I just needed a cheeseburger.
I had just spent a few hours visiting with my bear friends, Rich and Dave, yacking and then watching "V For Vendetta" - a favorite movie of 2006 for me, on their wide screen, high definition, surround-sound system, home theatre style television. Dave was all excited about seeing it because, I think, he was expecting a gore-fest. As much as I tried to assure him this movie wasn't that, I think he was still disappointed after. He was out like a light and snoring until the bloody knife fight at the end, which he loved. Rich seemed to appreciate the political stance the movie makes. I put them through "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" last month, and I'm wondering how many more nights they are gonna let me suggest the movie. We'll see.
But, I had missed dinner earlier and it was now approaching 11pm and I was HUNGRY. I pulled into the closest burger joint open. Jack In The Box. I should have known better.
Although I was just going to grab a Sourdough Jack (I'm a sucker for crunchy breads), I noticed that the side of the store had a big poster for the "New Sirloin Burger!". That didn't sound like a bad idea. When I pulled up to the menu board, right above the speaker, in the middle of the menu was another big-ass picture of the "New Sirloin Burger!" I noted that the picture showed red onion, big dill pickle slices, cheese and bacon, and some text about the savory sauce that accompanies the sandwich, on a bun that, although not sourdough, looked like it could be crunchy. I'm a sucker for red onions to begin with, and I thought it might not be a bad idea to upgrade the beef patty, so I decided to give it a go.
The intercom speaker crackled.
"Yes, I'd like a Sirloin Burger and a medium Diet Coke, please.
There was a pregnant pause.
"Que?" The drive-thru guy spoke Spanish. Okay. I don't. I took a deep breath.
"A Sirloin Burger. I'd like to try one. And a medium Diet Coke."
"Are you kidding me?"
"Sir-loin Bur-ger!" I thought breaking it down into syllables might help. I also said it loudly, in the event he was deaf.
"No no no..." was the response from the little box.
"What?" Okay, I was mad now.
"Oh, for Christsakes, I want a SIRLOIN BURGER!"
Well, it was a start.
"Yes! A Sirloin Burger with cheese and a Diet Coke!"
"Yes, sure. Okay!"
The little screen where you can verify what you have just ordered announced that he was ringing up a junior bacon cheeseburger.
"No!" I bellowed. "Not a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. A Sirloin Burger!"
"Que?" This was a different voice now. Two Spanish-only speaking Mexicans and a fat, angry white boy. This is as ugly as it gets.
"You have GOT to be KIDDING me!!!" I could hear my pulse in my ears, my blood pressure was spiking.
"Drive up." Two words of English finally strung together to make a sentence I understood. Thank FUCKING God!
When I pulled around the corner of the building in my truck and approached the window, I could see two young, Hispanic guys standing at the register. Both of them were wearing the same, identical t-shirt, as a part of their uniform, that read:
Seriously. I thought I was gonna stroke out. One of them opened the window and said:
I pointed to his shirt. I couldn't talk.
"Oh, ok! Fries?"
I shook my head.
I shook my head. I just wanted out of this situation.
"Gracias!" The guy said, all smiles, when he brought me the sandwich.
I left with a burger and a migraine.
By the way, the burger tasted like dogfood topped with red onion on crunchy bread.