Everyone has a guilty pleasure. For Meka and me, it’s Taco Bell. We like to drive over there right after our Weight Watchers meetings. Daniel doesn’t like Taco Bell, so we pick up our bag of Mexican inspired fast food and then sit and talk for a few minutes without the risk of interruption from the back seat.
A couple of weeks ago, after a successful week of weight loss, Meka and I were sitting behind another car in the drive-thru lane. The window has a flashing display bolted to the outside where you (and indeed the world) can see how much your order cost. It dawned on me that we had covered an unusually large number of topics in conversation while not moving. I looked up and noticed the total cost of the order in front of us.
I didn’t know you could actually order that much food at Taco Bell. I didn’t think it was an inviolable rule like breaking the speed of light. Rather it was more akin to the sound barrier, requiring an awful lot of effort on the parts of many many dedicated people. However, the car in front of us held but a single person. And it was an Escort; neither of us thought a car that small would be able to contain $51 worth of food from Taco Bell without making a second trip.
We were both intrigued at the thought of $51 worth of food from Taco Bell. We had a pretty spirited discussion as to what that kind of order would entail. I figured it would be one of everything on the menu. Meka figured it would be eight bags, maybe ten. To our surprise, the teenaged girl leaned out the window and handed the driver exactly two bags of food. No drinks, nothing else. Meka thought it might be a typo; maybe what we thought was a five was actually a dollar sign?
I hear about inflation worries and the core index on the radio all the time. Perhaps this was a concrete example of raging shortages in corn as conversion to ethanol has taken precedent over food production. Perhaps the high cost of diesel fuel had finally caught up with the vendors for Taco Belll; the cost was being passed on down the line.
We pulled up to the window and the flashing sign displayed our order amount. While we only got a single bag of food, it cost us one-eighth of $51. The difference? The only thing that made sense to me was that he was ripped off and didn’t notice because he was stoned.