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I’m through with the drive-thru

Features Column

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

I see where the royal couple ignored my well-intentioned suggestion that they name the royal baby Junior and instead chose the predictable, boring name of George. They will live to regret missing the opportunity to bond with the unwashed and rednecks, further widening the gap between royals and the common folk.

But I have more important things on my mind this day. We now live in a world at the height of technological advancement. Computers the size of a fingernail can guide missile systems. A smartphone can do more than a desktop computer could five years ago, unless it is in my hand, in which case it is pretty much just a phone with a bunch of extra gadgets I can’t operate.

You can talk to someone overseas and actually see them. Cars can drive themselves, just like they used to do in the ‘70s on the way home from the country club. We even have water hoses that curl up into small balls and then expand to approximately the size of Jupiter, all for only $19.95.

Despite this high-tech revolution, not one place in the entire United States has a drive-thru speaker system where any semblance of English language can be understood.

I once had a ‘77 Oldsmobile with busted speakers. Listening to “Another One Bites the Dust” on this system was pure torture. I think its sound was patented and then sold to every fast-food drive-thru in America.

I say, “ What did you say?, excuse me, are you there?” at least 800 times a year at drive-thrus. It must all be a grand conspiracy.

I believe fast-food operators begin their day by lining up the workers for the day. It goes like this:

“O.K. folks we are about to start the day. How many workers do we have here? Twelve, all right, let’s make the daily assignment. First of all, anyone here with a speech impediment or that can’t speak English? Good, we’ve got Sanchez, who just snuck over the border, and Julian, who lost part of his tongue in that unfortunate accident with the blender — note to self: never lick the milkshake blender before cutting it off. Sanchez, you work the drive-thru window from 8 to 4 and, Julian, you work from 4 to 12.”

“Si Senor.”

“Nes Mir”

To add to the confusion, I believe each employee is instructed to stand at least 20 feet from the microphone. You never know. It could electrocute you or something. Playing a radio in the background is also preferred, so I can hear “Push Push In The Bush” clearly while they garble my order.

As an added bonus, let’s also make sure the person with the least understanding of mathematics be at the window to take the payment. If you are going to get the wrong order, you may as well pay the wrong amount, too, and get back the wrong change.

I suggest they go away from the old-fashioned order at the box drive-thru. Just post the order person’s cell phone number beside the outdoor menu. Then, pull up to the menu and text the order to them. Hell, nobody actually has conversations with each other anymore anyway.

If you don’t have a cell phone with you then you deserve to have to go inside and order face-to-face.

If they screw up the order, you can pull up the text and show ‘em where you ordered two large fries, not two large cheeseburgers.

But until that day, I think I’ll just order inside. I don’t have time for the drive-thru.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.