A funny thing happened last night in the drive-through......
No seriously, it did. Instead of our usual pattern of Tim finishing work just as I finish fixing dinner, we were out and about a little while last night. And our plans took a bit longer than anticipated so Tim suggested that instead of going home and waiting even longer for dinner while I prepared it, we do something we rarely do. We picked up fast food.
While other than my predilection for baked goods I both cook and eat rather healthfully, I am not a food-Nazi. I will eat the occasionally cookie with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I enjoy peanut butter filled pretzels upon occasion. And I've never met a Dairy Queen blizzard that I didn't like. But it is unusual for us to eat at a fast food restaurant. And it's not really for "healthy" reasons or anything remotely political or snob level reasons either. It's just that calorie for calorie, it's just not as tasty as real food. If I'm going to consume that many carbs and calories and that much sodium and fat, it's going to be in the form of dessert, preferably home made and it's going to taste a whole lot better! But occasionally, it's just the most efficient means to fill the belly hole. This was that occasion.
The line was surprisingly long and the wait seemed out of proportion to the time of day, well technically night I suppose though the sun had not yet completely set. But by the end of the day generally, we are too tired to be impatient. So we waited for our turn to place our order. Then we waited to pay at the first window. And of course waited even longer for the actual food. Bellies rumbling with hunger, we tried to distract ourselves from the long wait. We listened to the radio, we chatted, I responded to a few emails on my phone and then I noticed this bird.
The bird slowly and elegantly walked to a grassy median on the side of the drive-through stepping out from between two cars. I held my breath, hoping people would notice him because who expects a bird to be in front of your car at a drive-through? And I know sometimes people are in a rush, or distracted, or sometimes people are just jerks frankly. But the bird made it safely. I started to breathe again. Whew! The cars all pulled forward one length and then stopped at the next window and then, as I watched, the bird crossed back to stand in front of the new forward. And this was the pattern. Every time the first car moved forward, he slowly stepped back to the grassy bit on the side, when the next car stopped he returned, over and over. What on earth?
We watched this little dance repeat until it was our turn to be at the food delivery window. As we waited, I watched the bird do his leisurely walk back to stand in front of our car. He starred at us over the hood, first with his left eye, then with the right. He paced, very slowly, back and forth, never leaving the space in front of the car. "What a crazy bird!" we said. The lady at the window handed us our bags, we checked them (as we always do) and the order was wrong (as it always is). Tim told her that we were short one sandwich. She apologized and asked us to wait right there. Ok, we didn't move forward. Neither did the bird.
Tim flashed his brights at the bird hoping that would suggest it move along. In response, the bird slowly folded itself down to the ground until we couldn't see it anymore. Ok that's not good. We want to know where this creature is. We absolutely do NOT want to injure it. Tim turned the lights back off. Ever so slowly the bird rose again, sort of like it was standing on the worlds slowest elevator. But since we were also at the worlds slowest drive-through, it wasn't an issue. We continued to wait for our missing sandwich, the existing sandwich getting cooler by the minute and the bird continued to stare at us.
What did it want? Is it trying to communicate with us somehow? I began to feel guilty for absolutely no reason at all other than that guilt seems to be my default setting. I offered to get out of the car and shoo it away. Tim shook his head. He chirruped at the bird, the bird starred at him. He chirruped again, the bird starred harder (if that's possible). "What do you want birdie?" I asked, as if it was going on answer me.
The bird starred at me for a change. "I don't understand what you want birdie" I said, "I'm sorry" I apologized for absolutely nothing because there was nothing to be sorry for and the bird continued to stare. It became comical. "Why are we starring at the bird?" I asked. "Because he is starring at us, I guess" was the answer. Maybe we were hoping for some sort of telepathic connection that never happened.
Finally, at long last, the missing sandwich arrived. Somehow the bird knew that we were getting ready to drive away because he turned and at an excruciatingly slow pace, he strolled back to the grassy area and we drove out. I looked in the rearview mirror and was amused to see that he again moved in front of the next car and was starring them down as well.
Our hold-up bird had moved on to his next victim, hoping that one of them either really could read his mind, I suppose. Or maybe he was just making sure that everyone waited until their food order was complete? I'm not sure if he was brave or stupid or a super risk taker because there was absolutely no guarantee that everyone driving through there last night was going to notice him or care. And of course, because it's what I do, I worried about that stupid bird for far too long after we left.
So it was an unusual experience. And once we got home we realized that our order was STILL wrong. But it's okay because that bird was definitely the entertainment portion of the evening.
I am so easily amused ;)
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.