This experience occurred about half of a decade ago, and still affects me to this day.
Instead of resorting to some form of Mexican themed fast-food McCarthyism, I will refer to the offending restaurant as 'Talko Ball' or some derivative thereof.
The following is a letter I sent to the Customer Service Representative of the restaurant in question.
Dear Talko Ball Customer Service Representative:
It is with immense sadness and an extremely grief laden heart that I sit here and write this letter. Taco Bill is, without hesitation, my favorite of the fast food purveyors. If forced to choose between my son who is short and grossly underweight for his age, or 5 steaming soft tacos – well, that is a decision that is sure to bring about shameful and expected results.
Whilst touring the seemingly unending back roads and stinking farmlands of Southern Canada, my traveling companion and I stumbled upon a town that one would only hope to find in an H.P. Lovecraft story. For reasons of an obvious nature, I will leave the name of this unfortunate enclave out of the story. The skies were several shades of grey, as dusk was settling into nightfall. Rolling into this depressed and horrible outpost, we had remarked to one another about how there was nary a soul to be found. If we aren't counting the occasional street urchin who would hurl mud and unintelligible jibber jabber at my Caprice wagon. Mud and wood paneling don't match, and never will. I don't care if you're Karl Lagerfeld – it isn't going to happen.
But I digress. (I don't actually know what that means, but it seems fitting?)
Our stomachs were empty, but our appetites were full and voracious. As we peered up and down the empty sidewalks and main thoroughfare, our eyes lit up like the sign on an abortion clinic after spring break. There it was – the only sign of civilization that either of us recognized, Talco Boll. I accelerated the Caprice Wagon to speeds not seen since the infamous Double Stuft Oreo Cookie incident, last Martin Luther King Day. I parked the car (parallel) and we strolled towards our own personal Shangri-la.
The man in overalls and rain boots yelling 'Give me my goddam money back' was the first indication things were slightly amiss inside Tchako Blell. The second indication was the manager - who I'm sure if given a gun, would have lodged a hot one right into his temple - began to berate an employee for making all the food orders twice. Might I add, that Alphaville's Forever Young was playing over the speakers, while all of this was taking place. It was like the soundtrack to impending madness, or a great 80's Rom-com.
Another man began to inquire aloud as to where his 'MOTHERFUCKING CHEESY GORDITA CRUNCH WAS'. Now normally I'm not one for swears, but I felt it furthered the development of this anecdote. The bearded cashier whose name may as well have been Helen Keller kept ringing orders through even though no one was getting food. It was like watching a sad and apoplectic carnival show but with no abused lions. Slowly but surely, the teeming masses of unwashed Tiko Byll patrons began to grow restless. A straw flew past my head, crumpled up 'serviettes' (Canadian for napkin, but not as in feminine napkin, more like the napkin you clean your mouth and face with) began to sail freely through the steamy air of the restaurant. The situation reminded me of sunny, beautiful Los Angeles, immediately after the 'Not Guilty' verdict was read in the Rodney King trial. As I glanced outside toward the drive thru, I saw a smart car being tipped over and set ablaze, by a couple of filthy, crazed toddlers. This of course did nothing to alleviate the ever growing line of displeased drive thru patrons.
At this point in the story, my companion and I have yet to enter the line up to order. We were kind of like observers in a medical auditorium watching a dissection of a cadaver. If the dissection was being carried out by a 12 year old with fisher-price scissors, and the cadaver was a pregant Susan Boyle.
As the cacophony of the drive thru honking and displeased restaurant patrons grew to incredible levels, something more sinister began to grow. The frustrated and thrice-divorced manager began to take on sub-human form, tentacles abscessing forth through his neck. The hordes of homogenous farm workers and townies demanding their Mexican- themed 'glop' began to caterwaul like cats being entered forcefully. The power flickered and then failed. Lasers shot forth from the manager's teeth, reducing everyone in line to ash and soot. Then as if to defy science, conventional wisdom and common sense EVEN MORE, he shrank to the size of a pea, rolled outside to the drive thru and lay waste to all of the impatient and frankly, rude customers who had been honking their horns and waving their arms. As my companion and I stood, jaws agape, pants a wet, the manager whose name tag said 'D'Andre' strolled back in, grabbed a dust pan and swept up the former customers. My companion who until this point had remained silent decided that this was as good a time as any to open his mouth.
"Are you going to sweep up the Drive thru"?
"We'll let the wind take care them", replied D'Andre.
And with that the power flickered, the music came back, and Forever Young continued on, not having missed a beat.
Needless to say, we ordered 10 soft tacos, some fries, chips, a couple drinks, TWO burritos and got the fuck out of there.
Keep up the good Work Teco Bull.
Ed note: I received a follow-up email and a $25 gift card for my troubles.