Friday, December 3, 2010

It the Cafeteria!

This is a special request post for my very good friend Antonio, who is actually incredibly awesome despite being one of the ones responsible for me having a cat. Merry early Christmas! You rock and please keep being my friend.

There is a Chick-Fil-A in one of our buildings, where we get breakfast semi-often. Their chicken biscuit is a magical piece of happy wrapped in foil, with the power to make any cold, yucky morning completely evaporate into a steam of chickeny goodness. The staff is so friendly and efficient. The whole experience just makes you feel good.

However, like all good things, there is one down side to this poultry paradise. There is one employee who darkens the experience, ruining all chickeny goodness you had built up so much hope for. I give you, the Lizard Lady.

She is this ancient, skeletal old woman who is literally drying out as we speak. You know in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Donovan "chose poorly" and drank from the wrong cup? He gets all super old really fast and then just turns to dust? I feel like that may happen to this woman at any moment. Her tongue is constantly shooting out to moisten her lips, often complete with a strange smacking sound. She seems only half there, but she's apparently been working hard, as she proudly displays her "10 Years of Service" pin beneath her name tag. I wonder if everyone is just too nice to fire a little old lady.

When we approach the Chick-Fil-A, you can see our group start to hang back. We all fake like we don't know what we want, or that perhaps we just got a very important text message. We try to arrange ourselves behind each other, hiding from the Lizard Lady. However, her random eagerness to serve, means that she will stand behind her register, waving frantically to take the next customer.

We start to feel bad that no one is giving her attention, wondering if her little heart is crushing under the disappointment. So eventually, one of us bites the bullet and steps up for what will be a long, confusing ride.

First, you have to order. This is the first challenge. As you begin to speak, you can see her eyes glaze over, like her brain just refuses to take in words.

This means that you will repeat your order, no matter how simple or complex, no less than 7 times. Once that is finally accomplished, on comes the next part: paying. This is no good for the Lizard Lady, as numbers and credit cards are just the most confusing things in the world. She has yet to read off the total to me correctly. I then hand her my card, which she stares at, transfixed. What could this magic piece of plastic be? Does it do a trick? Do you make houses with it? She twirls it over in her hands, willing the card to give up its secrets. Eventually, her eyes alight as she remembers that you scan the card in the little box and it makes money happen. Hooray! We've ordered, we've paid...all that's left is to take the food, typically already bagged up, and hand it to me.

This is the point where you should probably just whip out a book or play some games on your cell phone. The Lizard Lady moves no faster than a snail on speed.

And God help you if you move out of the way to let other customers order. She will never find you. Even though you've moved all of 2 feet to the right, she will scan the crowd futilely. You've turned into Waldo. You have to start waving your arms around like a wild monkey for her to suddenly become aware of your presence, even though she was staring right where you were the entire time. It's like a T-Rex; you've stopped moving and she can no longer see you.

But finally, even after you've watched the other cashiers handle 4 orders in the time you waited for yours, you have your biscuit! All can be right with the world! You hurry over to your friends, who have been anxiously waiting on you. You open the bag, slowing removing your buttery treasure. You savor that moment before the first bite, taking in the joy. However, all is soon crushed. The bite is not warm and happy anymore - the heat dissipated as she slowly sauntered to hand you your food. This breakfast has become sullen; another victim of the Lizard Lady.

Also, I'm pretty sure she tried to eat my credit card once. She certainly made to bite it.


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