Tom and I are in Cleveland this weekend for one of our best friend’s wedding, and since we planned so far in advance by booking our hotel with my iPhone on the drive up on Friday, we had no other choice but to stay in Helen, birthplace of the seven dwarfs. Because Tom is in the wedding, he had to be at Zack’s house early on Saturday, leaving me an entire day to do whatever I wanted to do…in a large GMC pickup.
I went to visit an old friend that lives in Cornelia that morning, and on the drive back, I realized I was hungry.
I decide to drive back to Helen to try to find a local place to eat lunch. Well, I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to Helen or not, but unbeknownst to me, it’s a pretty happening place at 2:30 in the afternoon. Traffic was backed up like I-75 in Atlanta on a Wednesday afternoon. Since I was low on gas AND starving, I pulled over at a Subway just outside of town to grab a sandwich.
The place is packed, but there’s only one little boy in line, so I fall in behind him and start flipping through my phone. By the time I look up, his parents and their
seven three other children have lined up behind the boy. Clearly, they were cutting in line, however, because I’m busy answering e-mails, I smile, tell them since they are with the little boy, they can go right on ahead.
Just to give you a quick mental image, the mom is wearing a tank top and “bedazzled” blue jean capris. (Mistake.) The dad has a voice that could be compared with forks scratching a plate, and the youngsters (all mistakes) are each wearing blue jeans and those hideous Old Navy t-shirts with a flag on the front. Cool.
That was when meltdown #1 ensued. One of the hellions, I mean kids, grabbed a chocolate milk. The last chocolate milk. Which made the other three in the litter of brats angry because they also wanted milk. Instead of telling the other three to suck it the heck up and that they could find something else to drink or just choke on their food, the parents ask the Subway sandwich artist if they have anymore milk. They don’t, which causes an all-out brawl between the little brats. As soon as that gets settled, I look up to see another family that has quietly made their way behind the first family. I inch up to insinuate that I was clearly next in line.
“Ma’am what are you having today?”
“I want a six-inch Itali-”
“WE’D LIKE A BUFFALO CHICKEN SANDWICH ON WHITE BREAD AND JACOB, WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
Before I have time to finish my order, the mother of the second pack of brats has not only cut in line, but completely interrupted me. The Latino father glances behind and sees the look I’m giving them, and points at the first family, “They’re paying, so we are with them.”
Unamused, I manage a slight smile, “Oh well in THAT case, I’ll just stay where I was in line…in front of you.”
He ignores that remark. Fuming, I get back on my phone, thinking, hey, what’s another 3 minutes…
Well, Jacob couldn’t decide what he wanted.
“JACOB, DO YOU WANT TURKEY OR HAM?” says the mom.
“Well, you can’t have both.”
“BOTH. BOTH. BOTH!”
Here comes meltdown #2. Jacob wanted a turkey sandwich AND a ham sandwich, and he wasn’t going to stop until he got it. You know, if I had pitched a fit like that in the line at Subway, ESPECIALLY if other people were waiting, my parents would have ordered me a cucumber and hot-sauce sandwich and shoved it down my throat just for spite. But no, the parents were legitimately concerned as to which sandwich Jacob wanted. They let him finish his hissy fit and finally talked him into turkey.
They ordered pretty much everything else the menu offered. At one point, the mom decided she wanted her sandwich toasted, but NOT the chicken that was already on the sandwich, making the sandwich artist take the chicken off and start over. “Is the chicken going to get hot if you toast the sandwich?”
No $h!t, idiot.
This prompts Jacob to want HIS sandwich toasted, too. This is AFTER he pulls on the rack of chips, causing the whole thing to collapse. At this point, I’ve put my phone away just to watch this train wreck of a family order their lunch. I’d been in line a total of 15 minutes at that point, and I can literally feel my blood pressure rising.
Then enters a policeman.
“We’ve had a call about some people causing trouble here.”
It took every ounce of self control I had not to jump up and down, point at the band of idiots in front of me and say, “THEM! IT’S THEM!” But meek and mild Ashlee held it in. Turns out, it was a prank call, but that took another 5 minutes to resolve.
It’s then that I notice yet ANOTHER family behind Jacob.
“EXCUSE ME, BUT I’VE ALREADY LET A DOZEN PEOPLE IN FRONT OF ME, ALL I WANT IS A STUPID SANDWICH, SORRY, BUT I WAS HERE FIRST.”
Silence falls over the line. The lady looked as if I had thrown hot grease on her. Which, I probably would have if it were available at the moment. The families, at this point, clearly see that I’m not just angry, but I’m entering crazy mode.
It takes a whopping 30 seconds to make my sandwich, and by the time I get to the register, the families are STILL trying to pay. Turns out, they ordered a box of cookies that had to be baked, and they wouldn’t leave the register until they had everything.
I debate on whether or not to go out to the truck to eat instead of stay in the
pit fires of hell the restaurant, but by then, I’m so amazed at the debacle that has been unfolding in front of me, I decide on a table by the window.
Halfway through the meal, Jacob starts screaming, “I’M DYING, I’M DYING!”
“Who cares,” I thought to myself.
By this point, I’ve finished my chips and have about half my sandwich left. Jacob walks over to the table where his parents are sitting.
“I think I’m going to throw up.”
The mom ignores him.
“I think I’m going to throw up, Mommy.”
At this point, I have had it. I was no longer concerned on being the “bigger person.” I was no longer concerned with getting arrested or being rude or looking sane. I slammed my sandwich down.
“OH MY GOD.” These were my last words I yelled through the entire restaurant as I grabbed my camera and purse, leaving my food, drink, and trash sitting on the table. When I jumped up, my chair turned over, making a loud noise, getting everyone’s attention. The parents stared as I stormed out of the restaurant, refusing to look back in case Jacob had, in fact, lost his lunch.
I didn’t even look for an exit to the parking lot. I took Tom’s truck right over the median, spinning tires as I pulled onto the highway. I drove directly to a nearby winery, where I enjoyed a
bottle glass of wine and walked across the street to a three story antique store, where I bought some beautiful chenille bedding and continuously thanked the good Lord that I only had a dog.
A dog that is much cuter (and much more well behaved) than those hoodlums.