Monday, July 4, 2016

The Diva's Guide to Drive-Thru Etiquette-A Mix on July 4th

You know, I've been a customer of drive-thru windows throughout my adult life - beginning in college. I don't like sitting in a restaurant alone to dine. These days it's takeout or nothing...

I truly believe drive-thru windows as a group form a microcosm of modern society. These "conveniences" frequently can be anything but.

For example, some ditzy customer ahead of you changes his or her order after they get to the window. That takes up your time unnecessarily...

Rule #1 - make up your mind back at the microphone.

In another instance, a customer in line is on his/her phone. They stay in place when it's time to move up to the window. Their conversation is more important than the time of all the people in line behind them.

Rule #2 - leave after you receive your purchase at the window and THEN talk on your phone.

There are the truly impatient who ride the bumper of the car ahead of them in line.  This is particularly true in long lines when this person is late to work.

Rule #3 - keep a safe distance from the person in front of you.  This is an unsafe practice. You can never tell if the person ahead has a bad temper, is already steamed at having to wait in line. You never know if he/she is armed.

Now we come to my favorite, this is a true story. I was waiting in a drive-thru line at a Dairy Queen in Waco, Texas.  My best friend and her daughter, my unofficial goddaughter who was a child the time, were in my car. The car ahead of us didn't advance to the window when he could. Turns out the poor guy was sleeping. He didn't respond to car horns or the employees hanging halfway out the window yelling, "Hey! Wake UP!" Finally one of the employees came out of the store, knocked on his window, and woke him after a couple of minutes of knocking. I was beginning to think we were blocked in the drive-thru behind the car of a dead man.

Rule #4 - if you are so tired you can't keep your eyes open, stay out of your car or pull over, stop the car, and sleep. It's what some truckers do, although not as many as in the olden days (1950s - 1970s). Now many of them pop uppers...

Finally my advice for anyone in drive-thru line, including me, is be courteous and remember the people behind you are just as busy as you are...

Whew, now that I've gotten that off my chest, let's chat about my day. Today is July 4th.  It's my first one as an orphan. I thought about going to see the new Tarzan movie, but blew it off for the day. I'll get to it eventually.

Being at loose ends, not having a clue about what I wanted, I decided to go drop some letters and bill payments in the mailbox. Then because I do this once a month for a short break from my low carb diet, I decided to go to Popeye's and get some mild chicken tenders, green beans, and an unsweet iced tea. Apparently, they had a new crew on duty.  It's a hot day here and the line took forever.  I should have known I wouldn't get what I ordered. I told the kid on the microphone what I wanted.  He repeated back this order completely opposite of what I ordered. I corrected him.  After a good eight minutes when I finally made it to the window I told him again what I ordered. He rang it up and charged me correctly. Then he gave me a huge bag. I ignored my common sense and drove on, anxious to get back. When I got home, I had spicy chicken pieces, red beans and rice, cajun rice, TWO biscuits, and a SWEET tea with so much sugar they must have poured in half of a 1 lb. sack in the tea...I ate two of the thighs and boxed up the rest, pouring the tea down the sink.

Karma's a bitch, huh? It's my fault for being so steamed waiting in line...

Well, I've decided to change my karma today. Someone has been opening my trash in the valet container on my front porch (we pay a monthly service for individual trash pick-up five nights a week.) They left a hamburger bun in the bin last night. I had gotten a turkey burger as takeout and did not eat the bun.  When I walked the dogs late last night, I checked the bin and found the bun smiling up at me. The trash bags were gone. I picked it up in paper towels and tossed it into my kitchen trash can to dispose of later.  About 1:00 this morning, someone came onto my porch and opened the valet bin (the lid makes noise.) I realized he/she was coming back for the bun. Then I felt bad for someone so hungry he/she would steal trash...a little creeped out, too to have someone slipping onto my entry way which is right outside my bedroom.

But now, I've been presented with a golden opportunity. Tonight I will put out the boxed chicken and side dishes in a grocery bag with a sign saying "Help yourself to free chicken."

Hope that puts my universe back in balance.

And finally, they ran the entire series of Lonesome Dove on one of the STARZ channels today. I LOVE that series and the book from which it was taken.  Larry McMurtry, a fellow Texan, is a great writer.  I've loved several of his books. He doesn't write about the Hollywood version of the west. He writes about the real place, the way it truly was...dusty, dirty, and filled with life. (and really sweaty people...not to mention an aroma of horse poop and cattle poop... no matter, I love it anyway.)

But since I'm still in grief mode, I knew better than to watch the whole thing today. So I watched the first episode until the last scene where the little Irish kid jumps into a river, only to come up screaming as he is bitten to death by a bunch of water moccasins. I turned it over to CNN and watched the pundits for Trump and the pundits for Clinton have a verbal sparring match.  Has anybody ever noticed the people in the Trump camp out shout those in Clinton's?

So I ran my errands and got back in time to see the last episode in which Captain Woodrow F. Call (Tommy Lee Jones) keeps his promise to his longtime friend, Captain Augustus McRae (Robert Duvall) and takes his body back home from Nebraska to a site alongside a creek in south Texas where he once picnicked with a woman he loved.

They were both Captains from their days in the early Texas Rangers.

By the time it was over, I was sobbing. Imagine what I would have been like had I watched the whole thing?

But what can you expect of a disenfranchised orphan on the 4th of July? It's my first one spent alone in all my years...I remember so vividly July 4th, 1976, a special one, the bicentennial of our nation. Some friends of mine were appearing in a production of the musical 1776 at the bandshell in Fair Park - Dallas, Tx. Not being in this one, it was my duty to film it. It had rained earlier and the big firework display as well as the starting of the performance were delayed. It was so ironic, the fireworks started a few hundred feet behind the bandshell as John Adams sang the line "I see fireworks..." He got a standing ovation as the audience thought it was planned that way. You gotta love Americans.

Of course there was the couple who walked in late behind me and sat quietly for a few moments. Then I hear the man's voice behind me with a deep East Texas accent - "Wha, this is laak a little play..."

"You bet it is, Bubba. It's a Tony award winning play..." Oh well. I'm sure he's heard of Larry McMurtry.

Lord, I love Texas.

Lastly, have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.

God Bless America and all those who are, have, or will serve Her.

Here I am, all "deshoveled" as Frankie a character in my upcoming release, His Wicked Lady, would say.

Note my red, white, and blue for the holiday. Also note over my right shoulder a glimpse of the fabulous bluebonnet painting I inherited from my parents...

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