Life is full of disappointments

Braum's

Waiting in line at Braum’s for a late-night dinner after a long day’s work, I witness a white-trash woman undertaking an arduous order of ice cream.  One of her feet is wrapped in an oversized protective boot as though she had fractured it falling out of her above-ground pool (or possibly trampoline) and the other foot taps incessantly as she stares at the overhead menu.  Quite a line-up forms behind her while she’s hemming and hawing at the myriad of ice cream choices available to her, and after several minutes of mouth breathing she finally speaks:

Woman:  “Now… with the pecan caramel fudge sundae… are those pecans… toasted?

Fast Food Worker:  [brief pause as he’s processing her question]

Woman:  “I mean, are they… raw?

Fast Food Worker:  “Um…

Woman:  “Or are they toasted?

Fast Food Worker:  “I don’t think they’re toasted…” [proceeds to hold up a cup of crushed nuts, apparently not toasted]

Woman:  “Ooooh… nope, that’s not gonna’ do.  Hmmm…

Apparently unaware that she is in a fucking fast food restaurant and not the Four Seasons, the lady goes back to studying the overhead menu, her epiglottis making an unappealing noise as she continues to mouth breathe with her head tilted back.  Her facial expression is one of deep consternation while she carefully weighs her confectionery options, and all I want to do is tell her, “Life is full of disappointments, lady.”  But before I get the chance, my order number is called, so I grab my to-go cheeseburger value meal, the grease from the fries already permeating the paper bag, and get the hell out of there.

4 thoughts on “Life is full of disappointments

  1. Perhaps that poor wretch instinctively knew that one more disappointment would put her over the edge. Her ice cream flavor choice meant everything to her. Of course, all ice cream is basically the same and hardly a legitimate salve for a lifetime of misery. Perhaps you could have suggested a flavor to her in her moment of crisis. It would have mattered little what you advised but it would have been a blessing for this lost soul. Well, maybe next time. I’m sure there will be a number of opportunities on the horizon.

  2. Wonderful insight, Henry– that thought hadn’t occurred to me. But then again, my empathy engine has been outta gas for some time now. And while there may be a number of opportunities on the horizon, I’m sure I will miss all of them.

    P.S.- “Legitimate Salve for a Lifetime of Misery” is now the new working title for my memoir. Or thrash metal dubstep EP. Whichever comes first.

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