So yesterday as I was waiting on a cold drink outside the Sonic on Kingshighway,
under the ruse of rubbing at a spot inside the windshield, I leaned in close
to eavesdrop on a picnic table conversation. .
the tenderest of mealtime bonding moments shared among old friends.
At first glance I had noticed this group of guys in raggy ballcaps, wifebeater shirts, and forearm tattoos. . .
you know. . . the kind of look your mom always warned you to stay away from. . .
and my tiny little monkey mind veering off its normal course to follow the imaginary conversations it was straining to hear . ..
breaking and entering. . .
The boys are gathered around a metal table, shaded by the icon’s triangular awning. It must be ninety degrees under the sun so I imagine they are as dry as dust.
Pretty soon I hear the fast food guy’s voice come over the speaker. ..
“Welcome to Sonic. May I interest you in a rootbeer float this afternoon?”
And the first loud reply comes from the one hunched forward like a linebacker.
“Ha ha. Yeah that would be a nice change from wartur. Let me have that then.”
Meanwhile, I am still waiting on my drive-through carhop, who is whizzing past on skates to wait on someone else.
“Ha ha.” comes the echo from the guy in the middle. “I haven’t had one of them floats since I was a kid. Let me have that too.”
“OK that’s all for me, the linebacker says, looking over at the third guy. “I gotta stay off the fries and watch my weight” And with that, he leans back against the side of the table and takes a moment to smooth his wooly hair.
“Hoo hoo. Don’t we already know it!” says the guy in the middle. Now listen, you ought not make this poor man wait, Larry Junior. Tell him what you want already.”
Larry Junior squints in and draws a little closer to the sign. He points to the photo in front of him.
“I’m gonna have me a corn-dog. That’s what I’m unna have.”
“OK, ” says the guy from the speaker. “So you want tater tots with that corn-dog or fries?”
And from Larry’s reaction afterwards, you would have thought the speaker guy had just said the rapture was coming or something. . .because all of a sudden, he starts to jump up in front of the sign.
“Tater tots! You have tater tots? Hoo hoo! You hear that, man? It’s some tater tots here!”
“Yes,” comes the response from the speaker. ” We got tater tots, fries. . .oh and apple slices.”
“Apple slices too?”
“Yeah that’s right. Apple slices.”
“Hoo hoo! Apple slices! I can’t believe it. What else can I get?”
“Apple slices, tater tots, fries, and something else. ..oh right. We also got a banana.”
” Kawn dawg, apple slices, banana AND them tater tots?”
“No. You have to choose. Apple slices, banana OR tater tots.”
“Hah. Well, I don’t know. I can’t decide. What do you guys think?”
“We think you are crazy, Bro. Just get what you want, Man.”
“Hmm. ..OK. Well . .then. . .I want that banana. ‘At’s what I want.”
“OK. That’s a corn dog meal with a banana. Four dollars mumble mumble. ..the carhop will bring it out to you in a few minutes. . .”
And with that come the final words of drive-up insight and wisdom.
“Man, you do know you just ordered a corndog wif a banana, right?”