I’ve been sent on a mission for two salads, to a nearby Jack in the Box at 1:30am.
Certainly this should be easy.
Pulling in, there are only two employee cars in the lot, and none in the drive thru.
I move up to the order screen and wait a moment.
A small voice greets me “Hey man, whatchoo need.”
A bit colloquial, but it’s late, I’ll let it slide.
Then I make a huge request, too detailed, a big mistake.
“Good evening. I’d like a Club salad with crispy chicken, and a Southwest salad with grilled chicken.”
There’s a pause.
“Kay two grilled clubs. First window.”
“Oh I’m sorry, no it was one Club salad and one Southwest salad.”
“Crispy Southwest with a Club, kay. Twelve twenny, first window.”
“Are you… are you messing with me?”
“Drink with that?”
“Kay, window please.”
I don’t move. Wondering if this guy is trolling me, or stoned, or if this is what happens when you order salads from Jack in the Box.
They aren’t busy. If they were, I’d be okay with inaccuracy. But it’s just me.
“All right, let’s just start over, okay?”
“I want two different salads. The first salad, write this down, is a Club salad. Like all salads from here, it comes with the option of grilled or crispy chicken. This Club salad, check this out, will come with crispy chicken.”
“...One Club salad, okay first window.”
“Nope, there’s more to this. Okay stretch first. Here it comes. There’s also going to be a Southwest salad. This salad, holy shit, will have grilled chicken on it.”
There’s a full minute of silence. I wonder if the guy quit. I’m about to leave when
“Okay I think I got it.”
“All right, man. Well I’m coming up to your window.”
I pull up. There’s no one in there. So I wait.
Finally, an ambiguously gendered Hispanic person appears.
It’s got spiked hair on top, shaved on the bottom. Heavy set, there could be boobs, but I’m not certain. They could be man boobs. Or gloriously restrained female ones. This person has a soft face, like a girl’s, but moves like a man. It’s got one faux diamond earring on the left ear.
“Sup,” it says to me. The voice is equally ambiguous.
“Okay so what did you want?”
My right hand grabs a cigarette. I light it, take a long drag and stare back at him/her.
“A Club salad with crispy chicken. And a Southwest salad with… grilled chicken.”
“Oh, you sure?”
“Yeah I’m sure.”
“Aight one sec,” it tells me, then vanishes.
It left the window open, and I could hear what sounded like pots and pans being dropped. A fumbling hurry, with two voices arguing in Spanish.
He/she reappears with a bag.
“Aight. Twelve twenny.”
I hand my card over, wondering what’s in the bag. I do enjoy surprises.
She hands my card back with a forced smile. I think it’s a girl. Well, pretty sure it’s a girl.
Returning home, I’m excited to see what I got.
I got two salads that were opened and the chicken switched. The Club had grilled, and the Southwest had crispy. CLOSE ENOUGH!
And they were actually pretty tasty. :)