Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Enjoy the snow

On my way home from classes, I stopped in at Burger King for a veggie burger. I'd had too much iced coffee and had the shakes and was feeling queasy and needed something proteiney.


The worker at the counter was a woman in her fifties; she was balding and had a slight mustache.

'Can I have a veggie burger?'

She looked up, gazing at a spot hovering in the air two feet above my head. The spot evidently then moved to the left, then the right. She had a big smile that revealed crooked teeth.

'I suppose' she said in a scratchy voice that made it sound like her tongue was stuck to roof of mouth, as if she'd just had a glass of whole milk. 'Cheese?'
'Yes', I said; I saw that the register registered $2.64.

'That'll be $264.' she said. I handed over three dollars. She counted the bills, passing them one at a time from one hand to the other, acting like she was giving me a $261 discount, but it's cool, this happens all the time, and is quite reasonable given my meager means.

'I can pay Canadian, too.' I said.

One time, back when I ate frozen pizza for lunch every day, I was trying to scoot through a trip to Giant on my way to campus. This was before Giant introduced self check-out lanes. My cashier was a man in his forties. He had a mustache. As he handed me my bags and receipt, he said, 'Enjoy the snow!' It was September. I looked at him, baffled. 'The weatherman says that they're expecting less than ten inches of snow today.' he said with complete gravity, as if going out and playing in this snow today was required of me by Hashem.

I went back to that Burger King the next Monday, partly because that cashier was so pleasant and funky. In the future, robots will prepare veggie burgers for us. This is a good thing, this frees people up to do other things. I'm just not sure how I'd cross paths with that Burger King cashier otherwise.

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