oh NO!" See? It's not just me. He then went on to say that Hardee's is "mutant". When he heard that I actually said something to the lady, he couldn't believe it, though, because that's so out of character for me.

Happy Sunday! It's in the 70's here today....

Grandma J said...

I feel your pain. I have the worst luck with fast food drive thru joints too.

It has to be rough when you don't have a whole lot of options, like going somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

..and they just added chilly dogs to their menu. I'm a sucker for chilly dogs!

yeah, and just so there's no confusion, I've been known in the past, to fry up some Spam with my eggs!

Hope you get a burn (just a little one) being out side today! It's, uhhh, NOT sunbathing temp. here today. I'm jealous and envious.

cats said...

I would like to add that for breakfast, i like McDonalds way better and Sonic beats them both. You can get breakfast at sonic anytime of day. Very Good.

big hair envy said...

I don't think you should mention the word "hair" when comparing "fast" food restaurants....

Can you believe our weather??!! I. Am. Loving. It.

Phyl said...

And ya'll thought Hilda at Emory's was an adventure. In 26 minutes at Payne's I'd have made 10 milkshakes.**sigh** the good ole days.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I've written about fast food fiascos a number of times... probably so much that my readers are getting tired of it, but such good blog fodder they provide!

pjhammer_1965 said...

One of my New Year's resolutions is to not eat any fast food in 2009. Minimum wage incented teenagers could care less about the quality of your food, the timelyness in which it's delivered or you. Not to mention the fact that fast food is full of artery clogging garbage.

My list of fast food fiascos could also fill a medium to large sized journal but; my favorite fast food faux pas of all time is the day/night that PJ Hammer and "Drinking Buddy" went to the redneck race in Richmond.

It was only the second race in my redneck race career and I managed to finesse my way into aquiring some primo tickets from my Dad's redneck neighbor, a really nice guy who politely entices the neighbors to rise and shine at 5:15, about the time he slops his huntin' dawgs. Long story longer, Drinking Buddy and I had been to a William and Mary football game and had joined his frat brothers at half-time for a few fan enhancing festivities, whew hew!

By the end of the game, Drinking Buddy is literally losing his lunch, oh yea, the liquid variety because why bother to eat anything and ruin a good buzz for the game...lol. After cleaning Drinking Buddy up, I pile him into the car and we head for Richmond for the big race, yea haw!

For those that are not aware of the joy of NASCAR and tail-gaitin', the beauty of the race is that you can bring a small cooler into the venue and enjoy your own lovely beverages at your leisure. True to form, Drinking Buddy and I hauled a cooler full of libation into the joint and started hoopin' and hollerin' like, well...drunkin' college boys at a post frat-party redneck race - hell to the yea! Needless to say, PJ Hammer's Dad's neighbor didn't offer them seats agin - dang it!

On the way home, what we really want is a two piece and a biscuit.. 'cause when you're hungry, i mean really hungry, you want a two piece and a biscuit. So, we go to Hardees just outside of Richmond and wait and wait and wait... Now, Drinkin' Buddy is none to happy about this waitin', cause he is HUNGRY and has worked up quite the appetite from all that drinkin' and the journey through the state fair grounds to my car, where Drinking Buddy had passed out in the field and I threatened to leave him there if he didn't get up. The kids in Hardees are having the grandest of times laughing and carrying on and Drinking Buddy's pretty up tight by now because it's been a good 45 minutes. We get to the window and Drinking Buddy loses it and screams at the two children at the top of his lungs and slurs, "What's wrong with you people?" The puzzled look on the little girls face could have been used to identify the term "amazed" in Webster's. I don't think she'd ever been called-out like that before and just stood there, mouth agape. Once she came to her senses and started laughing again with her co-workers, she handed us our food, which I'm certain had been spit on or dropped purposely on the floor, we left and I've never returned to that fast food establishment, nor will I ever.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh my! I take a nap and wake up to a hilarious set of comments.

PJ - You should have sent me that story and I would have put it front and center on the blog because that is ONE HILARIOUS story and the best part is the inclusion of some of my favorite sayings that I've long forgotten....hell to the yea! I was laughing out loud on this one.

(Seriously, if you or any other folks from Mathews or Gloucester wish to send me stories to publish, I am always accepting them.)

