Monday, August 29, 2005


That's my best attempt at the sound of a block of wood. Or another similarly dense inanimate object. Like the head of the girl who just waited on me at the drive-thru at Tim Horton's. Thunk.

Now, never let it be said that I refuse to acknowledge a person's positive qualities. So, let me say that on the positive side, she was cute. But that's all. If I needed to refine that description at all, I'd have to say "cute-but-dumb-as-a-post."

So, there we are at the drive-thru. I'm in the car with four kids, all of whom behaved quite well at a trip to Walmart, hence the side trip to Tim's. I order an Iced Cappuccino, and four donuts: one honey dip, one vanilla dip, and two double chocolate. She doesn't have a total for me at the squawk box, but that doesn't worry me at the time. I drive around to the pick-up window.

She looks out the window at me, and says, "Nine dollars."

I look back at her, and say, "Pardon me?!?!?"

She says, "Didn't you order an Iced Cap, four donuts, and two coffees?"

I say, "Uh, no. The coffees aren't mine." What I get back from her is what I become very familiar with over the next few minutes. A blank stare. Either a "deer-in-the-headlights" or possibly a "maybe-if-I-just-stare-at-him-he'll-go-away" kind of stare. I can't decide.

So, she re-evaluates my order and gives me (what I hope is) the correct price. I pay.

She hands me a small bag of donuts. I pass it back to the 13-year-old to distribute to the crew.

She looks at the two coffees that aren't mine. She looks back at me. Gives me 'the stare.' I say, "My Iced Cap??" She looks around. Nobody made it.

She looks to a co-worker for backup. The co-worker, at least, has a glint in her eye which makes me feel a little better about my order. The co-worker makes my Iced Cap.

By this time, my 13-year-old says, "Dad, these aren't the right donuts. And there are only three." I take the bag and look into it. There *is* a vanilla dip donut. Yay. There are also two chocolate dip donuts, which aren't actually the donuts we wanted. No honey dip, no two double chocolates.

I tell her, "I'm sorry, but these donuts aren't right. The vanilla dip is there, but there are two chocolate dips instead of double chocolates, and there is no honey dip." She gives me 'the stare.' But at least she takes the bag, and heads back to the donut shelves. (The co-worker is wearing a little smile. Methinks the co-worker has been here before.)

A short while later she comes back with the bag and hands it to me. She says, "There are no honey dips. That's why there wasn't one in there." I don't even *bother* asking any of the obvious questions. So I just say, "Ok then, a chocolate dip will be fine."

She hands me the bag. I don't check it yet. I look at her. She looks at me. Gives me 'the stare.' I don't actually *have* my Iced Cap yet. At least it's there on her counter. I just look at it. She looks at it. And hands it to me.

There are... I don't know... A LOT of cars behind me in the drive-thru lineup by now. WAY more than you would expect on a Monday afternoon. I drive away.

However, before I completely exit the parking lot, something tells me I better check the donuts. I pull into a parking spot and open the bag. Ok, there's that same vanilla dip donut. That's good. There's a chocolate dip donut, like I expect. Good. And there's also... another two chocolate dip donuts. The same two that were in there back when I told her they were wrong. Groan.

I hop out of the car, walk into the place and try to get the right donuts. Another employee tells me they don't actually *have* any double chocolate right now. Ah. I take two other kinds and leave.

The kids eat their donuts. I drink my Iced Cap. Everything's ok with the world. I even found the whole thing slightly amusing (remember, I *am* easily amused...).

However, the sound refuses to leave me. I keep hearing it over and over.



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