Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oh baby

Sometimes the lady who works the drive-thru window at my local KenTacoHut calls me "baby". As in "Will that complete your order, baby?" or "That'll be $2.14, baby" or "Was that a medium Pepsi, baby?". This almost always throws me, because I never expect it. Frankly, any time I encounter something other than vitriolic indifference at the drive-thru (if you don't believe there can be such a thing as vitriolic indifference, you don't patronize many fast food establishments), it throws me.
In this case, I get distracted and start thinking about the drive-thru lady in romantic terms, as though she considers me to be her baby, you know, in a Smokey Robinson kind of way. I think about our relationship and how sad it is that due to the demands of our respective work schedules, the only way we can express our affection towards one another is for me to drive up and order a chicken burrito value meal (only $2!) and have her refer to me as her baby. Sometimes if it isn't too busy, she might even lean down and give me a smooch. These are the happiest moments of our life, as we are rarely home together at the same time, and when we are, it's constant fighting about money problems and how she smells like Fire Sauce. "You used to love me for my Fire Sauce", she sobs as I bitterly mutter something under my breath about how I used to love Coke more than Pepsi too.
Then I catch a glimpse of her and realize that she is considerably older than me and is probably referring to me as "baby" in a matronly fashion rather than as a term of romantic endearment, which makes sense in that I am coming to her seeking the sustenance she provides. In that way, the relationship is not entirely unlike that of a mother and offspring. This makes me think about actually being her baby, as in what if she were my mother? Obviously, I am too old to be considered an infant by any standard, so that would be kind of embarrassing...unless I were actually an actual baby! Hyper developed at an early age and capable of a variety of functions that would be beyond that of any normal baby, such as operating a motor vehicle and ordering food for myself from a fast food restaurant where my mother just happens to work. In other words, just about the most incredible baby ever, with a super brain, probably on track to attend med school at Harvard by the age of five. And yet, after bringing such an incredible specimen into the world, my mother still has to work the drive-thru window at a fast food restaurant just to make ends meet. She toils away day after day, calling out for her baby to rescue her from her life of drudgery. "Baby, please", she says. I cry out, "Oh mama! I'm so sorry! I failed you! I'm so very, very sorry!". She replies, "You ain't got to be sorry. Just move along. Damn". It's then that I realize I've had my food order in hand for at least two minutes, while sitting there daydreaming and holding up drive-thru traffic.
Sometimes the manager comes over and says I'm not allowed to order from the drive-thru for two weeks.


Renee said...


RottenMom said...

Another damn brilliant piece. One after the other! I love how your mind works, baby!

Why, it's Clark! said...

Thank you.
And please allow me to take this opportunity to mention how pleased I am that you are not dead due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
You too, Renee.

Mariella said...

This was so funny I had to re-read it just to laugh all over again.