Sunday, December 28, 2008
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.