Note: Although some states have begun to partially re-open restaurants, many of us are still limited to drive-thru only (or, like me, we are limiting ourselves until we feel comfortable with public spaces). That being the case, I pulled this little ditty out of the archives. For those unfamiliar, Dr. Brian is an alter-ego of mine, a pseudo-psychologist who had his own blog years ago. He’s not certified in any way, nor should he be. Additionally, “Sonic” is one of those establishments wherein one selects a parking spot, places an order via a giant lighted menu and an intercom, and then waits. Enjoy.
Idiot Fondue: Case Study – #38
Dear Dr. Brian,
I was at Sonic this evening, and I had a small breakdown while trying to decide which of their designer hotdogs I should order. The Chicago? The New York? Stick with the standard foot-long chili cheese dog that they have had forever? It was very troubling. And then, after I finally made up my mind, the stupid lady who roller-skated out with my order slammed into the side of my car and spilled everything. Now I have a dent in my car and my weenie has been mashed. Should I sue?
Violated in Oak Cliff
Well, now. There are so many alarming things going on with your submission that I’m not certain a single person can provide proper guidance, but I shall certainly try, if only to be allowed the opportunity to address the significance of fast-food foot-longs. This is a minor side-dream that I have secretly harbored for many years.
But let’s start from the beginning, as that is the point where most neuroses first gestate and then bloom into wonderful, twisted things that result in desperate people being willing to pay exorbitant consultation fees in order to untwist the madness that has led them to make poor decisions. (I am not complaining, by any means, of course. If it weren’t for misguided souls taking wrong turns, I wouldn’t even have a career. Bless the beasts and the blundering.)
Anyway, why on earth would you consider Sonic to be an optimal food-intake destination? Surely you realize that the first ingredient listed on any of their products is “grease”, followed by “cholesterol” and then a double-play of carbs and processed cheese. As such, you really shouldn’t be surprised that bad things happened during your visit, since the mere decision to turn into the parking means that you have already opted to shorten your life.
Now, to be fair, I can certainly understand the beck and call of an establishment where the menu is heavily weighted with fried foods. (Those cooks up in that place have an affinity for frying that is equivalent to the witch-burning frenzy of a certain town called Salem back in the day.) Fried, dripping consumables certainly have a cachet, and they can often provide comfort when your life is just not what it should be, and it seems that your only recourse is to shove something larded into your mouth.
In fact, there was a time in my own illustrious career when I had an infatuation with the jalapeno poppers at this very establishment. How I got to this low point is somewhat fuzzy to me now, though I do believe it may have had something to do with that soul-crushing time when I was falsely accused of inappropriate relations with livestock in France. In any case, I had a predilection for the poppers, especially when drenched in a vat of ranch dressing, yet another foul creation that does nothing to enhance your longevity.
Many a night I would arrive at my local franchise, with the headlights turned off. I would quietly slip into the parking slot furthest from the bright lights of the building, back near the dumpster where the employees would heave the smoldering remains of artery-blocking foodstuffs that they had deep-fried but had been unable to sell before the items congealed into a solid, unappetizing block of irradiated waste.
I would then use one of those voice-disguising machines that many of the current pop stars are using, wherein their voice is fine-tuned to something that is not their own, so that I could place my order in relative anonymity. And I always asked that “Lucrezia” deliver my order. In a random happenstance, she was a former patient of mine that I had saved from incarceration by creating a unique category of mental illness that had nothing to do with reality but certainly flummoxed the jury in her favor.
Lucrezia and I were tight. She had secrets, I had a secret, and Sonic needed to move product. Nobody truly suffered in this arrangement, profits were made, and I was able to discreetly be a pig, sucking down ranch-enhanced poppers with a frenzy that would have resulted in crack addicts giving a standing ovation if they happened to be camping out near the dumpster and could actually focus on nearby vehicles.
