12 June 2006

Altered menus

I was standing in the checkout line at Walmart when my pocket started to vibrate. Ordinarily I would've ignored my phone, but I knew it was Mom returning my call. After a bit of dropout-induced confusion, I agreed to pick up dinner: a cheeseburger and fries for Dad, and a fish sandwich for Mom. I hung up just in time to hear my total and to complete the transaction.

Typically, I would've written down their order to make remembering it a non-issue, but my hands were full and I was pressed for time because I had another stop to make first. After a bit of searching at Staples, I found the thumb drive I hope my Dad will like either for his birthday or Father's Day (both this coming weekend), and bought it.

I strode back to my car, navigated the parking maze, waited for a cop to signal me forward past some construction, and pulled into the Wendy's parking lot. Even though it was dinnertime, they weren't busy, for which I was thankful.

The one car ahead of me pulled around the building as I eased up to the menu.

"I'll be with you in a moment," said a male voice emanating from the box.

"Ok," I replied cheerfully. I was grateful for a moment to figure out what I wanted and what they called their fish sandwiches.

I decided to keep it simple by getting the #1 combo meal since I was parched. Reading the rest of the menu, however, did not reveal the existence of a fish sandwich. I read it again. A chicken fillet is not the same thing. I scanned for a seafood or alternative sandwich heading with no luck.

"May I take your order?"

"Yes." It'll be fine, maybe they just ran out of space on the menu with the new stuff they're offering. "I'd like a #1, no onions, with Dr. Pepper."

"Would you like cheese on that?"

"No, thank you."

"Would you like to Biggie size that?"

"No, thank you."

The list of items materialized on the screen beside me.

"Anything else?"

"Yes. A cheeseburger and medium fries."

He interjected, "A classic cheeseburger or a junior cheeseburger?"

I glanced at the menu and said, "Classic."

"And was that medium fries you said?"


The list scrolled down the screen.

"Anything else?"

I took a breath and said, "Yes. Do you have a fish sandwich?"

"We only serve those during lunch."

"Oh." That's weird, but whatever. I scanned the menu again. If you felt like having fish, but it wasn't available, what would be the next closest thing? "Could I have a Homestyle Chicken Fillet?" It has 'fillet' in the title at least.

"I'm sorry, I'm out of those until the truck comes in tomorrow."

Damn, this is getting ridiculous. "Hmm... ok," I said buying myself some time to look over the menu again. Despite its lack of fish, it now seemed brimming with possibilities. Mom would be gracious about whatever I brought home, but I still felt the pressure to choose the right thing. "How about a Spinach Chicken Salad?"

Silence. They can't be out of those too.

Then the salad appeared on the screen. "Would you like the bacon sweet and sour dressing that comes with the salad?"

It sounded strange, but I could've sworn Mom had gotten it before. "Sure."

"Anything else?"

"That's it."

He relayed the total displayed on the screen next to me and asked me to drive to the second window. As I did, it suddenly hit me: Lent. He'd said, "Lent" not "lunch" when I asked about the fish sandwich. That makes even less sense to me, but whatever. I hope Mom likes her salad.

One year ago at TTaT: Perspective, It was not there
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  1. Wendy's serves fish sandwiches during Lent? I never realized they ever served fish sandwiches.

  2. Kevin: They do here. Maybe it's regional. There's a lot of Catholics in this area.

  3. Did your mum like her salad?

    There's something fishy going on at Wendy's, though...what about vegetarian options, do they do those in America?

  4. Sam: She did enjoy the salad. She also informed me that a chicken sandwich would've been the last thing she'd have wanted.

    They have several salads, at least a couple are meat-free, as well as baked potatoes, and probably a couple other things vegetarian-safe.