Surley Sonic Burger

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I don’t know what kind of experience you have had at one of the many Sonic Burgers, but I hate loathe don’t see eye-to-eye with them. So let me share some of my grievences experiences:

They don’t give free drink refills. Not on anything. Not even on water. I found this one day when I asked for a free refill and they said no. I asked how much a refill costs to which the car-hop curtly informed me they don’t refill at all. I was, however, free to order another drink.

They charge for water. They won’t even give you water if you have your own cup. They won’t refill your water even if you spend the $0.15 plus tax to buy the damn water.

Yesterday I asked if they have any specials going on and the voice through the quatch-box said “Yes.” I watied to hear them but after a pregnant pause I had to ask “And what are the specials?” She then informed me they were printed clearly on the coupons. So I asked if I could see a coupon to which she said “no.” I asked if they had any coupons to which she again said “no.” Getting a little impatient I said “So you print the coupons, and you have coupons, but you won’t tell me what they are nor will you give me any?” “Yes” was the tacid reply.

So today I ventured back armed with a bag of dog poop ready to light on fire my coupons and ordered a two-for-one burger. I also ordered a 44 ounce drink with a coupon. The order-taker on the other end said “is that the 99 cent coupon for the 44 oz. drink?” I was puzzled and asked “Is there another coupon for a different amount?” She replied with heavy sarcasam “No, sir! I just wanted to make sure you have a coupon.” When my drink was brought out to me, I was left with a straw that, when inserted into the cup, was too short to reach the top. So I had to wait for a condiment server to eventually saunter by and had to ask if I could upgrade my straw to a longer one. Luckily, she had one (I’m surpried I wasn’t charged for it).

The food at Sonic is awful tolerable but the service is the worst I have ever seen — anywhere! And I have a personal gripe about the sign they have in front that frequently has misspelled words, and not in the funny or cute way. It’s stuff like “MON NITE BUGER SPECL” and “FREE DRINK HOT DOG” (which technically isn’t misspelled, but doesn’t make any sense).

It amazes me that people continue to patronize this place. Is it just the Sonic on 1300 S and State Street that is bad? Are they all like this? Do they give their employees de-motivational speeches in the morning? Are the at some cosmic nexus of intersecting bad vibe causeways? Is there radioactive goo pooling in the sewer beneath the business? What gives?

The Wendy’s Incident

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Forward

I want to make sure that everyone who reads this post knows that I am horrified and ashamed by my actions 9 years ago that I’m about to share. I was young, more rash, and less tollerant — all things I hope I’ve gained more of in the interim. So read this post with some compassion and pretend that someone else did it… like Ronald Smallet.

Today I talked to an old friend of mine, Paul Lambert, who is quite possibly one of the smartest people I have ever met and a good friend. Paul owns a company called Digis Networks, which provides high-speed internet service to Orem and West Jordan, UT.

Paul and I are just catching up and talking about our kids when Paul mentions that he just had an incident at Wendy’s involving mayonaise on a burger. Now that brings back a memory that I’ve tried to forget.

Mayonaise and Space-Age Polymers

I hate mayonaise. I hate Miracle Whip. And without trying to incur the wrath of zelots, I can’t taste a difference between them — they both make me want to throw up. I also hate american cheese which I claim is not cheese at all but rather a space-age polymer. So when I order a burger I have to specify that I want ” no cheese and no mayo. ”

The Setting

I think it was July 24, 1995 when this happened. Most of what I remember about that day was it was completely overbooked with activities and Erin (my fiance at the time) and I had about 15 minutes before our next appointment — a wedding shower being thrown by the Maxfields. We didn’t get a chance for lunch and we were both very hungry. As many of you know, I get cranky if I don’t get something for lunch and we were now way past that. So I was already worked up and very stressed and very cranky to begin with so we decided to get something to eat really fast before we had to be at the party. So we went to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers (which is the official name of the restraunt.)

