Friday, July 25, 2008
A Food-Based Discussion
I step up to the counter and order a Quarter Pounder meal "with mustard... hold it--is there already mustard on a Quarter Pounder?" The cashier turns immediately to the employee next to her and asks her the same question. The other employee, who seems to be some sort of shift leader gives her a look: "Yeah, he-LLO, and you should know that."
"Dont talk to me," my cashier says, "He's the one that asked. I didn't ask."
"Yes you did, cos you didn't know."
"I only asked because he did."
"In that case," I interject, "I won't have any extra mustard, since it's on there already." The cashier turns to me, not in the slightest bit flustered by this exchange so far. "You wouldn't have gotten any extra mustard anyway," she says.
The shift leader's mouth snaps open. "He certainly would, if that's what he asks for." The cashier turns to me, as if really letting me know, confidentially, how it is. "No you wouldn't. You know how stingy they are on fries and stuff. Like as if it comes outta their own pocket." She gives me the largest cup in the rack and goes to get my fries.
Once I sit down, I stay within earshot of the counter. The shift leader hangs around her with sidelong looks. A man orders his stuff to go. The cashier looks up from the keyboard of her register, smiles a bit, leans over confidentially, says cheerfully, "You aren't going anywhere."
--photo: Davo, detail of one of the many paintings entitled Untitled, Indianapolis Museum of Art