Did ya ever notice that fast food places barely give you enough napkins to wipe off a pinkie after gorging on their messy fare? Seriously. It doesn’t take an expert to know that napkins go hand in hand with sloppy food. Take my latest experience at a burger joint.
“Can I take your order, please?” droned a pimply faced teenage boy behind the counter.
After receiving my food, I spread out all its greasy goodness: burgers bulging with toppings, chili fries, drink, and condiments. What’s that? One napkin. How can a diner survive with one napkin? Oozing, dripping bounty was a hallmark at In-N-Out Burger.
I turned to catch a quick glimpse of my son. His approach to napkin scarcity was shared among the fourteen-and-under crowd. What’s to complain about? Who needed napkins? As long as you are wearing clothes, just wipe the grease across your lips, down your face, and onto your sleeve! What’s the problem?
Since I’m not comfortable using my arm as a napkin, I marched up to the counter and asked, “May I have a few more napkins?”
Totally serious, Pimple Face passed me one more.
Yeah, like that was going to make a dent. I’m talkin’ lots more. A huge stack.
“Is it too much to ask for more napkins?” I pleaded.
That time, I swore, he went to a safe in the back of the kitchen and re-emerged with the prize napkins, doling one out like a precious gem. I marched back to the table with my two measly napkins. Since when did the guy behind the counter become the Napkin Police?
Now don’t get me started about napkins at either. Eating lunch there had become a personal challenge. Inside the clear plastic bag were a tightly wrapped sandwich and one napkin. To clarify my anger, let me explain that I ordered a meatball sandwich. That sucker was so loaded with sauce and extras that getting it to the table before it exploded was a challenge. Once unwrapped, my dilemma was obvious and someone was going to pay. I needed more napkins. Racing to the counter, I slipped my hand behind and stole five more.
I’d stop going to if it weren’t for the fact that I could feed an army of kids for $5.99. That place definitely not only claimed a napkin shortage but also minimized their size.
At the drive-through window, I shouted, “Six soft tacos, one hard taco, nachos, small Coke. Don’t forget the napkins.”
Through the muffled intercom, the order sounded all garbled. At the drive-thru window, I peeked inside my bag — one measly napkin; one-ply, brown and dinky as a moist towelette. Come on. Mexican food was a messy meal, what with all the hot sauces and toppings. At the first speed bump, my lap would be one black bean away from looking like the Mexican appetizer platter. Despite the line of cars backed up at the drive through, I rolled down the window and demanded more napkins.
“Pull your car forward, lady,” says Taco Guy.
“Not until I get more napkins,” I said.
“You’re causing a problem. Pull forward,” he yelled.
“More napkins!” I begged. Amidst the sound of honking behind me, he tossed napkins into my car.
Success. That’s one small step for man, one pile of napkins for me!