Alas, the joy was not to last. My personal physician insisted on inane things like regular checkups. During the course of one such, he and his coven of sexually-unsatisfied nursing assistants were able to compile data proving that the consumption of each single popper was the equivalent of shoving a wine cork into one of my arteries, and that I had roughly 37 seconds left on this warped planet if I didn’t put a halt to things.
Initially, as is the basic human response when professionally chastised about dining selections, I severely hated the man and his white-smocked harridans, convinced that untoward things had happened in their childhoods that had led to careers wherein they tortured decent people for subversive reasons. But I eventually read some posts online
(because everything you see on the Internet is true, yes?) and realized that perhaps I was gnawing on improper things.
My bad. I seem to have made this all about me so far. Let’s get back to you.
And let’s talk about your affinity for weenies. You do realize that these are not healthy items, surely. It doesn’t matter if they are from Chicago or New York or are chili-drenched. These things are basically tubes composed of all the animal bits that couldn’t be manipulated into something that would warrant a higher price-tag in restaurants that did not involve a drive-thru option.
Disregard the weenie, if at all possible. And if you must partake, try to have some self-control and avoid paparazzi. No one really wants to see themselves in blurry photos on the Internet, where you appear to be performing in a low-grade pornographic film from 1978. Unless, of course, that happens to be your thing. It’s not my place to judge. (Well, it actually is my place. But only if you are paying my consultation fees.)
Now, this business with the wheeled strumpet careening into the side of your SUV. First of all, I’m a bit surprised that you didn’t realize this was a possible development at your dining choice. After all, Sonic (and many other establishments of yore) had a fine history of service attendants who are quite mobile. Back in the day, carhops were fully expected to shoot around the parking lot as if magically powered by jet fuel. Those whizzing servers were professionally performing a graceful ballet of food delivery and revenue extraction.
Granted, you don’t see much of that these days, with nubile females hurtling about the concrete, probably due to the newer crops of employable youngsters who would much rather not learn a marketable skill in order to retain gainful employment. For some inexplicable reason, many employees today think they should be given wads of cash as income simply because they bothered to even show up at work, and not because they have done anything of note in a job-skill capacity. Perhaps that would explain this whole Wall Street mess that we’ve been dealing with for thirty years.
And yes, the powers that be at Sonic did actually phase out the roller-skating angle for a while, at least around these parts. For many years, the servers were de-wheeled, forced to transport trays of naughty foodstuffs using only their own motor skills. This was not as exciting, both for the transporter and the recipient, and I would imagine that tips from patrons plummeted dramatically.
What’s that, you ask? What’s this mess with tips? Well, confused soul, you’re supposed to tip the people who slap that little tray on your window. It’s tradition. These fine delivery people are paid tiny base wages with the anticipation that they are going to be given generous tips from customers who clearly have some disposable income or they wouldn’t be eating here. It’s the same way it works at “regular” restaurants. This one just happens to offer more sunlight and fresh air, despite “astoundingly unhealthy” being in fine print on the menu.
So anyway, the Sonic folks have wisely reintroduced the concept of server mobility at select establishments, and you happened to choose one of those locations. Ergo, you should not be troubled by the potential downside of allowing heavily-painted but still generally decent young women possibly losing control and slamming into your vehicle. (Roller-skating is hard work. Ask any mid-management executive who has had to kiss upper-rank ass whilst still satisfying the peons below him.) Bad things happen from time to time.
Especially if the poor soul delivering your order has her body balance thrown off by the forty pounds of questionable meat and grease that you have stupidly requested. Essentially, the mass that dented your car is the same mass you plan on shoving down your throat. So, my advice is simple. Ignore the dent, give the sweaty roller queen some extra cash, and deal with your messed-up weenie in the privacy of your own home. As we all should.
Previously published. Tiny revisions were made for this post, including the excising of a paragraph wherein Dr. Brian confesses to wearing roller skates at inappropriate moments and stealing extra ketchup packets for no discernible reason. It was a nicely warped confessional moment, but it broke the flow and we try our best not to do that here at Bonnywood…