The world is slowing down

Bring the rural to the city
Bring the rural to the city

At first I didn’t know if this was once a door, or a window. I’ve decided that it is a doorway; but  it is very narrow.  There are hinges on the left side and a padlocked latch on the right side, but they are painted to blend in with the painting. Also, there is a curtain painted into the picture. I found it very confusing until I looked at it close up. It is just off main street in Lafayette.


I was watching a local news broadcast the other day and they showed a report about fast food restaurant drive-thrus getting slower. They are supposedly becoming more accurate, but that seems to slow their speed. Interesting.

It made me reflect upon my last trip through a drive-thru, which had been that very morning. You may know that I am not a fast food aficionado, but I do occasionally get a breakfast “meal” when I am out and about in the morning. Let me tell you about my experience.

I went to one of the many local McDonald’s to break my fast. I went their because I don’t like sandwiches made on a biscuit; they are too crumbly. It seems that all of the McDonald’s drive-thrus now start in one lane and then split into two, so you have to decide whether you want to go in the right lane or the left lane. I chose to go to the right.

There was method to my madness choice. Whenever I have a choice of choosing between a lane with a pickup truck in front and one that does not, I choose the lane without the pickup. Invariably when I get behind a pickup, the driver is there getting food for an entire construction crew. It isn’t fun getting behind one of those pickups. So I avoided the left lane where the pickup truck driver was waiting his turn.

The right lane was not a great choice either. Evidently the guy placing his order in the right lane was a talker. He was carrying on a conversation with whomever was the employee on the inside. He was smiling, laughing and gesturing as he talked. It had gone way beyond food ordering phase. This went on for a couple of minutes while the rest of us waited patiently. Even the guy in the pickup truck in the next lane finished before the fellow from Toastmasters International who was at the head of our lane. Finally he finished and I was able to creep forward another car length.

Meanwhile, a woman in a little blue Volkswagen reached the head of the other lane and then decided to decide on what she wanted. The fellow in front of me got his order in and pulled away from the speaker in record time. I liked that guy. The woman in the blue VW was still hemming and hawing.

My turn! When asked what I would like, I answered succinctly, “One breakfast burrito and a large black coffee.”

The woman on the other end said, “Do you want hot sauce for your burrito?” and I answered in the negative. She then said, “That will be,” and quoted a price.

I looked at the order screen and said, “You don’t have my coffee on the order.”

She said, “I’ll take care of it at the first window. Please pull around.”

“OK,” thought I, “we’ll see how that goes.”

As I started to pull forward, the woman in the blue VW, who must have been holding back, decided to squirt into line ahead of me. I hit my brakes, but not my horn.

While I waited to get to the first window, I observed as I have many times before, how busy the person in line ahead of me is. They bob, they weave, they reach into the adjoining seat, they reach into the back seat, when it is a woman they dig through their purse, everybody reaches down to the floorboard of the car. What are they searching for?

When I got to the first window the woman asked for an amount that would cover the burrito but not the coffee. I said, “You are forgetting my coffee.”

“Oh,” said she, “what kind of coffee did you want?” I told her, and she added that to my charge. I paid and crept ahead toward the second window where I hoped my food and drink would be waiting.

Success. It was there; and the order was correct.

I understand why the study showed that fast food is getting slower.

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