Saturday, January 13, 2007

Van Dammit, Part the First

Time. Time passes. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. What that lazy geek Einstein failed to notice was that it passes most slowly when given something to juxtapose against.

Such a juxtaposition is frequently offered by what is poorly-named a "fast-food restaurant", and most especially its speedy drive-through. The time spent there is inversely proportional to the IQ of the attendant, or his/her/its age, whichever is higher, and seldom exceeding 20.6 in either case.

Once again, Einstein was too busy extrapolating the universe from a piece of prune Danish (which, had he just gone & eaten, would in itself have spend time up) to add this corollary to his precious little Theory. Some may contend that it was because he'd never actually been to a drive-through. And why is that? Because they weren't kosher? Life itself is not so kosher, yet nobody saw him avoiding life on that excuse. Now, Einstein may have actually liked drive-throughs, because anyone in the car is a captive to whatever spurious conversation you care to start. Or write. Whatever. In fact, much of his best work was done over a klatsch.

The search for profundity moves along, and settles for a moment on an aging conversion van trapped inside the ten-inch-high curbs at an eatery that we shall call McDougall's. Its human inhabitants are three: Mel, Speck and Lynn. How they got there is unimportant, although chances are excellent that they came in the van.

Speck was drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. The world is full of frustrated percussionists.
"Did you read that article?" Mel asked, of no one in particular. Not being very particular himself, Mel asked back "And which article might that be?"
"The one about the guy selling marijuana in a McDonald's drive-through?"
"Really?" came a slightly muffled voice from the rear of the van.
"Yeah. He knew which customers were his when they asked for 'hash browns without the browns'."
Speck grimaced. "Pray tell, couldn't he have been a bit more creative?"
A blonde head popped out from the back, with a whole girl attached. Lynn was curious: "Why? What would you have said?"
"Have you been listening to our conversation?" Mel asked with some testiness.
Mel furrowed his brow and inquired "Well, what would you have said?"
"What's an 'obscene gerund'?" Lynn wanted to know.
"I'll explain later. The point is, no one would think you were serious."
"How true that is...." mused Mel.
"See, then the guy could say 'Do you want fries with that?' like nothing had happened."
"And you could come right out and say 'Hell, yes, 'cause I'm about to have the munchies real bad!'."
"So, then he asks you if you want a medium or large bag...."
"Wait" said Mel, "what ever happened to small?"
"I want mine super-sized!" chimed in Lynn.
"I already told you- later! So, you ask for a large bag, saying 'Otherwise I'll have to come back in an hour, man. There's three of us in this frigging van. Not to mention the goat'."
"Best kind."
"Of what?"
"Van. This is very workable; your average McDonald's manager isn't keen enough to follow all this."
"Yeah, but the above-average manager demands a piece of the action. Plus a date with the goat."

Mel and Speck looked at each other thoughtfully.

"Maybe" speculated Speck "we're in the wrong business."

(That seems about as logical a stopping place as this story is going to supply....)

No comments: