By Andrea Rouda
FOR LUNCH today I phoned in an order to a cafe that was on the way home from an early appointment. It was a simple order, just a veggie wrap (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, black olives and hummus) and a black coffee. The person on the phone said it would be ready in 20 minutes.
I arrived at the shop and went inside to pick up my order, which was not yet ready. The scene behind the counter was frightening: Several staffers were answering phones, making sandwiches, bagging orders and bumping into one another with the precision of a group of Ringling Brothers circus bears learning how to tap dance. Someone looked up at me and shouted, “Stand back! Wait over there, we’ll call your name when it’s ready.”
Finally it was, and I was happy to escape the chaos. I drove home, eager to eat my tasty sandwich. Only when I opened it turned out to not be my sandwich but someone else’s. This one had chunks of chicken breast and sun-dried tomatoes and some sort of secret sauce I could not identify. Annoyed but hungry I ate it anyway, not wanting to drive the six miles back and wait another 20 minutes for it to be made right. (I bet the carnivore who got my sandwich was more disappointed.)
Anyway, what’s wrong with people these days? On my car radio I heard a talk show host marvel at the fact that, “We’ve come so far in the 66 years since the first flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk.” I thought that sounded wrong, since that would mean that flight was invented when I was nine, and I knew that wasn’t so. When I got home I checked online and learned the correct date of the first flight was December 17, 1903, or 118 years ago.
There’s no punchline. But maybe Covid isn’t the only scary thing going on these days.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.