Thursday, January 17, 2008

radio story

I was on my way to teach a class at church last night, running a little behind and anxious to get there on time because I had made a point of telling the class the week before how important it was for everyone to be prompt. But I also hadn't had dinner and thought there was time to swing through the drive through at Jack in the Box and get a sandwich. I pull in, place my order and then get in the line to pick up my food behind two other cars. I'm listening to NPR and the Jack in the Box is in one of those places where the station comes in and out depending on the exact position of your car so I keep pulling up closer to the van in front of me until I get a good signal.

The line takes forever. I really need it to be fast so I wouldn't be late so I quickly start to get impatient. I'm sitting there and sitting there. Because I'm pulled up so close to the van in front of me I can't see the car at the window so I have no idea what's going on but just wanting my food and to get out of there. I'm watching the minutes go by calculating whether there's any chance I'll get to my class on time, cursing whoever is in the car at the window and noticing that they've built curbs around the drive through lane so there's no way just to bail out after you order.

But meanwhile I start to get engrossed in the NPR story. It's a regular series where a guy tells insider stories about life in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. He's telling a story about a writer who hasn't had a job in years who gets a new agent and one last chance.

Finally the car at the window pulls away and the van in front of me pulls up. I pull up behind him and instantly the radio goes to static. I panic. Now I couldn't care less about getting to my class I want to hear the end of the story. I try to maneuver my car to find a reception spot. But just as I do and I hear a few more precious seconds of the story the van pulls away from the window and I have to move again up to the window. Amazingly at the window I pick up the signal again. So I'm trying to catch up with the story, and also negotiate with the guy at the take out window. The guy hands me my change for a ten, six dollars and some change, and before my hand closes on the bills the wind picks them up and they both fly out, landing behind the car. I don't want my money. I don't want my food. I don't want to get to class on time. I just want to sit there at the Jack in the Box window and listen to the end of the story. The guy at the window points out that I can still retrieve my six dollars if I move fast. So I turn off the car, cutting off the radio in mid-sentence, get out, pick up the fallen bills, get back in the car, turn the radio back on, and hear the beginning of the next segment on NPR.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think they call those "drive way moments". You, instead, had a drive thru moment.