Monday, March 9, 2009

Bacon Double Cheeseburger with Onion Rings

“Bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings?” she asked, jolting me out of a daydream. I looked down at my chicken strip basket with fries as if to confirm to myself that I had not ordered the bacon double cheeseburger with rings. It sure sounded better than what I had been eating.

“No, that wasn’t me,” I replied, sending the Dairy Queen employee along her way to find the owner of the burger.

I sat alone at a table and ate my lunch. When I left for work that morning to do research in one of the most depressing little towns I have ever seen, I thought to myself that since there were only a Dairy Queen and a McDonald’s there, I might want to bring my lunch with me. I took the lazy route and instead left without packing one, knowing I could certainly eat at either of those places if I wanted to eat lunch that day.

“Bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings?” I heard the server asking another patron at a nearby table. Unlike me, this man had no food in front of him so it was certainly more likely to have been his than mine. The older gentleman with the reddish flannel shirt shook his head.

“No, that’s not mine,” he said.

I looked out at my car in the parking lot. I had several thousands of dollars worth of work product and work equipment in the car. It made me happy to know I could watch my car from the restaurant as I ate lunch, but made me somewhat uneasy that I had to leave it unattended while inside doing my courthouse research. I do not worry so much about my car being stolen, but I do worry about my computer and my work being stolen. I never know if I am better off bringing my stuff into the courthouse with me and taking my chances there or leaving it in the locked, but unattended, car.

“Bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings?” the woman shouted. No one in the restaurant was taking ownership of it and she was getting frustrated. She walked back towards the counter.

I wasn’t sure how I ended up here. As I drove to eat lunch, I noticed a Popeye’s Chicken and a Pizza Hut that I had forgotten about when considering my options that morning. I thought I had only two options and had settled on Dairy Queen. I ordered a chicken basket and wished I had ordered a bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings… or wished I had gone to Popeye’s to get chicken. I briefly considered taking responsibility for the orphaned burger order, but wasn’t hungry enough to do that.

I noticed the cashier motioning over to the older gentleman with the red flannel shirt as she directed the server as to where the burger belonged. The server went over to him again.

“Bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings?” She asked him again.

“No,” he replied in protest. “I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings and a coke.”

I decided it was time to go back to work.