Friday, May 15, 2009

Contrasts

Yesterday was my late day. Thursday is the day that GPop has to go to work early, so I take care of making sure Son gets on the bus. Son and I have gotten into a routine, on Thursdays, of going to Tim Horton's for breakfast, then driving to school. It works out, because I miss some of the most heavily blocked areas of the highway system, and we get to have breakfast together.

On this particular Thursday, Son was running a bit later than usual for one reason or another. Once I got him in the car, I noticed the tell-tale sign that he hadn't brushed his teeth. His breath could have knocked over a yak at ten paces. He was trying to argue that rinsing his mouth with mouthwash was equivalent to brushing his teeth, especially since we hadn't eaten breakfast yet. I had to invoke the "No Buts" card. Fortunately, I had an extra new toothbrush in the car for such emergencies, so we were able to get his teeth brushed after breakfast.

When we got to Tim Horton's, the solid rain suddenly turned into a torrential downpour. Nice try, Universe, but I have big umbrellas in my car. You can't wear me down with your perversity.

The line seemed a bit longer than usual, but it wasn't too bad. There were some high school students getting coffee (scandalous) and a woman with three elementary school aged kids in tow behind them. I sent Son with the wet umbrella to find a nice seat. He told me that he wanted a #2 combo with egg and cheese only on the sandwich, a long john doughnut, and a small milk.

The high schoolers were just finishing up when I approached the line. The woman stepped up to the register. She embarked on a doughnut-related journey that took easily five minutes to describe. "I'd like three dozen doughnuts. Some of these will be to go, but some will be for here. In the first box, I'd like two cranberry crullers, one sour cream glazed, one chocolate...."

I checked my watch. Normally, I like to get there early. Son and GPop sometimes have their own jaunts to Tim's before school, and they think it's perfectly dandy to arrive at school thirty seconds before the bell rings. I guess this dichotomy is pretty common.

"...and then I'd like three boxes of TimBits. Just mix together the chocolate and the regular. But make sure the bigger box has more regular than chocolate. The smaller boxes don't matter as much..."

I started to get a little anxious. At least she was ordering for the kids. This wasn't going to take too long, was it?

"...and that's it for me. Kids, now you get to order."

My shoulders slumped. The dread god Finagle and his mad prophet Murphy were at it again. Of course, the three kids had spent at least five minutes in line staring at the doughnut case and the big pictures on the menu, so they knew exactly what they wanted, right? Ha!

"Um... I'd like... ummmm... a doughnut.... I mean this kind...."

And so on. The smallest child even had to whisper her order to the woman, because the little girl was too shy to talk to the big, scary cashier.

Finally, I got to the counter. "I'd like a #2 combo with egg and cheese only on the sandwich, a long john doughnut, and a small milk, and for me, I'd like a large coffee and a sesame seed bagel toasted with peanut butter and jelly on the side." I knew something was amiss when the cash register started at $24.58 and went up from there. The cashier started to tell me that I owed her about $35, but then reality set in, and she started frantically mashing the VOID key.

Once she was satisfied that she had cleared out the errors, she said, "That was a number which?"

D_mn you, Murphy! I'm pretty sure that the previous order was never completed, so the woman ended up not paying for anything. Anything out of her five minute order. Or the kids' orders.

I did get my food, but when I opened my bagel wrapper at the table, I saw that someone had smeared cream cheese all over it. Cream cheese and I have an acrimonious relationship. I hate it, and it's not sentient, so it doesn't care about me. I took the bagel back to the counter, but the cashier was gone. Nobody else in line wanted a free bagel with cream cheese, so another employee took it and provided me another one.

I'm late! I'm late for a very important date! No time to say, "Hello." Goodbye! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...

We ate, Son brushed his teeth, and I glared at the woman with the fourteen boxes of doughnuts. We left.

There are five traffic lights between Tim Horton's and Son's school. Wait. Let me rephrase that. There are five RED traffic lights between Tim Horton's and Son's school. There's that thirty-seconds-before-the-bell thing again.

I did manage to find my way to my off-site meeting that morning, even if I walked in just as the emcee was introducing the senior VP who was addressing the crowd.

Then, in the afternoon, our management treated us to a baseball game for our local AAA team in their new stadium. We had lunch and such in the corporate suite.

At one point, Scott, who was sitting behind me, noticed a distinct lack of something at this ball game. "Hey! Where's the peanuts?"

I started to giggle. Terry, who was sitting next to me, asked me what was so funny. I looked back at Scott and asked what he wanted. He told me that he didn't see any peanuts. I looked at Terry, grinned, and told her, "Oh... peaNUTS. I thought I heard something different." She laughed.

So I guess it turned out OK, after all.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that en route to my off-site meeting, my "YOU NEED GAS NOW" light came on.

2 comments:

Kellie said...

That's my life some days. . .

I look new here. I'm actually TeaNCrumpets!

Dave said...

Wow. The true challenge of parenting patience. Kid 'n I do the same thing once in a while, but we never get to see the high school kids. It'd be great too, because at our Tim Horton's, the women who work there are really surly. They make my morning.