The queue is almost full, I think as I advance through the front door the generic fast food establishment, order already fully formed in my mind. I’m a creature of habit, for better or for worse. Two baconators with large order of fries, a large coke and then a chocolate frosty after. I’ve ordered this like clockwork since I was approximately fifteen.
As I settle into the line, attempting to make peace with the indignity of having to wait, I do a casual once-over of the people impeding my baconator journey. I immediately grow to despise every single one of them. Immediately in front of me are three women who, were I part of the Star Wars universe, could only have been Hutts and a scrawny, nervous-looking man (approximately five-foot-seven) who is doubtlessly the spear counterpart of the bikini-clad slave girls who orbited Jabba the Hutt like moons. I immediately mentally nickname the four of them Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Thebe, respectively.
Thebe keeps eyeing me. I attempt to ignore it. I realize he’s attempting to read the lettering on my shirt. This shocks me only because I’d assumed the Hutt Crime Lords didn’t teach their slaves to read.
Immediately ahead of them are a pair of Guidos, seemingly right out of Jersey Shore. One of them speak. French-Canadian Guidos. My searing white-hot hatred of them as human beings is compounded for this reason alone.
Thebe is still squinting at my shirt. We make eye contact. I wonder if punching him is worth missing out on the baconator, I muse. He stares at me vacantly. I offer him an insincere smile that I hope won’t encourage him to start a conversation. He doesn’t so much as blink. My desire to physically harm him only grows.
Ahead of them is an elderly couple, and their two grandchildren. A boy, approximately eight, and a girl who couldn’t have been older then five. Only minutes have passed, but it feels like hours. The small children begin racing around the Wendy’s, playing tag. I take this as validation of my opinion that all small children should be kept in cages when taken out in public, and the schadenfreude I feel in regards to the fact that both will probably one day be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and drugged into a pseudo-lobotomised state is borderline palatable. It’s then that it strikes me that I’m a horrible human being.
The line is moving, slowly but surely. It doesn’t feel like it, as the planets in front of me understandably feel the onset of exhaustion if they move more then a couple steps at a time. I briefly wonder if they’ve brought Thebe along to relay the order to the cashier, and then bring them their sustenance. A smirk twitches at the corner of my mouth, but I don’t laugh. If I laugh, I’m one of them:
Part of the bottom-rung-of-the-evolutionary-ladder-as-we-know-it collection that’s been ostracised to the Wendy’s line by higher life forms simply because I’ve been reduced to being the headcase who bursts into laughter with no outside motivation in the middle of a crowded room.
I attempt to focus on the baconator: The high-calorie light at the end of the increasingly hopeless tunnel. The line continues to inch forward, and my resolve strengthens.
I’m going to get my baconator, I promise myself, and that lucky, deceased cow will be spared the indignity of being eaten by someone woefully less intelligent then itself.
The line moves again. The geriatrics and the little hellions they’re no doubt counting on to one day change their future soiled diapers move off to find a table. I can feel the flop-sweat on Thebe’s brow, though I can’t see it. It’s almost feeding time. I wonder if they’ll have the decency to carry their own trays, or force him into it. The minutes stretch on. I’m growing no less hungry.
I glance behind the counter, at the workers. The only cashiers there are a tired-looking teenage girl with her last name tattooed in neon blue on her left forearm and an older man who I can only hope is the manager.
Thebe leans against the wall as Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter make their orders. Evidently he hasn’t finished reading my shirt, yet because he’s still staring at it with those dead fish eyes. I toss up a silent prayer that Jupiter crushes him during sex. Were I granted that simple request, I would exchange a truly awful thanksgiving for it, as I’m a firm believer in karma. My family has a tradition of truly awful thanksgivings. One more won’t be the death of me.
The thought that hunger makes me a tad irritable doesn’t cross my mind until after, when I’ve gotten home and transcribed my thoughts into blog entry form.
I realize I’m next. It’s a testament to my sad existence that this is the best thing to happen to me in the entirety of the day up to that point. I step up to make my order, noting that the manager taking my order bears passing resemblance to a relatively young Emperor Palpatine. It’s not enough to discourage me from ordering food from him. If he had red horns atop his head, a pitchfork and a tail, I would still order food from him.
The food is ordered, the right to shave probable minutes off my life paid for, and I realize that I’m still in for what will be the longest minute of my life.