I'm not a grumpy old man yet. But I will be eventually. The following is yet another in a long line of little tiny reasons why. (I should point out, lest ye misunderstand me, that the young lady was very friendly and cheerful, and I was very polite to her. And we were each patient with the other...all things considered.)
Me, in the drive-thru [sic] buying tacos: I'd also like some hot sauce with that. I just need four packets of...well, I don't know what you call it. Just the regular sauce, the kind in the middle.
Friendly drive-thru clerk, cheerfully holding out a giant wad of sauce packets: How about a whole handful!
Me: No, no thank you. I only need four.
She: That's okay, you can have them!
Me: No, really, that's very generous of you, but I'd just throw them away. I really only need four.
She, taking the rest back and extracting four: Okay.
I gave you the mild.
Me: No, thank you, I don't want the mild. I want the medium.
She: We don't have any medium. Do you want hot sauce?
Me: No, not the hot kind. I just want whatever the one in the middle is. Whatever it's called. I'm sorry, I don't know the name for it. Not the hot, not the mild, just whatever's in between.
She: Well, we don't have anything like that. Just the mild and the hot.
Me: Are you sure? Because you used to have three kinds—there was one mild, one hot, and one in the middle.
She: Sir, I'm sure! We just have mild and hot.
Me: Okay, then give me the hot.
She: Well, we have the fire, but you don't want that.
She: We have the mild, the hot, and the fire.
Me: I see. So the fire's the hottest?
Me: And the mild is the mildest.
She (laughing): Yeah!
Me: So the mild is the mildest and the fire is the hottest.
She: You've got it.
Me: So that would mean that the hot is the one in the middle.
Me: So I'll take four packets of the hot, please.
She (laughing again): So now you do want the hot. Sir, do you find you have a lot of trouble making up your mind?
Me: I guess I do.
But just out of curiosity, why didn't you tell me about the fire in the first place?
She (still cheerfully): Because, Sir, you said you didn't want the hot! Don't you remember telling me you didn't want the hot? So if you didn't want the hot, you certainly wouldn't want the fire, because the fire is hotter than the hot!
Me: Okay. I think I get it now. Four packets of the hot will be just great. Thanks a lot!
She (laughing and shaking her head): Have a nice evening, Sir!
Me: You too!
The day isn't here yet. But it's coming. :-)
"Open Mike" is a series of off-topic packets of not-too-hot sauce that appear often, but not always, on Sundays.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Brian: "A middle aged man and a young female clerk overheard in a grocery store several years ago: Man: Excuse me, where's the delicatessen? Clerk: The what? Man: The place with meats and cheeses, where they make sandwiches. Clerk (reprovingly): That's in deli."
Featured Comment by Edd Fuller: "You have to admit the girl was technically correct.
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