You buy, I fly?

27 Jan

I’m in Boston for our annual leadership meeting. Tuesday night, after a long day of meetings and workshops, we had dinner and drinks at Sel de la Terre, a hip French bistrot in Boston’s Back Bay. The food was great, and drinks were flowing generously. If I had one kir royale, I had five, so I was pretty buzzed up when our party bus pulled out at 8pm.

(I’m not exaggerating when I talk about a party bus… check out The Original Party Trolley if you doubt me.)

We were deposited back at the hotel around 8:30. I had every intention of going to my room, taking a bath and calling my boyfriend. Really, I did.

However, peer pressure kicked in and I was verbally shamed into going around the corner to a pub with my co-workers for “just one drink.” As we walked there, we passed a Wendy’s. I spotted an opportunity – both for a great greasy potato, and to discreetly bail on the pub plan.

(Side note: since my early 20s, I’ve been a *master* of bailing during a drunk night out. While friends are ordering rounds, I’ll excuse myself to use the bathroom, discreetly toss enough cash on the table to cover my damages, and disappear back to my own bed for the night before I completely jump the shark. Apparently these instincts are still in play, because that’s *exactly* the exit I spotted when the Wendy’s sign appeared before me in lights.)

Thus, without announcing my departure, I stepped into Wendy’s. It was empty.I placed my order:

A chili and cheese baked potato. But wait – can you NOT use that pre-melted cheese? I mean, do you have shredded cheddar back there somewhere? You do? Awesome!

(Another side note: have we discussed that I’m a picky eater? For someone who practically lives on bar food and Diet Mountain Dew, I have a surprisingly long list of food that is banned due to texture issues. American cheese (or Velveeta) is one such food. Among the others: cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, yogurt, pudding – and pretty much anything else you can squeeze between your teeth without effort.)

Hopefully now my special-order makes a bit more sense.

So I’ve just gotten the entire Back Bay Wendy’s crew to rally around my special request. They’ve had to explore previously off-limit refrigerators to find bags of actual shredded cheddar. They’ve practically high-fived, wiped tears from their eyes and exhaled one collective sigh of relief to see that they can accommodate my special request.

And then – like a needle abruptly scratching a record – I reach into my pockets and – with a sinking feeling in my stomach – I remember that I don’t have my wallet with me. I’m not even carrying a purse. I dig deep and come up with a tube of lipstick and my room key, all seemingly in slow-motion while making awkward eye contact with the Wendy’s cashier, who – just minutes before – I had been calling “Julio” (clued in by his name tag) as if he were an old friend.

I smile at Julio and lift my eyebrows hopefully. “Um… I guess I don’t have any money.”

His face tells me all I need to know. I turn and make for the door, trying to walk with as much dignity as I can muster, having just tried to trade a tube of lipstick for a baked potato.

I hear howls of laughter from the guys working behind the counter. Well, one way or another I *did* bring them to tears. And they now know how to make a proper potato. Mission accomplished?

Not really.

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