And to think I was worrying only yesterday about the impending Cupocalypse!
Yes, it's true. I hope you've been frugal and foreseeing and saved your ketchup and salt packets from fast food restaurants. Because it's going down! These supplies are scarcer than Mackinaw peaches outside of their two-week ripeness window. Scarcer than a chocolate babka when you need one for a dinner party. Scarcer than a spare square of toilet paper in a public women's room. Scarcer than a marble rye that must be tossed or reeled through the third-floor window of your future in-laws' apartment.
I'm starting to think that, perhaps, WE are the reason for the dearth of condiments in Hillmomba. The Hillbilly family. That we have single-handedly depleted the stockpile. However...that could not be true. We rarely ask for ketchup.
In the drive-thru at Burger King, I observed a curious sight. The car in front of us refused to pull away from the window, even though money had been proffered, a bag had been forked over, and thank-yous exchanged. The window worker disappeared briefly, and reappeared with a tiny white cup, like a pleated paper shot glass. The bottom half was red. Something told me it was not a shot of cinnamon schnapps. The driver refused the complementary cup, and put the pedal to the metal.
When it was my turn, I was told to pull forward. I hate that. I want to ask for my money back, to tell them they can have it when I get my order. Like when you trade Partridge Family bubble gum cards with your sister, and each of you won't let go until the other lets go. But I always pull forward. Grudgingly. This time, I had the audacity to ask for salt and pepper. The Pony does not like plain fries. The girl said, "Okay," and slammed the window. I tapped on it with a straw. Perhaps she had not heard me correctly. She was, after all, busying herself with that picture-coded register. Like I did not exist. She opened the window.
"Could we please have some salt and pepper?"
"Okay." Again. She slammed that window shut. Made no move to get the salt and pepper. Fiddled with the register. You can't fool Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. I know a register does not dispense salt and pepper. I thought of sitting there and not pulling forward. Making that little gal open the slammer again. But I did not.
Another girl brought the food out five minutes later, where we sat in a Tahoe down by the sidewalk. I opened the bag. "Is the salt and pepper in here?"
"Salt and pepper? I don't know..."
"That girl slammed the window on me twice when I asked."
"If it's not in there, I can bring you some."
"Thank you. It's not here."
She disappeared. For five minutes. Then she came back and handed me pepper packets. And a tiny white paper pleated shot glass one-fourth full of salt. She must have been in there shaking a shaker. "We're out of salt packets, but I brought you this."
It's going to be a long weekend at the Burger King of Hillmomba.