After an unexpected, uncontrollable change in plans, we were no longer headed to Houston for the afternoon, so we all jumped in the car and had the conversation we have had a thousand times.
“Where do you want to eat?”
“I don’t know. Where do you want to eat?”
“What about El…”
“What about, well, I know y’all don’t like that place.”
“El Amigo is fine.”
“EL Amigo, okay everyone?”
So we headed to El Amigo. The rustling of the leaves in the trees overpowered the sound of cars motors and honks. The clear blue sky seemed anxious to show off its beauty.
Once inside the restaurant, we set down at the same table we always sit at.
A second later, as if my some magic, our drinks appeared in front of us. A few more seconds later, our chips appear, too. Then we ordered.
I have always found and really enjoyed a restaurant’s odd items.
“Your usual, sir?”
“So, chicken fingers, steak fries with seasoning.”
While waiting for the food, we all exchanged conversation, while also playing on our iPhones. iPhones have really changed the rhetoric of eating out. One of us was waiting on an important email, one of us was checking Twitter, and one of us was reading parts of a book.
We ate chips with salsa and sipped our drinks, too.
We did all this without much thought for the time, money, waste, and privilege involved. Like many, we were living in the moments. The hours.
A while later, the food arrived.
“Opps that tray isn’t ours.”
The next tray to come out was our order. One-by-one we each received our order. Hot, fresh food prepared for us in the back of the restaurant. After examining my food, I noticed that the portion of steak fries was far less than half what it usually has been. I have enjoyed taking pictures of my food, so I pulled out my phone and found the pictures of my previous meals at El Amigo.
“Pardon, but this is a tiny portion of fries compared to usual. This is what it usually is.”
These fries have been a real treat on occasion since they first came a month or two ago. They are delicious. And things are expensive. For someone so anti-capitalism, I sure am concerned about products, value, and getting what I pay for. Alas.
“Really? Okay. Hold on, AJP.”
While waiting, we all began to enjoy our meals. Hot, delicious food with good company. Nothing to really fuss about.
A few minutes later, one of the managers came over.
“I heard you had a question for me??”
The manager looked around the table and looked at each of us. I explained again.
“So you want more fries?”
“Really, just what I was supposed to get would be great, please.”
“So you want more fires?”
“Sure – thanks.”
The over-analyzer that I am thought about this conversation and all the dynamics of what happened. After a few bites and more thinking, the manger returns.
“Here you go.”
On an old, somewhat stained plate were five additional half-cooked half-sized french fries lined side-by-side.
Life is weird.
Andrew Joseph Pegoda