The Order

Erin and I both run in to Wendy’s and I order a Big Bacon Classic with no mayo and no cheese. I believe Erin had the Monterey Ranch Chicken Sandwich (which I have to say is the best damn thing Wendy’s has ever had on the menu and I’m still dumbfounded to this day that they no longer offer it.) We got the order to go and planned on eating in the car on the way to the party.

Surprise!

We are now driving down 300 East heading to the party and Erin unpacks the sack, unwraps my burger to hand it to me and says “Uh. Everything is going to be fine! Don’t freak out!” So I look over at Erin and my burger has mayonaise on it. Surprise! I think Erin actually heard me snap and I swung the car arround and laid on the gas as I maniacly drove back to Wendy’s. I could actually feel my grip on the steeringwheel getting tighter and tighter as my eyes became wild with rage.

Could You Fix This Please?

I pull into the parking lot, screech to a stop and snatch the burger from Erin’s terrified hands and storm into Wendy’s. I didn’t even wait in line and walked directly up to the counter and, pointing dangerously at the person who had taken my order, yelled “Come over here!” At this point the people in line backed away from me and a hush fell in the dining area as everyone’s gaze fixed upon me.

I slamed the burger on the counter and said “I ordered this zbgure shpxvat thing with no mayo!” and I pointed crazily at the burger, my eyes wild with a crazy look. The order-taking person looked, shruged, and said “Yeah. And…” I then grabbed the burger and hurled it squarely and exactly in her face with the force and speed of a major league fastball — the impact of which made her stagger backward into the frosty machine as the burger elements (pickles, bun, lettuce, etc) flew like shrapnel blown from a hand grenade.

My out-stretched hand then turned into a poined finger and I yelled at the top of my lungs something like “why don’t you just take your zbgure shpxvat sandwich back!” and I stormed out of the store.

Statue of Limitations

When I got back to the car Erin asked me what had happened and I told her. I have absolutely no idea what she really thought but she wound up marrying me anyway, something which I am grateful to this day for. But Erin was stern (if not livid) and told me that I was not allowed to go back to that Wendy’s for 6 months — which was about how long the average employee works in a fast-food environment. We actually have no real data to base this judgement on but it seemed reasonable and we stuck to it.

Of course the statue of limitations is 7 years, and since it has now been more than 9 I feel I can now tell my story and let everyone see what a looser I was.

I would like to extend my most sincere and utmost apology to the poor and innocent lady I attacked with a burger that unfortunate day. I can only imagine how I have scarred her emotionally from the whole event perhaps ruined her dreams of working and succeeding at a career at Wendy’s.

Ran Out of Gas

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Today it finally happened — and for the very first time in my life! Yes, I ran out of gas while driving. It is kind of a funny story so I thought I would share it.

This morning I got in the car to drive my daughter to school, which is about 3 miles and up-hill all the way. When I got in the car I said to myself “Oops, I’m out of gas.” Annika, my 6 year old daughter said “let’s go get some gas, dad.” I laughed as I backed out of the the driveway and said that there would be more than enough gas to get her to school and not to worry about it.

I have driven many times with the gas guage below the empty line. The key is knowing how far below the empty line you can go before it is really really empty. At this point I have to confess that the needle bottoms out and won’t go any lower than a certain point — which is why I thought I could still drive even though the guage was lower than empty. Aparently it is knowing how far you can drive once the needle bottoms out. But I digress.

So I drove Annika to school and then went to work. Around lunch time I contacted Matt Scoville, who works downtown, and asked if he wanted to have lunch together as I had an errand in the neighborhood anyway. So I instant messaged Matt and told him I was leaving. I got in the car and headed up State Street to meet Matt.

I have to pause here to let you know that Matt does not have a phone at his work. Yes, that’s right — he doesn’t even do construction! He sits in an office with 5 other guys all doing computer stuff and there isn’t a phone among them. He doesn’t even have a cell phone so the only way to get a hold of him is to visit in person or to send an instant message. In this day and age there is no reason for an office not to have a phone.

So I get half way between 200 and 100 south and the engine starts to loose power. I checked the hand-brake but it was off and I couldn’t figure it out. Then, as the engine sputtered and I started to coast into a parking space in front of the federal building, I realized that I had run out of gas.

