Thursday, December 01, 2005

Not-so-fast food

Last night, I'm in New York City rehearsing for a show my group has this Saturday. Famished, I head over to Wendy's in a specific quest for two Bacon Mushroom Melts and a Big Bacon Classic with no onions. (What can I say? I love me some burgers.)

So it's late -- about 12:15 a.m. -- and I'm waiting behind just one person on line: a construction worker. Nothing inherently wrong with that, except for the fact that he's ordering dinner for his entire staff on a piece of cardboard filled with black magic marker scrawl.

I try not to get too upset. After all, he's working late at night; I'm not. And upon realizing that he had an order to feed what seemed like eight to 10 people, I could have strolled next door for a shorter wait at McDonalds, whose burgers don't compare. And sometimes I've been the one in the office to do the occasional fast food run, ticking off the people in line behind me. But I am trying to catch a 12:30 train home.

But the construction worker, well aware of the huge line that has developed behind him, figures it won't be too much trouble to ask for napkins, which the three hard-working Wendy's workers provide after spending more than 15 minutes hustling to fill his order.

Oh, but another thing, he remembers. He needs barbecue sauce, which the Wendy's workers also provide as they ready to take my order.

But wait, that's when he says, "Gimme more barbecue sauce."

That's when I let out an audible groan -- and nearly flinch in anticipation of the roundhouse right that never came.

Just so you know, the pet peeve is not necessarily with the person who orders dinner for a small army; it's with the aloof person who must have every last garnish and special sauce taken care of when a massive line has snaked behind him. So, thank you, Construction Worker Man, for ticking off a legion of colorful New Yorkers, who did everything not to rip that helmet off your head and demonstrate their field-goal kicking skills, perhaps for an audition with the Giants.

- Yes, I missed the 12:30 train and had to take one that left 50 minutes later.
- Yes, waiting for those burgers was worth it. I inhaled all three in about six minutes.
- Yes, a homeless man cut in front of me, too. But that doesn't bother me nearly as much.