When my family comes over to visit, we go out to eat. I can cook. I will cook. But it’s one of those things I have to be in the mood for and most of the time, I’m not. Being the highfalutin’ family that we are, we dine at the local Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell (and don’t call it Taco Hell, that’s so nineteen ninety-five, and even then it wasn’t funny.) Taco Bell is the only fast-food restaurant that will actually admit to using Grade F meat, the lowest quality allowed for human consumption. Taco Bell meat is Alpo dog food with a different label, but I love me some Grade F torn-into-bitty-pieces protein.
The last time we went, we were waiting behind a woman who looked so out-of-place. She seemed confused and overwhelmed and maybe even a little fearful of the world into which she had just descended. From the tip of her salon-frosted tips to the petals of her delicately painted rose toenail art, this woman was tan. But not “I visit a tanning bed once a week” tan. She was more of a “I have my own tanning bed and I use it every day all year-long” tan. Throw some flour on her, fry her up in a pan and she could pass for the Colonel’s crispy chicken. To show off her un-natural tan, she was dressed in all white with bright pink fingernails (To coordinate with her toenail rose art) and was covered in diamond everything: rings, earrings, necklace, nose ring…maybe not a nose ring. That would have been beneath her. But this Hoity Toity was dripping money all over the sticky Taco Bell cracked tile floor.
Hoity Toity had this little list in her diamond-encrusted hand, so she was buying for more than herself. She wasn’t dressed to work in an office so I have no idea who she was feeding but I’m fairly certain she wasn’t going to partake of this slop. She started to order and the first thing she said with very little confidence was:
“Do you have something called a “chicken quesadilla?”
How does someone NOT know what kind of food Taco Bell offers? There are commercials everywhere, for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary. She plodded through the rest of her list the same way, unsure of what she was ordering, how to pronounce the items (Burreedo? Is that right? No? It’s burrito? I need to roll my “r”s? I’ll buy a speech coach.) and sometimes even looking around to make sure that she wasn’t going to be mugged by one of us mutants waiting in line to order.
She finished her food order and began to place her drink requests.
“It’s Mountain Roo? Did I say that right?”
OK, I made that last one up, but I think the only reason she got the soft drinks right was because of the logos on the different fountains.
Then the kicker: everyone knows how the receipt with number order system works. Correction, ALMOST everyone. Hoity Toity wasn’t familiar with the process of getting her receipt and responding when her number was called, which could only mean that not only was she not familiar with Taco Bell, but it would appear that she had never stepped foot in any fast-food restaurant. She was baffled when they called a number and no one spoke up. She went forward and said,
“I don’t know if this is mine. I don’t know where to look for the number,” as she gave the ticket to the employee.
This was obviously a fish-out-of-water cry for help. The Taco Bell Chef looked at her for a second with disbelief and then patiently he explained the process to her, sometimes glancing at other customers to see if Hoity was for real or if someone had a hidden camera trained on his face ready to let the joke surface. Hoity looked around too, but probably just to make sure no one was going to cut her while she waited.
I didn’t know whether to laugh at the situation or not because if the tables been turned and had I somehow ended up in one of the fancy restaurants that Hoity Toity probably frequents, I wouldn’t have known how to act either.
Lucky for me, with my income, this will never be an issue I will have to face.