July 20, 2010 “The Minivan”
I wish I had a photo. I should have taken a picture; my camera was in the seat next to me, but I didn’t. It would have helped you grasp so much better the story I’m about to unfold for you.
As is too often the case, this evening found me on lunch break at my tedious and less than fulfilling (but it almost pays the bills) job again, sitting in my car in line at Micky D’s.
Yes, this is another Drive-Thru Diatribe!
I pull up behind a fellow in a nice pearl-white Cadillac Escalade. In front of the Cadi was a Minivan pulling up to the order menu thing to talk into. I’m thinking, “This is good, I’ll be through here in a jiff.” What was I thinking? It’s a blanking minivan!…and what is the main cargo of minivans…many minipeople! Minipeople are great…I even had one once for a while, but we rode in a little black coupe.
The problem with minivans is, other than the minuscule cargo, they are piloted by, albeit well meaning and responsible, yet cluelessly undaunted, mommies and daddies. Don’t get me wrong, these are professional pilots…they have to be dedicated pros, (though, again, cluelessly undaunted ones), to attempt such a labor as packing a passel of petite peoplings in a modern powered perambulator. This is an undertaking to be entered into with the soberness of a judge, the patience of Job, two ibuprofen, and a valium. I proclaim that, even though he slew the Lernaean Hydra, obtained the Girdle of the Amazon Queen (not really too difficult, heck, I think I have one or two girdles from Amazon Queens here somewhere), and cleaned the Augean Stables, Hercules himself would have failed at the Twelve Labours had one of them been to ferry half a dozen minipeople through the McDonald’s Drive-Thru…in a minivan!
I digress. My story is not about the myriad munchkins in the minivan, but about the witless woman piloting said van. She pulls up to the menu order thing to talk into at 7:06 PM, her left arm hanging out the drivers window, gesturing as she gets the orders from the other occupants of the van. Of course there was no discussion pertaining to what the hungry little humans in the back might want prior to the van stopping at the menu thing, none at all, never is, in my experience…her head is turned to the rear view mirror as the orders from the back are relayed forward…discussions ensue…decisions are tentatively made. She turns to face the menu order talk thing. No, she doesn’t turn her head…she turns her entire body and leans out of the window on her elbows as if she is leaning onto a counter. Both long-fingered hands are gesturing wildly, but I can tell she is ordering 1 of this, 1 of that, 3 of these, and two of those…no, make that 3 of those…the fingers of both hands flare out wide and wave from side to side with palms out to say, Whoa, wait a second! as she turns across her LEFT shoulder to receive an order update from the adult stationed immediately behind her…she returns to the “counter” and continues..4 of those, and 1 of these…make that one a small
(her thumb and forefinger held slightly apart to show the eyeless screen she means “small”), and something else which was a mysterious gesture, maybe a fly landed on her elongated hand, or the valium is wearing off. At this gesture she turns to her LEFT again, this time to give the guy in the Escalade and me a good once-over, as if we are causing HER some kind of problem! 7:10 PM, she gets her fill of Cadillac guy and me, and turns her attention back to the screen, orders are placed and modified a number of times until finally it’s correct, and then one more read through of the order, which has to look like a short story written on the screen, …tic…toc…tic…toc, 7:11 PM…
The driver of the Escalade is having some kind of fit in his plush leather seat, and I could spit darts of pure vitriol in my ravenous rage…the woman swings back around to her proper position and pulls away to pay at 7:12 PM…oblivious to how close she was to becoming a headline in tomorrows news paper…the Escalade guy might have made her a physical resident of that tiny screen had it not been for the debilitating fit he was having.
As I pulled away from the Bag-O-Fat window with my precious Sweet Tea, I passed by the minivan as it was parked for the distribution of the goodies to all of the….THREE…ONLY THREE (two minis, and one full size) people in the back!…ahead of me the Escalade was weaving recklessly all over the parking lot as the gyrating driver counted the heads in the van too.