Monday, November 06, 2006

The Price Is Right Tryouts at the Local Taco Bell

It's about ten on Friday night and my brother and I, who's visiting, are headed to Taco Bell to get a fourthmeal snack. We pull into the drive through and there's this minivan in front of us stopped at the order sign.

After an eternity of waiting, we realize that the person in front of us is not only ordering one of everything for herself, but must also be ordering for her clone sitting in the back who has the same finicky eating habits. And to make things worse she has the mistaken idea that it's a visual ordering system and is hanging her arm out of the window performing feats of phalange gymnastics to point out each and every item on the menu.

Just as I'm about to shout something about using her mouth and not her finger, her brake lights go off and we think, finally, it's our turn, so I bite my tongue. But she stops after driving about a foot, red lights glaring, then lets off the brake again then drives another foot and stops, and by this point even my brother is getting annoyed. Finally she remembers that she is driving and heads off around the Taco Bell to get her food.

Finally it's our turn.

"Welcome to Taco Bell. Can you hold on a minute?" crackling speaker boy says.

"Sure." my brother says. He's driving so he's also ordering.

About 60 seconds go by.

"We'd like..." my brother tries to say.

"Could you hold on a minute?" our taconista says again.

"Yeah, sure." My brother says.

At this point we have a conversation about slow service. I try to be positive , remembering when I went to a Burger King once, and only one guy was running the show, since the other three people had decided to quit that night at the same time.

A few more minutes go by.

"I can take your order now." the unapologetic bean slinger finally says.

"Yes, I'd like two cheese quesadillas, and that's it." My brother says, putting his faith in brevity and clarity to produce fast service.

"So uh, that's two cheese quesadillas?" taco boy says.


"Anything else?"

At this point I'm beginning to wonder if the concept of crispy or soft tacos he learned about earlier in the day is occupying too many computational cycles in his brain for any extraneous information, such as customer's orders, to find a way to squeeze their way up to the top of his internal To Do list.

"Yes, that's it." My brother says, giving me a look telling me he's echoing my thoughts.

"Come on down!" shouts The Amazing Chalupa Kid.

"Hey, it's The Price is Right." My brother laughs.

"Well, he heard Bob Barker is retiring and figured they would need a replacement, so he'd better start practicing." I say.

It wasn't until later that I realized that the lady in the van in front of us must have also been practicing, only she was trying out as a showcase girl.

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