BHE - Excellent point. This reminds me of another story that involves a hair.... maybe I'll write about that tomorrow.

Phyl - Hilda at Emory's! And I have long been intending to write about Paynes but haven't gotten around to it. I think the time is nigh - perhaps I'll throw something together this week. Oh, and the Payne's milkshake would have been TEN times better than a Hardee's one...served up with a smile rather than, well, it's Sunday and I'm going to be nice and not say anything disparaging about Hardee's employees.

Meg - I do believe I have read one of your fast-food nightmares....this is even further evidence we are long-lost relatives.

GREAT to read all these hilarious comments. Maybe I'll take another nap and see what I awaken to....

"Mean Mom" said...

Hey CBW...just checked your blog after toooo long...I decided to treat myself to a guitar in July to celebrate turning 51 in August. It's working...I feel like a teenager again. :) So I've been consumed with learning the guitar and little else...something that I understand aflicts a lot of guitarists if this joke is true: Q: What's the difference between a pizza and a guitar player? A: A pizza can feed four people.

Moving on to your post...In the room next to my office is the Resident Teen Son and his friend, both juniors at Mathews High. I can shed some light on possibilities for the slowness but might be sued. You know the drill. The Friend of Resident Teen used to work at Hardess, so shall have to remain nameless. We'll have to talk one day...sheesh, you're almost within spittin' distance! I'm currently listening to the sound of what sounds like racecars and kids caught in a tornado...with this warm weather, all of the windows are open and the dog is being driven crazy by whatever is going on next door. Which is sayin' a lot, since he's a Jack Russell Terrorist...

Sorry to have been away for so long...we'll have to catch up soon.

Julie the Mean Mom

big hair envy said...

I think I sat beside PJ Hammer & Drinking Buddy at that race. I never went back again either.....

Bwahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

The romp for chicken brings to mind, that if you're hungry and it's after 12, the place to eat is White Castle.

Nothin' better than a sack of sliders washed down with cold beer!

pjhammer_1965 said...

Didn't mean to hijack your blog, CBW and I'd never miss an opportunity to read your stories with my drivel. The fast food experience just reminded me of a funny story that I'm fortunate to have been able to share on your blog.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Mean Mom - So glad you're back. I know exactly what you heard today because I visited your next-door neighbors yesterday and saw the most beautiful minibike ever, plus they were riding around on a go-kart with no brakes but it is all FUN. IF I weren't so big, I'd have gotten in the darn thing(s). Good for you with the guitar - maybe you can play for us at the first-ever Virginia Blogapalooza, being discussed for this spring.

BHE - At least you got to go to a race. It is something I've only heard about and never been fortunate enough to experience. I'll wager there's enough stuff to write about at one of these races to last a lifetime.

Anonymous - That's what I hear (that White Castle has the best burgers), but if we wanted to go to a White Castle, we'd have to drive for hours on end. One way. We got some rather slim pickins around these parts for fast food. (That's not always such a bad thing, may I add....)

PJ Hammer - YOu didn't hijack the blog, you made it exactly what I have always wanted it to be - a place where people can come and tell their story or contribute to mine and hopefully make people laugh --or learn something--in the process. I love your participation. Hell to the yeah.

Mental P Mama said...

I am impressed that with all that waiting you continued to use the word DAGGONE. I would have been up to something four lettered by the 10 minute mark.

Life with Kaishon said...

This was SO funny! 26 minutes for a milkshake...I hope it was SO good she will go out with you on many more picture taking sessions : ).

Hardees always makes me think of my Grammy. She loved the fried chicken there. Or was it Roy Rogers? Well, even if she didn't like that restaurant, I still think of her when I hear about a Hardees.

I don't hear about Hardees or Roy Rogers barely ever : )

Kaffy said...

Raw chicken! Quah! I can't stop laughing. Just envisioning you yelling at the drive-through chicadee is hysterical. No wonder CB daughter was cracking up too! I'm surprised you didn't drive back to the window and apologize profusely and then start tossing all your money and credit cards at her in repentance. CBW, you are the best.

Kyle said...

I'm told that if you read the health inspector's reports for any fast food restaurant in West Point (or Richmond, or probably anywhere else) you'll never eat there again. :)

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