Some events merit waste of text
November 6, 2007
I was out of town on business, and it was dinnertime. Being dinnertime, I was hungry, so much so that driving home on an empty stomach was no option.
I knew people in this city, but chose to go it alone for two reasons. First, time is money, and it’s quicker to eat alone than undertake a scavenger hunt to find a friend who is hungry and will drop everything for me. Second, nobody really likes me, and this story should tell you why.
I entered the restaurant, armed with a book from which I had read five full chapters. This describes pretty much every book I own.
When your eating partner is a book, you don’t get a lot of conversation. But your ears still work and you hear other conversations without trying. My ears were working for this one:
Customer: “I just want a small diet Coke.”
Waitress: “We don’t have small sizes. We just have two sizes: medium and large.”
Customer: “OK, medium works for me.”
Sorry, Chapter 6, but you’re taking a rain check. Imagination is my new dinner partner. I imagined I was the diet Coke drinker:
Me: “I just want a small diet Coke.”
Waitress: “We don’t have small sizes. We just have two sizes, medium and large.”
Me: “So you don’t have medium.”
Waitress: “No, we have medium.”
Me: “Actually, you don’t. Medium implies an intermediate amount, but you don’t have that. You have two extremes that are compared only to each other. You have a cup that’s small compared to the other, and you have a cup that’s large compared to the other. I’ll take the small cup, with diet Coke, please.”
Waitress: “Get out of our restaurant.”
The moral of my imaginary, never happened, never gonna happen story? Never be a jerk to restaurant employees before your food arrives.
I normally stay silent by writing these things down, but I left my pen in the car. I couldn’t call anybody about it, because I was still in the restaurant and my food hadn’t arrived yet (see the aforementioned moral).
I decided I’d send a text message about it ... except nobody else would get the joke. So I did the only rational thing I could think of: I text messaged myself.
I sent Kevin Wilson the following message: “We only have medium and large sizes. Wouldn’t that mean you don’t have medium?”
I pressed “Send,” and five seconds later, I had a new text message. It was from this Wilson guy who’s totally stalking me.
I don’t send a lot of text messages, so I only buy a limited amount. The limit amplified my waste — since my plan counts text messages I send and receive, my rhetorical banter cost me TWO text messages.
Unfortunately, I can’t pull myself aside and say, “Stop wasting text messages,” because then I’d be talking to myself. It’s bad enough that I eat with myself, write notes to myself and text message myself. I’m not going for the schizophrenic quadruple crown.
Maybe I’ll find a book that cures schizophrenia and teaches you to mind your own business at restaurants. I might even read the first SIX chapters.