The other day I was running errands with my daughter. We decided to make a quick stop at the local Starbucks, and pulled up to the drive-in window. Over the intercom we heard a polite voice say, “Thank you for coming to Starbucks, we’ll take your order in a moment.” Then the speaker clicked off, and we settled in to wait our turn.
My daughter it seems has inherited my warped sense of humor, and to pass the time, she regaled me with a dead on impression of her teachers annoying throat clearing tic. I couldn’t help but laugh, and followed up with a reenactment of a co-worker’s heart stopping sneeze – I swear her head will fly off one of these times. By now we were both laughing so hard we were crying, especially after my daughter threw in a few well-timed snorts to up the ante.
At some point it occurred to me to wonder – out loud – if the Starbucks employees might be able to hear us through that little speaker that sat twelve inches from my face. The speaker promptly crackled to life and an amused voice said, “Yes Mam, actually we can.”
This announcement was followed by a moment of stunned silence, which erupted into shrieks of laughter as my daughter melted into a puddle of mirth on the floor of the car. Being the adult, I managed to compose myself enough to place our order, whereupon I realized my error.
Now that I had placed the order, we would have to pick it up. We would have to face the people at the other end of the speaker, thus securing our membership in the most embarrassing moments hall of fame. The logical thing to do at this point would have been to pull out of line and head for the hills. But alas, it was too late as drinks were already under construction; we would simply have to accept our fate.
I pointed out to my daughter that this situation was infinitely worse for me. People expect seventeen year olds to act like this, but once you’ve reached the ripe old age of 50, you’re supposed to have mustered some shreds of dignity. I tried to convince her that she should take the wheel while I hid in the back with a blanket over my head, but she chose this moment to be difficult, and actually threatened to jump ship altogether. Sobered by the thought of how it would look if I pulled up in the car alone, I didn’t press the issue.
Our only hope was that the employees had either lost interest, or lost track of which car contained the loonies. As we pulled up to the window, we tried to bluff our way through but our streaming eyes and suppressed snorts of laughter gave us away.
“Hey!”said the jovial young man at the window,
“You two are very entertaining.”
“Oh,” I said ever glib, “Uh . . . well, you know.”
He did know, that was the problem. With a grin he handed us our order. I handed him a large tip, and made a quick exit.
Note to surprised bystanders . . . I don’t usually peel out from Starbucks.
Note to readers – they can hear you in there, beware.