Monday, July 27, 2009

An order of wings

This happened not long ago

"Can I help you, sir?"

"Yes, please. I'm here to pick up an order of wings for Mrs Clark."


"Ummm, yes... they were supposed to be ready at 7:10"

"Well, it's ten minutes after seven now."

"Ummm, yes it is."

"How many, five dozen? ten dozen?"

"I have no idea -- she just asked me to stop and pick up the order"

"Did you call it in already?"

"Mrs Clark called it in earlier this afternoon."

"I don't see it here, let me check with the kitchen." (he ducks out through the kitchen door while the line behind me grows in length and shortens in patience )
(he sticks his head back around the door)

“Sir? How many wings did you say?"

"I didn't. Mrs Clark called the order in this afternoon, and was told that they'd be ready at seven ten. I don’t know how many." (the muttering behind me grows in intensity)

"Do you know who told her that?"

"No - please, do you have an order of wings ready? I have to get them to a wedding rehearsal in about 20 minutes."

"Just a minute, sir, we're che.."

"Excuse me sir, I'm the manager. Can I help you?"

(sighs of relief from behind me)

"Yes, I..."

"Is this for a wedding rehearsal? Ten dozen wings?"

(I begin to hear a roaring sound)

"Yes! That sounds like the order!"

"And you're Mr Clark?"

"No, I'm picking up the order for Mrs Clark. She was told 7:10."

(crowd getting restless again -- one family leaves)

"Yes sir, I just wanted to make sure I didn't give the order to the wrong person, and then when you came in you'd be ticked off because your wings were gone, and it would be my fault if I didn't check." (I realize the roaring sound is coming from inside my head.

I've heard this sound before)

"I understand, and thank you for being concerned."

"No problem, sir. We just want to be sure."

(dark mutterings intensify -- as does the roaring)

"Thanks again. So the wings are ready?"

"They will be in a few minutes, sir, nice and fresh." (manager ducks back into the kitchen, cashier steps back to his post)

"They will be?” I call out to the swinging door. “I'm supposed to have them at the church in (I look at my watch) twelve minutes, and it's 18 miles from here!

"Can I help whoever is next? Sir, can you wait over there?" (someone steps on my foot -- I turn to confront whoever it is, but it turns out to be an elderly lady with a cane. I hold my ground, but there's still that roaring sound. I wonder if anyone else can hear it)

"No, if I wait over there I'll block their view of the menu board. He said it'll only be a minute. Can I pay for them now, to save time?"

(Amateur ventriloquist halfway down the line mutters some obscenity, ending with “get lost!"

Everyone ignores him except the kid in front of him, who repeats every word, and gets his mouth slapped by the older woman he's with)
(the manager comes bustling out)

"Here's your order, sir! Did you want sauce with these? And blue cheese dressing?

Your wife didn't specify, so I threw them in."
(the kid is still screaming)

"She's not my wi… nevermind -- yes, thanks! How much do I owe you?"

"Oh, Kyle will ring you up as soon as..." (Kyle is busy, actually using a pocket calculator to figure the change due from two fives for a $6.55 order. So far he’s gotten
to $5.00 + $5.00, and I don’t want to wait another five minutes -- the roaring in my ears gets much louder)

"How much will this be? I am not waiting for Kyle -- there's
another register right here!"

"But sir, I can't do that, this register is out of service!" (The crowd begins to show more interest -- is it sympathy? -- for me, I hope)

"Look -- your menu board says that 10 dozen wings is $64.89. Here's 65 bucks (I stick it into his shirt pocket) I really don't care where you stick the change – that would be eleven cents, Kyle -- I'm outta here!"

"But,, but!"

(as I go through the door I hear the ventriloquist mutter again, "Shaddup, (mumbled obscenity)!" and I don't think he's talking to me, but it's probably a good thing that I’m carrying the box of takeout wings with both hands)

(yes, it really happened)


  1. If it wasn't so annoying it'd be hilarious Howard.

  2. LOL.

    I remember you telling this story at the NB. Love it.