Monday, August 30, 2010
Take today, for instance.
First, I wait 30 minutes in the drive-thru line, while some hungry person in front of me orders enough burgers to feed Guatamala.
Then, before I utter a single syllable at the menu board, I hear, "Hi! Welcome to Burger World, where we make your burger from the freshest ingredients possible…any way you want it…while you wait…24 hours a day…seven days a week. My name is Edward. Would you care to try one of our Burger Bargain Boxes today?"
"OK. Just take your time and order when you're ready." (Oblivious to Edward, I was ready 30 minutes ago.)
"I'd like a burger and a lemonade, please."
"OK. Would you like french fries with that burger and lemonade?"
"OK. Would you like an order of crispy onion rings with that burger and lemonade?"
"How about one of our delicious hot apple pies?"
"No. Just the burger and lemonade, please."
"Well, our chocolate sundaes are on special today."
"The burger and lemonade, Edward."
"OK. One moment while I figure your total."
And while Edward figures my total, I doze and dream I’m standing before Congress, begging for fast-food legislation.
I argue that, since we limit how many bags a person takes on an airplane, how much weight an 18-wheeler hauls and how many Cokes a consumer can buy on sale, then surely we can limit how much food a person orders from a drive-thru window—and perhaps ban employee monologues as well.
The congressmen offer sympathetic smiles, but just as they open their mouths to speak, I hear, "That'll be $3.27. Please pay at the first window, pick up your burger at the second window and your lemonade will be waiting at the third window, around the corner, to your left."
Edward is back. The dream is over. I yawn and pull forward.