Fast Food
I recently discovered that there are still places in America where the idea of fast food hasn't caught on. Here's a transcript of my father and the drive-thru jockey at a McDonald's drive-thru in Asheville, N. C.

"Can I help you?"

"I'd like a Big Mac, two chocolate shakes, and a Coke."

"Uhhh... that's a Big Mac and what else?"

(At this point I realize that this guy's got a one-item memory capacity, and he's not going to try to empty it before the next syllable of information comes zooming at him. My father is undaunted. If anything he speeds up his ordering.)

"Two chocolate shakes,andacoke."

"What size do you want them shakes?"

(This is said in a way that indicates that the Coke is a far-off possibility that's best not considered until after we have the particulars of the shakes under control.)


(I think my Dad's used to servers who fill in his blanks. This guy's didn't even offer my dad a list of choices.)

"Medium or Small?"

(I'll save my rant about there not being a medium size when there are only two choices for another day. I nod at "medium," and my father relays the information.

"Medium. And a Coke. Also Medium."

(Nice try, Dad.)

"What size was that Coke?"

My enjoyment at watching my father begin his struggle with the Southern pace of life aside, I was pleasantly surprised that you can't blow through the drive-thru everywhere. I almost never go to them myself, because I'm just archaic and irrational. Everyone else in LA seems to enjoy them, presumably because of the LA goal of never leaving your car.

It's a strange society in which you can bark an order into a speaker and people hand you food while you stay in your conveyance. I'm worried that I didn't notice that oddity until I was somewhere where I couldn't do it.

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