So three problems immediately surfaced. First, I had to change to put in the parking meeter so I couldn’t leave the car. Second, how was I going to get some more gas. Third, how do I let Matt know that I’m stuck a block away and I don’t know how long I’ll be. So I called my wife and she got the kids in the car and headed out with our lawn mower gas to rescue me. Then I started to call all the friends I knew who had Matt on their IM list — which turned out to be two people, neither of which answered the phone. But I finally got a hold if Matt’s wife who sent him the message that I was stranded a block away.

I was the very vision of manliness standing there on State Street pouring cas from a lawn mower can into the tank of my car. I wasn’t embarassed, I just thought it was incredibly funny.

So What’s Your Story?

So have any of you ever ran out of gas? Where were you? Did you have a got date with you? Let me know your stories!

YellowArrow.org

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YellowArrow.org is a webstite and philosophy that cities are living entities. YellowArrow serves to help document the living parts of the city by using text messaging and yellow arrow-shaped stickers.

The methodology is that you procour a yellow arrow sticker that has a unique code on it. You afix this sticker to something you would like others to know about — a favorite restraunt, the bench you made your first move on, the dumpster you used to dive for old Big Macs in, etc.

When someone then sees the sticker, they text message the code in to yellowarrow.org and in a few moments they receive the description associated with the sticker.

I can allready envision one on the bathroom wall at South High that would return an SMS text message of “flush twice, it’s a long way to KFC.”

But it’s a pretty cool idea — reminds me a bit of geocaching.

Dr. Seuss

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Who hasn’t heard of Dr. Seuss? I grew up with Dr. Seuss books being read to me and then reading them by myself, to my siblings, and now to my own children. My oldest Dr. Seuss book dates to 1972 when my mother wrote an inscription in the front cover to me. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Recently I started reading some of the lesser known Dr. Seuss books to my daughter, Annika, who then wanted to hear all of them. After a few trips to the library and reading a different book each night at bedtime, we have almost completed the entire list (we still need to read The Lorax).

Growing up I also had some records of dramatizations of the books, like the Sleep Book and If I Ran the Zoo. I really miss those from my childhood.

But there are some books that I think are special and some very rarely known works by Seuss that you probably will have trouble finding but are nonetheless little gems.

The Sleep Book

The Sleep Book is probably my very favorite book. The story is good, the rhyming is metere flows nicely and it also has a devious alterior motive: putting kids to sleep! The great thing is it really works. I recommend this book very highly.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

This book is one of several that don’t rhyme or have a standard metere — but it does have a good story that builds excitement with each page. The book is longer than your standard Seuss book, but again, it is really fun to read.

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

This book is my daughter’s favorite because the snow becomes pink. I have also quoted this book many times making analogies to little cat Z taking his hat off and releasing the Voom! Rich West commented to me that when I get upset on the phone with a vendor I let out the Voom!

Seven Lady Godivas

This book was written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss but you won’t find it listed with other Dr. Seuss books. It is one of two books writen for adults (the other being Your Only Old Once) and a fun read.

The Cat in the Hat Songbook

Now this book is rare. Not even any of the libraries I visit have a copy — but my mom does! The songs are for children and are very Seuss-like and a lot of fun. Don’t be fooled — it’s a kids songbook but the skill to play these songs is not! Sure, there are some kids who will be able to play them, but can’t all be Cecily Ward. My favorite songs are “Hungry, Hungry, I am Hungry!” and “Somebody Stole My Hoo-Too-Foo-Too-Boo-Too-Bah”

The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T

This is the only live action Dr. Seuss movie ever made and it is fabulous. The sets, the storyline, the costumes, the whole movie is like a living Dr. Seuss book — maybe because it is! This movie is hard to find but I picked up a copy at Suncoast video a few years back. I think everyone should see this movie at least once in their lifetime.

What are your favorite Dr. Seuss books?

What are your experiences with Dr. Seuss? Do you have anything you want to share? Leave them in the comments!

click on the more link below to see a list of Dr. Seuss books
Read the rest…

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