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5:55 a.m. - 2003-07-10

I WANNA YANK EVERY RED HAIR OUT OF WENDY'S HEAD

My dreams have become more vivid lately.

Don't worry, I'm not going to recap them again here. God forbid I bore you with that crap.

But I remember two phrases that stuck with me from my dreams last night.

"Everyone loves comedy. Unless they don't."

And "Diarrhea and Mayonaise".

Uh huh.

Show of hands...how many of you are tickled to death that I roll out of bed each morning and do this diary thing while still half-comatose?


I live in a very f'ed-up town.

We have something like 13,000 people who work downtown each day.

And two fast food restaurants ... Burger King and Wendy's.

Now ... I LOVE LOVE LOVE Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad. You get the mandarin oranges. You get the chicken and the sliced almonds and the crispy rice noodles and it's a goddamned party in your gut, y'know.

And please...I know it's probably not the best thing for my diet. But it's an improvement over what I would normally eat for lunch ... a plate full of Fried Crisco and a small cat.

So anyway, I'm hemhawing around the office, jib-jabbering away with my co-workers when I blurt out "I want a Mandarin Chicken Salad from Wendy's for lunch!"

The boss exclaims "Me too!"

I say "Gimme some money and I'll go get us some salad!"

She exclaims "Okay!"

(She's quite the exclaimer)

So she hands me a $20 and I run downstairs to the ATM machine to get some money to pay for my salad.

My card is rejected.

Three times.

I think to myself "I bet Susie switched banks on me without telling me" because she's capable of doing such a thing.

So I think "They'll take a credit card! They're Wendy's! They'll take anything!"

I drive to Wendy's.

It's 12:15 in the afternoon.

There's a line that is literally 30 cars deep in the drive thru lane.

I chuckle and say aloud "Fuck that!"

I go to find a parking space.

Parking spaces are apparently a very hot commodity in this parking lot. There are none.

So I let the car idle right by the exit of the restaurant and wait for people to come out.

A couple pops out the door and heads to their car.

SCORE!!

I wait for them to pull out. When they finally do ... no shit ... this punk-assed bastard punk kid pulls around me and parks in their spot.

I scream "YOU ARE THE GODDAMNED SON OF SATAN!! YOUR SHRIVELED UP DICK IS OF NO USE TO ANY OTHER HUMAN ON THIS EARTH!! YOU STINK LIKE A SKUNK CARCASS AND YOUR MOTHER IS EMBARRASSED BY YOU!!!"

It may have been more effective had my windows been rolled down.

So I catch this traffic cop coming out and this time I'm right on her ass. She pulls out, I pull in her spot, mission accomplished.

I get inside and they have two lines that are about 12 people deep.

I think to myself "This Wendy is a raging whore" because I'm in a bad mood already. They need a line that is specifically for Mandarin Chicken Salads because all they do is reach in a refrigerator, yank that bitch out and toss it in a bag and you're on your way. I already know this. I am a Mandarin Chicken Salad expert.

It quickly becomes painfully obvious to me that I am the only one in the building with an IQ over 11.

Everyone standing in front of me has no idea what they want to eat. They're given 10 minutes to stand there and stare at this giant menu above the counter with everything there is to eat in the joint ... and they don't make any use of it until they make their way to the cash register. At that point, they stare above the cashier's head and go "Ummmmmm....uhhhhhhh....errrrrr...do you guys have turkey wraps?"

GAH!!

While I make no bones about the fact that I'm so out of shape that I can no longer kick somebody in the back of the head, I can lift my leg high enough to connect with someone's lower back.

So I pop Granny in the lower back with a swift kick and she goes tumbling out of the line.

Cool.

Now I move up from fifth in line to fourth.

I finally get to the cash register and I'm so damned pleased with myself because I know EXACTLY what I want and I know that it is already prepared and won't take but a second to give me.

I give my two separate orders ... one for the boss and one for me.

I hand the imbecile behind the counter my credit card for the first order.

"Wha' dis?" she mumbles.

"It's a credit card, my dear," I say.

"Wendy don't take no crebbit car," she mumbles, handing the card back to me.

No worry.

I have the $20 that the boss gave me. I just owe her $4.40 now.

I pay for both orders. The total amount is $8.78.

Change due is $11.22.

The girl hands me my change without counting it out.

That's okay. It's busy and she's ignorant and counting change is asking a lot out of her.

I move to the pick-up window where my salads are waiting on me.

"Did you put both Oriental Sesame dressing AND low-fat Honey Mustard in there?" I quiz the buffoon handing me the salad.

"Yeah," the Salad Boy by day/Gangsta Thug by night says. "I gives you both dressing."

"Thank you kindly, my good man," I say, stepping over that whiny and writhing grandmother who's still cursing me for being an asshole.

I get in the car.

I leave the lot.

I'm sitting at a red light when I think "Since it's not my money that paid for this, I should check the change."

The girl gave me back $8.78.

Not $11.22.

I keep driving, thinking it's about $2.50 difference and that the boss won't mind because she's pulling in the major G's.

Then I think "No. What if she DOES mind and decides to fire me?"

I mean...I'm already pushing my luck by calling her an asshole the previous day.

So I do a Bat U-turn in the middle of the busy street and chuck BACK to Wendy's.

No parking spaces.

I park a block away and walk in the 96 degree heat back to Wendy's.

The lines are even longer.

I scan the mongrels behind the counter, looking for someone that vaguely resembles a person who could help me with my problem.

I picked the woman with the cleanest polyester shirt and tried to make eye contact with her.

She finally succumbed to my mind games and made eye contact.

I motioned her over to a spare inch of counter space that wasn't being occupied by a drooling moron.

"Yeah," I say. "I was in here a minute ago and the girl gave me the money that I was supposed to pay back as change."

"What?" the lady says.

"Here," I said, handing her the $8.78 and the ticket. "My total change due was $11.22. She only gave me $8.78 back which was what I was supposed to pay. She CHARGED me the money that I was supposed to get back."

"What?" the lady says.

I gritted my teeth.

"You owe me $2.50," I said.

"Hang on," she says, walking away.

Apparently when something like this happens, they have to raise the spirit of Dave Thomas from the dead to okay such a query.

After the seance where Dave told them it was okay to give me $2.50 through the Ouija board, the girl hands me back my correct change and I get back in the car and go peeling out of the lot like a disgruntled factory worker.

I'll go back because I'm a slave to that salad.

But I'll be damned if I go back during the lunch rush ever again.

Oh ... and the sons of whores didn't give me my salad dressing either. I had to share the boss's salad dressing. I wanted low fat dressing and I had to get half a packet of my boss's salad dressing. Neither one of us were thrilled with eating a dry salad.

Damned Wendy's.

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