Drive-Through Blues


I ordered two biscuits and, leaning out the window, informed the voice from the speaker that I had a coupon to “buy one and get one free.” I have learned that it is futile to say something that is merely English – “I want two biscuits, and I’ve got a coupon to get one free” – because the voice won’t process it. Reciting is necessary.
‘Tis better to “drive around” and wait until the voice has a body attached.
This time the voice threw a curve when I was looking fastball.
“I’m sorry. We don’t sell those anymore.”
The biscuits in question were to include maple sausage, egg, and cheese.
“This coupon doesn’t run out till April 15.”
“I’m sorry. We don’t sell those anymore.”
“Could I substitute some other kind? Like, say, smoked sausage.”
Pause. “We don’t honor coupons for other products.”
“Than the ones you don’t sell?”
Silence.
“Okay, let me get another one. … bacon, egg and cheese. Still got bacon? Still got cheese?”
“Drive around.” I know she was dreading that.
While paying for the inferior product, I pointed out that the coupons had arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday and I lived a mile away.
“Sir, we can’t control which coupons you get.”
“I’m sorry. I thought this was Hardee’s.”
I know the poor girl isn’t making much money. I gave her a hard time because the CEO, or even the postmaster, was undoubtedly unavailable. I also knew she was just some kid who needed a job, and I tried to balance my sarcasm with politeness.
Tried.

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