Today, the second of two recent "drive through" incidents occurred for me, so I must vent, or at least confess, and I'll start with going back to memory a bit. Years and years and years ago, I had friends who worked in a Burger King located on a secondary highway in NJ, that had a drive thru. I remember that the driveway of it was sort of convoluted, as you had to travel around the entire building to get to the window because of a funny curb/lane thing that had been put in to "guide" drivers. Seeing people hop the curb happened often, but even more chuckle inducing would be when a driver intent on getting their Whooper with extra pickles would drive right into these poles that stood about 3 feet high, about 9 inches wide, metal shelled, filled with cement, and surrounded the place for, ah safety - ouch!...chuckle chuckle. While we stood in the back eating from a GIANT barrel of pickles, we would watch corner panel after corner panel fold like accordions against those bright yellow poles.
Recently, I went to get a chicken soft ranchero taco at a famous not so fabulous fast food joint linked with salmonella a short 2 years ago. My purchase costs $2.13, and I know it by heart. I order, I drive through, I pay, I usually get my food. I leave. It's like clockwork every time. This time however was different... I ordered, I drove through, I paid, I left. No food, just ordered, paid and split. That's fast! I realized my blunder, drove back around the block and went back to the window, hoping that it would seem as if I had been sitting there all along. "Remember me?" was my sheepish query. I'm sure there has never been a fast food employee who felt so superior to a customer in their lives. I got my food, and vowed to keep myself more alert, for chrissakes. But the idea of a drive through is absurd to begin with anyway. The communication part of it goes like this.. "I would like three orders of bla bla and a vanilla shake".. they repeat back to you, "you want thirteen orders of bla bla, and we don't offer steak". Then after the communication section of the transaction is eventually straightened out, when you drive around for the exchange section of the transaction, the person who takes your change and hands you bags of food is usually looming tall over your car like some fiend with an evil plan for your future, or at least a little reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz. The "greeting" section of the exchange section of the entire transaction is usually the person having a conversation with a co-worker, and they'll face you just long enough to ensure that they get the money out of your hand.
The days before EZpass, I used to entertain friends when going through toll booths by affecting fake accents when speaking with the toll takers, or trying to give toll clerks leftover fast food that we couldn't finish in our travels. The concept of driving up and leaving just as quickly in itself is rather prankish.
And earlier today, I went to the bank. This is the more "serious" kind of drive up, as there's lots of numbers, some money and receipts that you actually keep attached to the transaction, and they take pictures of you while you're sitting in your idling car. A good friend of mine has driven off in the past with the tube that the bank supplies as carrier for transactions. Some bank tellers will give you lollipops if you've got kids in the car, and usually say hello and thank you as well. Today my teller told me to have a great day (which I was completely intending on having), but my transaction receipt never arrived back at my car. She was on to the person in the next lane, just chatting away & servicing them, and had forgotten to send my receipt back, as well as the tube that would be used for my fellow banker, sitting in the car behind me. After getting her attention, she told me that she couldn't find my receipt, but "it's OK." My reply was to the effect that actually it wasn't OK and, believe it or not, it was important to me to have my receipt before I proceded to have that aforementioned great day. After some hemming and hawing and a few humphs thrown in for good measure, my receipt was rapidly suction shot to me like a suppository through the plumbing of the drive thru mechanism.