Bent Words

Bent Words

October 14, 2009

Me -- "Hungry."

Him -- "Tired."

Me -- "Beer."

Him -- "Really, you want beer?"

Me -- "I want a beer."

Us -- "Bed."

3 hours on the road and we forgot to stop at that really good restaurant in Saukville. 3.5 hours on the road and we also forgot to hit the Really Good Zah exit.

Fuck. Me.

Him -- "What do you feel like?"

Angry Me -- "Really Good Zah."

Him -- "What else do you feel like?"

Angry Disappointed Me -- "Really Good Zah. With mushrooms. And a beer."

Too late to turn back to Menomonee Falls...

We weren't willing to allocate much more patience for food so we stopped at the second place we saw on Highway 18 that offered something resembling sustenance -- a place called Sonic. We oozed out of the van and looked at the place.

It was basically a giant glass cage filled full of teenagers. On roller skates.

To our right was an outdoor table overflowing with fifteen squealing, cell phone toting, bubbly 14-year-old girls. They had what appeared to be energy due to excessive amounts of ice cream. I watched them as they stood up, sat down, stood up, sat down, stood up, crawled across the table, jumped up, jumped down, squealed and mimicked the hip hop tunes their cell phones sounded with.

Energy is awfully irritating.

I looked over at John and then at the building. There were no windows in the building.

Irritated Me -- "How do you order food from the caged insiders if there aren't any windows?"

Him -- "You have to order from the billboard, it seems."

John pointed to a large rectangle dotted with airbrushed photographs of what-you-won't-actually-get. You had three choices; cheeseburgers, ice cream and chili fries. I squinted at the sign. No beer. There were little microphones implanted in the box.

Confused Me -- "So it's like a drive-thru except that we're not... driving?"

Walk up to large Walk-Thru Rectangle and, with the limited choices provided for us, I point to a model cheeseburger.

"Do I just touch it and it comes out of a hidden panel in the rectangle? Like the Jetsons?"

"No," sighs John, rolling his eyes at me. "Not quite like that."

John pushed a red button and an ugly, underpaid teenager's voice crackled through one of the speakers (you could just tell he was ugly).

"Yeah, hi... Welcome to Sonic. Wanna try our chili--"

"No," says John. "Gimme a #3 and a #6 with a Pepsi."



"Yeah, hi... Welcome to Sonic. Will that be all?"


"Can I have a name please?"

"Hector," says John.

A little sign pops up asking for money. INSERT CREDIT CARD HERE.

I was feeling rather doubtful. What with the teenage girls and the employees on roller skates and the Box O Food and the fact there was not a single adult mixed into this experiment but I sat down anyway and waited for the 'food.'

A small but well fed girl came rolling out of the giant glass cage with a tray resting uneasily in her hands. She didn't push off on her roller skates but rather allowed the force of gravity to propel her toward our table. Unequipped with problem solving skills, she stopped only when her inertial motion was inhibited by a non-inertial object -- our table.

"Sorry," she said, rubbing her thighs, deservedly embarrassed, trying to clean up the Pepsi spilled all over our food.

"Ya know those two rubber thingies on the front of your skates?" I asked.

She looked down while handing John half a cup of Pepsi.

"Yeah, they're called toe stops."

I gave her a push and sent her back to her glass cage. John just looked at me.

"You're not nice," he said.

"I'll remember to add that to my resume."

Then the little fat girl came rolling back with a smile as she tested out her 'new' toe stops.

"Is there anything else I can get you guys?"

"Yeah, can I please have a glass of water?" I asked.

"Oh, well, um... I'm sorry but you're going to have to order that from the screen. It's $1.30."

I blinked. Waited for her to say she was 'just kidding' and realized with slight irritation that she wasn't kidding.

"So I have to order a glass of water from the rectangle..."


"And why did you ask us if we wanted anything else....?"

"Oh I meant if you needed mustard or ketchup packets," the uncomfortable girl stated. "Or... salt."

"Right, so I can get free condiments to mask the lacking taste of this burger but I can't get a glass of water with which to transport said burger to my stomach?"

"No, no! You can get a glass of water -- you'll just have to order it over there and---"

"Yeah, nevermind."

She rolled away.

"You're seriously not nice," laughed John.

"Kids like that. Gives 'em character."

"Sorry -- shouldn't have missed the Really Good Zah exit."

"Oh no, I'm sorry -- I should have known better than to let you stop here."

Lessons learned:

1. If you spot a group of 14-year-old girls amassed in the same vicinity, RUN AWAY.

2. When you're really hungry, go with what you know.

3. Fuck Sonic.

Written at 5:48 p.m.