An Experience to Forget

by David Sjolander

I stand in line at the checkout counter at a fast-food place; as I peer behind the counter, the menu board reminds me of a giant neon sign; my attention drawn to a video of coffee pouring into a cup.

I approach the clerk at the register; she looks about sixteen; her face is covered with acne; I give my order and move ahead to wait for my food; I hear a beeping noise from somewhere out-of-sight.

As I wait, I notice a flurry of activity in the kitchen; besides a obese twenty-something guy wearing a tie, teenagers in uniform move to and fro.

They forget my fries; I like my fries; Why did they forget my fries?

The manager apologizes; she brings my fries; I thank her and walk away.

I sit down at my table and discover that they gave me the wrong sandwich! what kind of idiots work here?

I carefully examine my drink, wrap, and, dessert; miraculously, they’re all as they should be; amazing, given my dining experience here-to-fore!

Sighing, I return to the checkout counter; I tell the manager about the mix-up; again, she a apologizes; she tells me it will take a few minutes; she’ll bring the correct sandwich out to me.


I’m at a traffic light; traffic is the right word; the traffic is heavy; it’s a two lane street; the cross-traffic an endless stream. It reminds me of a cattle drive. In a movie I recently saw the cattle were being herded northward. Save for the fact that they’re moving in two directions, the passing vehicles remind me of a herd of cattle…or, possibly, sheep.

The rain is pouring down; my windshield wipers are working overtime; my defroster is on high; my rear window defogger and wiper are on.

The light turns green; peering through the rain drops, I see the car in front has its left turn indicator on; moves out into the intersection and stops.

The traffic coming from the opposite direction streams through. I carefully make my way through the intersection.

Upon returning home, I enter my house; remove my raincoat; and hang it on the peg beside the door. Sighing as seat myself​ in reclining chair, I reflect on my recent experience. The whole scenario…from the fast food restaurant to the heavy traffic caused me a great deal of anxiety. I don’t like anxiety. I can’t stand incompetence. I abhor heavy motor traffic.

I close my eyes; I drift off into slumber…

© David Sjolander 2017