August 28, 2007


I did not want to cook tonight. I had some chicken that I could have baked up real quick, but decided that I wanted to just grab something. So while my dear did some work that had to be finished tonight, I headed out to pick up dinner.

I went to KFC. They had a special going 10 piece meal, two sides, some drink thing, blah blah blah. They usually have a number of sides available. Tonight, they had mashed potatoes, green beans and baked beans. No original recipe chicken. Oh and they were also out of Dr. Pepper. I contemplated my options, and decided that I would decline their limited options. I left the drive thru line, called my dear and after agreeing on a different spot, I headed up the street to Arby’s.

There was no one in the drive thru line, so I pulled right up to the box. And was promptly greeted. I provided my order, slowly, pausing between each item. After I finished ordering the two meals, the girl asked, “Ok, a #2” “Yes” “And what side with that?” “Curly fries” I responded. “Ok, and what to drink” “Lemonade” “Is that all?” My foolishness, I responded yes, assuming she got the second meal that I had already ordered. But then she confirmed, that I had but one order. No, so I repeated the second meal, at 1/10 of the speed I had originally ordered. And she confirmed both meals and requested I pull up. I sat at the window for awhile while she took the order of the gent behind me. Between changing stations on the XM, I watched what was going on inside. There was a separate woman putting together the order, and presumably, one in the kitchen area. The one that I was able to see had long hair, that was not restrained. And while I waited, and waited, and waited, I imagined long hairs breaking off, into my curly fries. And then, after 2 songs on channel Highway 16, after I still had not been greeted at the window nor requested to provide payment for my meals, I saw the girl wipe her nose, wipe her pants and continue to stand in the window where the food is dropped. And I sat. Listening to Tim McGraw. And thought…is it worth it? I had already left one restaurant. Yet, I pulled out of a second one. I felt guilty doing so, the chicken was probably already fried up, ready to be slapped on a bun, a quick swipe of mayo and boogers and I could have got my dinner and headed home. Yet I left.

I decided that I would next try Dairy Queen. There was a bit of a line both inside and at the drive thru, so I phoned a friend while sitting in line at the drive thru. The line moved promptly enough and before you know it, I am ordering a steak finger basket and flamethrower chicken sandwich basket. I then proceed to the first window, provide my credit card as payment. And wait. And wait. And wait. Then a girl, not the one that took my card, asks what I ordered. I stall, Is this a trick question? Shouldn’t she know what I ordered. And she does! Food! Yes, indeed, I did order food! Thank you! And she asks me to pull up to the second window so they can serve the people behind me. But I protest, the other girl has my card. “Oh?” She responds, and walks off, searching for the girl that is running amuck with my Visa card. Shortly, the first girl, the holder of my card returns to the first window and requests that I pull up to the second window. I tell her that she still has my card. She responds that they will have my card and my food at the second window and will I please move out of the frigging way! Irritated, but understanding the way things work, I pull up. And wait, and wait and wait. Finally, the manager, in his regal blue uniform opens the second window and exclaims that the credit card machine isn’t working. Do I have cash? What a silly question, he asked me. Does anyone carry cash anymore? Visa/MC runs commercials on the silly nature of those souls that pay with cash. I do not have cash. Bah! Ah, but… shortly after moving here and seeing people utilizing these strange contraptions, I started carrying these pieces of paper in my wallet. You put the name of the business, the amount of the sale and sign your name, and the business takes it, just like cash! I believe that they are called “Checks”. I have not seen one nor written on one in many moons, but I hear that they are wildly popular in these areas. Yet, this gentleman, this purveyor of the Queen refused. My scrap of paper was not welcome, my bit of plastic spurned. And so I left. I left the establishment, with nothing to show for my time.

Three eateries. No satisfaction. I stubbornly decided that cold turkey sandwiches would suffice. I turned my car towards my home. Throughout the ordeal at Dairy Queen, I continued to talk to my friend. She spoke very highly of a different type of pizza joint. Where they make the pizza in front of you, you take it home and cook it in your own stove. Papa Murphy’s. My friend discussed how she loves them. You can order any type of pizza, anything you like. And the chocolate chip cookies! YUM! I warned her that she had better not pump up the place too much. She had not had Papa Murphy’s in BFE, New Mexico. She laughed and said that she would give me a ring tomorrow to see how it went. And we hung up.

Now, I have such an affinity for Papa John’s, I assumed anything “Papa” must be worthy of my time. I pulled a U-eee (How do you type that out? A you-ee, I did a U-turn) and headed towards Papa Murphy’s. Their open sign was dimmed, but it was only 8:10, so I walked in, where I was not greeted. There were two teens working behind the counter, yet I walked around a bit, looked at their line, which was much like Subway’s meal line with slots for the various toppings, which was already cleaned out. I asked if I could still get a pizza. After a bit of a "ahem", look, I was informed that they had pizzas pre-made, she thought pepperoni, maybe some other things. I asked if they had cheese already on them. A jolt ran through me. This must be what it is like to have a teenage daughter under your roof. She shot me a look as if I was the stupidest person she had run into this month and sarcastically responded, “Yes.” I quickly said, “I do not want your damn pizza” and fled. Ok, maybe I didn’t say that exactly, but I should have.

Four places. Four. This was becoming comical. I headed down the street, willing to accept nearly anything at this point. McDonald’s drive-thru was packed. Wendy’s was packed.

Utter frustration set in. The remaining choices on the short list of available restaurants were less than appetizing. I would rather have a cold turkey sandwich.

However, grocery stores! They have delis! And rotisserie chicken!! Hot rotisserie chicken!!

So, I pulled another You-EEE and headed towards Albertson’s.

Yea. You guessed it. The deli was shutting down. It was now around 8:20. Of course, the deli has fucking shut down. The chickens? Gone! For holy fucks sake.

Near tears, starving and pissed to my frigging gills, I headed to the frozen food aisle, picked up some TV dinners, nearly ran to the alcohol section, got a bottle of a fast acting elixir. Bahama Mama from Bacardi. And headed to the checkout.

As is customary in this town, I was carded. They card everyone. No worries, but….the checkout girl looks at my birthday and at me and at my ID again and says wow, you look great for your age!

And I proceeded home. With multiple TV dinners and a large bottle of medicine.

And I, as I was preparing the second TV dinner for each of us, I asked myself, why the FUCK do we have to stir the potatoes 8 times. Bollocks!!

And this, all this, is to say that I had a really hard time getting dinner tonight. But in the end, I got drunk, so it was an okay birthday after all.


Sauntering Soul said...

Um, Happy Birthday? While it doesn't sound happy, I hope it was. Wow, I've never had that much difficulty getting dinner. I sometimes have a terrible time deciding what I want, but I've never had that much difficulty in getting my hands on it once I make up my mind. Hopefully breakfast this morning will be easier for you!

Kaytabug said...

Happy Birthday sweetie!!! I am so sorry you had such an awful night. It is almost unbelievable that all that could happen in one night to one person on ones Birthday for fucks sake!!!

so you do look good for your age but what was she 17??? And she didn't say Happy Birthday??? WTF?

We had tv dinners last night too!! I thought about the potatoes too! We are related aren't we?

jagular said...

Well then Happy Birthday.
That was an exceptionally well-written piece. Good job.

Personally, I like TV dinners.
I even like the chicken if the sauce is not too blue.

swamp witch said...

Happy Birthday !
Glad you didn't starve to death.
Well-written. Funny how your "quest to find food" was entertainment for us.

bohemiangirl said...

Ah man! That happened on your birthday? I hate those days when everything seems to go wrong and you just want to throw the damn towel in. Thank God for Bacardi. Happy belated birthday.

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