[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
a night to remember. totally ruined.
it was another long day yesterday. the kind of long day that eventually turns into a long night. the kind of long night that screams for the remedy of...a bacon sandwich.
my sister and i are exhausted as we pull into the arby’s drive-thru lane. staring at the menu board, we review our choices:
regular roast beef
super roast beef
deluxe roast beef
a truly staggering number of variations of the roast beef sandwich.
menu? i don’t need no stinkin’ menu. i know why i’m here: the ultimate blt.
so, while my sister continues to study the details of the menu [“i don’t see the difference between the super roast beef and the deluxe roast beef. i swear to god there’s no difference. look at the pictures.”], my eyes are drawn to the three teenagers standing at the back door of the arby’s.
they have the door propped open with a blue plastic milk crate. the three of them are looking surly, their fast-food-workers-are-cool visors pulled low over their pimply foreheads. all three are testing the boundaries of their fast-food-workers-hate-you polyester pants. and all three are smoking.
on a sort of related note: coming home to west virginia can be a refreshing retreat. just about everyone here is a chain smoker. and overweight. it’s a relief after the cults of appearance that i’ve been living in for the past several years. unhealthy? certainly. but, on a certain level, it’s fucking paradise.
i notice that no one has come on the speaker to take our order.
“hey, do you think that’s everyone who is working? those three kids right there?”
“maybe they’re closed.”
in no apparent hurry whatsoever, the kids finish their cigarettes and turn to walk back inside. one of them kicks the milk crate, allowing the door to slam closed.
“welcome to arby’s. can i take your order?”
“yes, i’d like a philly beef and swiss. and an ultimate blt.”
“the one with the bacon?”
right there? i should have just thrown it into reverse and made a run for the border.
“uh. yeah? i mean...the blt. right?”
“right, but the one with bacon?”
i was so tempted to say, “no.” just out of curiosity, you know? i mean, i was incredibly curious. but the idea that i would just end up with two slices of bread with lettuce and tomato...well, my curiosity was quelled by the gnawing hunger in my stomach. my inquiring mind would have to wait to find out what the blt-without-the-bacon is.
“right. the one with the bacon.”
we pull around the corner of the arby’s and sit idly in the glow of the fluorescent light that drenches window two.
there’s a large sticker on the glass.
order a 24 oz. mocha chill...get a free souvenir cup!
i know there isn’t a whole lot to do in the area where i grew up. but, are you trying to tell me that somewhere, someone is thinking, “man, i wish i had something to remember this trip to the arby’s drive-thru? this is a night to remember."
in a trailer park somewhere, someone is directing their friends to the lighted brass-plated display shelf in the paneled living room, “and this is the souvenir cup i got when jay and i drove through the arby’s in cross lanes. man. that was really somethin’. ever had one a’them mocha chills? that’s a moment ou want to remember for the rest of your life, my friend.”
“no way! you had a mocha chill?!”
“yep. went through the drive-thru.”
“you don’t say.”
“yep. got the souvenir cup to prove it.”
“that’s a nice shelf.”
“got it on the home shopping channel.”
“is that gold?”
“it’s real nice. can‘t tell the difference.”
when the still-surly teen hands me the bag of food through the window, the curiosity that had been focused on the blt-without-the-bacon is now wholly intent on the souvenir cup.
“hey, can i get the 24 oz. mocha chill in the souvenir cup.”
“we already shut down the machine.”
“well, can i just get the souvenir cup?”
“you mean you want the cup without the drink in it?”
he’s only gone for a moment.
“we’re out of souvenir cups.”
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]