On holiday I was sitting in a food court sucking on a Diet Coke and sulking quietly that I couldn’t have the absolutely delicious smelling Kentucky Fried Chicken, when I witnessed the Double Decker Disappointment. A man cut the queue — frankly, that is why I started paying attention because I was expecting someone to kick off — and put his tray of unfurling burgers on top of the counter.
‘I didn’t get my order,’ he says. ‘You got it wrong.’
I have to admire his confidence. In order to limit the possible antagonism, I would have opened the exchange with an apology and uptalked my way through the complaint. Unfurling Burgers was no such shrinking violet. He shoves his greasy receipt over the counter, ‘This is what I ordered.’
The woman working at the Burger King kiosk looks like she has been there a while: her pony tail is slipping crooked; she drawls her way through asking for orders; and her eyes have the empty glaze of someone who might just decide hitting you on the head with a tray is worth it. She checks the receipt, glances at his tray, and gives it back.
‘You only ordered one fry.’ Cut direct delivered, she turns back to the customer. Unfurling Burgers will not be dismissed and shoves the tRay in front of her again. Apparently he had ordered a double whopper and a cheeseburger, not two hamburgers. After a bit of the back and forth of miscomprehension that only the tired and frustrated can really carry off, Unfurling Burgers finally explains that he isn’t complaining he didn’t get cheese (he’d asked for a cheeseburger with no cheese? I don’t know why, isn’t that just a basic burger?) but he didn’t get a double whopper.
Tired Burger King woman holds the burger up like a lawyer presenting the case breaking piece of evidence to the court. “This IS a Double Whopper, Sir.”
I look, I can’t tell. I am too far away. However, it seems like if anyone should know it would be her.
Unfurling Burgers is unconvinced. ‘It is meant to be a Double Whopper!’ He repeats, like she might have misheard him.
She shows it to him. “Two patties.”
He looks at it, he looks at the menu board, he looks at his burger again. Apparently he has never before experienced that universal truth that menu boards are a lie, and what you get resembles the exemplar burger after it had been sat on by a sweaty dude. He mutters something, takes his tray, and shuffles away with the most existentially disillusioned expression on his face. It was like watching the last vestige of his childhood joy die.
Sod him. At least he could still eat his depressing burger.