You may have read this column before, and if you have, you most likely have read about my ongoing struggle to understand the inadequacies in our local fast food establishments.
Someday, when I see a fast food restaurant with happy, good-mannered teenagers, a floor that isn’t slimy or filthy, and tables that my elbows don’t stick to, I will know I am dead.
So, with my furrowed brow and in my regular snit, I pull up to the closest place to get a little something. I can’t get a coffee, because there is a boil order on and I’m pretty sure I’ll never drink coffee again. More stress. More aggravation.
“Kelp you?” says the voice on the intercom. I know this kid, and he is really a pretty good person, but he still says “Kelp you?”
I order my $1 sausage biscuit and consider bottled water, but decide I will somehow find at least a drop of caffeine elsewhere in this town.
The kelp guy simply says the price of my meal. He doesn’t say “drive through please” or “thank you” or as my grandma used to say, even “kiss my foot.”
Arghhhhh. The curmudgeonly old man inside me rages.
When I get to the main drive thru, after paying Mr. Kelp, I am told to pull up to “number 1.” The only problem is, No. 1 is already occupied.
“Wait until they leave,” says the fairly friendly blonde girl.
“Yes, I’ll wait until the car in front of me leaves before I pull forward,” I say. She does not detect any sarcasm or basic irritation, so I am only hurting myself.
As I pull up, clearly knowing that the world is against me, I look over at a little silver car, also waiting in a space over to the side.
The license plate says “WWJD” on it.
My stature sinks a few inches and just then, the nicest guy walks out with my little bag and my $1 sausage biscuit. He tells me he’s sorry for the wait and that they are short-handed this morning.
I turn into the most forgiving, benevolent person and say “Thank you young man, don’t worry about it.” He has no clue that three seconds ago, I was ready to sue the place and then God sent that license place to smack me in the head.
This happens to me often, I should tell you. I have my usual thoughts that I must avoid the human race, walk around in a fury because someone didn’t do something right, or basically be mad at the world for my discomfort, and there is a moment of realization.
The other afternoon, after a long day of work and a list of general aggravations, I was listening to my sweet daughter tell me all kinds of things about some silly YouTube video that she’d been watching.
I love that kid. I am always glad to see her and be around her, but today, my brain just needed a few minutes of rest and I wanted her to be quiet. I was still polite to her. When she went to the other room, I was relieved because I finally had some peace and quiet and could maybe salvage a decent attitude.
Just then, my daughter turned on some music in her room. A Christian song about thankfulness or something nice like that. The music flooded the house, my thoughts, and my heart in an instant. No more grumpiness.
OK. I get it. I need to straighten up and fly right. Hold every thought captive. Stop being such a grumpy old cuss.