Ben gets home from work rather late these days. The holidays are a busy time for the package delivery services and he often doesn't get home until 11pm or later. Last night, however, he got home at a decent hour. We headed out late in the evening, my mother keeping an ear out for our sleeping children.
After a Christmas present pickup for the kids at Target, Ben was feeling peckish, as he often does after work. We headed over to In-n-Out, confident that the late hour would prove to be less busy than usual. Apparently, half of Orem had the same idea. By the time we waited through the line and made our order, our number was 50 and they were only on number 30. We prepared ourselves for a proper wait. The place was packed and we had to wait about 10 minutes before we could sit down.
After a while, the numbers started getting called out faster and faster. A sweet girl that looked about 7 months pregnant was calling out the numbers, occasionally using the speaker system because it was so loud in there. It wasn't long before we heard the call for "Number 40!" Other numbers continued to get called out, but "Number 40!!" was called again.... Several people came up to confirm what number was called, their number being 42 or 43. A young man in a nearby booth asked for the number at one point and then went back to his conversation, seemingly unperturbed by the long wait for our numbers to get called out. "Yeah, I've been paying attention," he said, laughing (presumably at the poor sap who must have left, forgetting that he had paid for some food.)
Eventually, they sent out the girl with the loud voice, "NUMBER 40!!!" came the call several times, one time even calling out what the order itself consisted of, in case someone forgot their number. Finally, she insisted that it was her final call and then took the food back to some unknown location behind the people manically slapping burgers together.
Finally, we started hearing the promising numbers: 48...... 49.......
It was then that I noticed that the young man who had flippantly insisted that he was paying attention, was at the counter. "I don't know what happened," he laughed.
I looked at Ben, my eyes wide, "What the???"
He looked back at me stifling his laughter.
Thankfully, our order was called then and we beat a hasty retreat to our car. Once in the confines of our vehicle, I burst out laughing.
"How many times did he hear that number called?" I asked through my chuckles.
"At least 5, maybe 6," Ben laughed.
Ben then recounted a story told by Henry Rollins about travel. Henry said that there always seems to be that one bag going around the carousel that no one wants to claim. Everyone watches it trundle by, no one even reaching out to look at the tag. Someone laughingly says, "Hahah! I know what MY bag looks like!" The bag goes around a second time, and then a third.... then on the fourth pass, the "I know what MY bag looks like" guy suddenly gives a surprised gasp as if seeing the bag for the first time, picks it up and walks away. What happened the first three times? Just didn't feel right?