Friday, May 8, 2015

Drive-Thru Creeper

I wasn't expecting a conversation at the first window.

It had been a hectic day, and I was rushing for lunch. I had planned on making a nice, healthy lunch for The Boy (my 5 year-old) and I. Probably some grilled salmon with asparagus and sliced pomegranate. (Or something.) Instead, our errands got out of hand and I found myself pulling up to the drive-thru ordering speaker of a local fast food establishment. (I don't want to shed a bad light on the place, so for the sake of anonymity I'll call it "McFastFood's.")

Most drive-thru conversations take place at the ordering speaker. And these aren't exactly "conversations," they're mostly recitations of familiar phrases like:
"Would you like any fries with that?"
"Can I super-size that for you?"
And, "Please pull forward to the first window."

I placed my order and was told to move ahead to the first window. (They didn't have grilled salmon, so I settled for a Filet o' Fish.) As I pulled around there was a car ahead of me at the first window. I waited my turn, then pulled up to the window.

I took out my credit card and reached it toward the window when the McFastFood's employee broke the unwritten rules of the Customer/Drive-thru Employee Interaction Contract: he said something that differed from the standard script.

As I reached my credit card toward him, he said, "Why is it that all the cute girls pay with a credit card?"

I was a bit befuddled. I was paying with a credit card. Did he think I was a cute girl? And if so, how offended should I be? Or how flattered should I be? (Because, if he thought I was a girl, at least he thought I was a cute girl.)

I wasn't sure how to respond, so I think I said something extremely insightful, like "Uhhh...."

He took my card to process it, then continued, "I wish they would pay with cash." I didn't respond, but I was a bit relieved. When he said "they" it meant that he wasn't lumping me in with the cute girls.

The conversation was pretty one-sided. He had something he wanted to say, and I was the one there for him to say it to. For my part, he had piqued my interest. I was a bit curious to see what exactly he was talking about.

As he processed my card, he went on. "When they pay with cash, I get to hold their hands a little bit when I give them their change. I just want the chance to hold a cute girl's hand. But I don't get to hold their hand when they pay with a credit card! I wish the cute girls didn't always pay with credit cards!"

Okay, that was a bit creepy.  It's like I was seeing a bad guy from an episode of Criminal Minds in his earliest stages: It started out with him holding hands with unwitting girls as he gave them change at the drive-thru, then before you knew it he was keeping girls locked up against their will in his shed out back.

I was just expecting to pay at the first window, not get a glimpse inside the mind of a serial killer.

Having finished telling me his woes, he handed me back my card. I felt like I should say something, so I shook my head and told him, "I don't know what to tell you, dude." (I don't often use the word "dude," but for some reason it seemed appropriate. For once, I was actually talking to someone who was more nerdy than me.)

I pulled forward to the second window, feeling fortunate to know that the Drive-Thru Creeper didn't have a hand in actually preparing my food.

Looking back now, I'm probably being a little hard on the Drive-Thru Creeper. He's probably just a lonely nerd who hasn't had much luck with the ladies. Believe me, I understand. Been there, done that.

But, there are better ways to meet women than grabbing at their hands while giving them change at the drive-thru window.

And as far as you cute girls are concerned, I'm not sure what to tell you. I'd say always pay with credit card so Drive-Thru Creeper can't fondle your hands when giving you change, but credit card fraud is always a danger, too. Maybe your best bet is to avoid the drive-thru altogether, stay home, and have some grilled salmon. (It's healthier, anyway.)

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