In which I venture outside the house
I'm in the checkout line at the local grocery, and a large 50-ish man with a mountain man beard and a hippy-ish demeanor gets in line behind me. This is not surprising. What IS a little off-putting is that the only item he's purchasing is a quart of "Bulgarian Cultured Buttermilk", which he then proceeds to open and begin chugging. Then he puts the container down on the counter, wipes the buttermilk out of his beard, makes a face and says, "oh man, I think it's spoiled!" I'm watching all of this thinking, first, "If it's so spoiled, why did you keep drinking!" and second, "Dude, it's BUTTERMILK! How can you TELL?". From casual observation, it appears that I was the only customer who thought that his behavior was odd.
But this has little to do with my trip to Wendy's.
The checkout girl happily tells me where there's a Wendy's and I proceed. I'm feeling all proud as I pull up to the little speaker and order
"A double cheeseburger, with a baked potato and a diet coke."
"So that's a turkey sandwich...."
"Um, no. Double cheeseburger."
"Aah, yeah. What size fries?"
"No fries. Baked potato." ("Baked, like you", I think to myself.)
"Ok, and a Coke"
"Cool. Pull around."
This young man has just been, as my students occasionally are, not just wrong but anti-right. Regardless, I'm gonna get a hamburger! I pull around to the pay window and suddenly realize why this young man couldn't get my order right - he's Emo!
He had all the major Emo signifiers (eyeliner, side-parted hair swept across his eyes, arms covered in black tatoos) and even a few of the minor ones (hair dyed black and blonde, extremely tight jeans). How could he be expected to hear what I ordered over the dying screams of his innocence?
I pull around to the pickup window, and a girl leans out to give me the bag - by Cthulhu, she's Emo too! Same black eyeliner, dual-toned hair and sullen demeanor as the first guy. When she turns around I sneak a peek at the kids working behind the counter, and it appears to be an entirely Emo Wendy's. You can practically hear the My Chemical Romance coming through the window. The girl sighed deeply, as though handing me my food was the last act in this dark carnival of indignity, the one that finally caused her young heart to crack in two, and closed the window. I drove off, but swore I would return.
God bless you, Emo Wendy's!