Good Thing I Wasn’t Drinking


A friend and I went to a burger joint today, precisely because they didn’t serve booze. Neither of us were up for college kids celebrating Irish culture by binge drinking. Sadly, lunch was a doomed idea no matter the location.

The first sign of weirdness was when I walked up to the counter.

Clerk: What’s your name?

Me: Sean.

Clerk: Chuck?

Me: …okay, sure.

I placed my order, which included a chocolate malt, and — after a quick trip to the soda trip to spill root beer all over my hand — I sat with my friend to chat. He got his food, and I got Chuck’s, and we talked for a while over sliders and fries.

Eventually I posed the question “When should I ask what happened to my malt?” He was amazed I hadn’t already, so I took my receipt up to the counter and asked how my malt was coming along. The clerk fell over himself apologizing and produced it from a fridge behind the counter. The was a rather involved story about how it had gotten mixed up with an order for delivery, but I really didn’t care because I was happy that my malt had been there for the asking. The clerk said he’d make another for to make up for the mistake, and I told him there wasn’t any need. As far as I was concerned, everything was copacetic.

Then I sat down and promptly dropped the damn thing on the floor.

“I will make you a new one now,” the clerk said as I wiped up malt from the floor.

I accepted his offer of a fresh malt. It tasted of shame and chocolate.

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