Friday, May 25, 2007

Dig: Going Inside the Fast-Food Place and Getting Served Faster than the People in the Drive-Thru

I am the king of the drive-thru. Starbucks, McDonald's, BK (not Wendy's too much) - you name it, I have the remains of food from all of those joints somewhere under the driver's seat of my car. What's more convenient than pulling up to the speaker thing, ordering my fat-laden food and then stopping at the next window to pay for said food and receive the tasty morsels into the comfort of my mobile home-away-from-home? I don't need to step out of my cocoon and I can enjoy Howard on satellite radio while taking a big bite out of a Big Mac. What more could a boy want?

My time is pretty valuable what with making blog entries and all, so the idea of never leaving the car to eat is an attractive proposition. However, let's not confuse time-management with laziness. Given the opportunity to save a few precious seconds, I will pounce with cat-like reflexes even if it means actually expending more energy to do so. Especially if it's at the expense of others. The whole process is similar to changing lanes fifty times on the highway - I'm always on the lookout for an ever-so-slightly quicker way of getting home (I could give a shit if it takes me an extra two minutes to GET to work). It's all about me, me, me.

So here's the process. As a seasoned veteran of drive-thru (drive-through?) windows, if I see that there are more than a few cars ahead of me in line, I immediately scan the inside of the restaurant (calling those places restaurants is like calling the carnival that comes to town a theme park, but what are you going to do?) to scope out the length of the line at the counter. I take into consideration the type of car as well. For instance, if I see a dude that looks just like me (except his car DOESN'T need a new transmission) then I figure he's done this dance before and he's going to be quick. He knows better than to make any special requests for extra ketchup or no pickles or some damn thing. However, if I see a soccer mom in front of me with two or three soccer mom-lets in the back seat fighting over the toy from the last time they went to one of these places, even a rookie would recognize that Mama Cass up there is going to take for-fricking-ever. If I see her turn around to ask the brats what they want, I'm outta there!

Same goes for the line at the counter. It can be hard to see inside there, but if there are a couple of lonely looking lackies just waiting for someone to order up a Whopper, I know that I can save precious seconds by going inside. Conversely, if Mom and Dad are in there with the four kids (one from her marriage, two from his and one together) and there are a few people standing behind them looking at their watches and tapping their feet, I'll stay in my P.O.S. and just hope that the pimply-faced kid at the drive-thru window is all hopped up on Red Bull and can process my order quickly. If I have to wait, I'd much rather do it while sitting on my hind-end in my car instead of standing behind some dumb-asses on a hard ceramic tile floor. Besides, there's less chance of me strangling any of those dumb-asses followed by a lengthy trial where I risk exposing some of the other skeletons in my closet if I just sit in my car.

It takes swift decision-making, but it is such sweet victory to quickly park, scurry inside, order my value meal and make a hasty retreat back to my car and see that the minivan that was two cars ahead of me is just now placing their order! I make sure to make eye contact with the schlub who is still waiting (im)patiently to order his lunch while I'm already enjoying mine. You just sit there and piss away your day, I'll be getting a headstart on clogging my arteries with my combo meal, thank you very little!

You know that picture of Muhammad Ali standing over some guy that he just knocked out (here's a little hint - it's the pic at the top of the post)? That's how I feel when I walk - nay, STRUT - out of there holding my bag of grub. Hey, you in the car! You want a piece of me? I'll gladly kick your ass just as soon as I finish my fries. In the meantime, you just enjoy the fumes of the '79 Caprice Classic in front of you while you listen to the kids fight in the backseat.

Big Macs, Howard Stern and taking "cuts" in line - life is good!