L1’s words of wisdom….
The woman behind the counter at my local Sbarro is really nice.
Yeah, I go there, because Popeye’s is too salty and I’m trying to eat less meat.
But of course I still do. Waiting for that laboratory shit.
Anyway, when I gonna get baked ziti, mixed vegetables, and roasted chicken.
I asked for the chicken because it was on the right. I mean, I was on the right.
She put the delicious, skinny, liquidy chicken on my plastic plate.
I decided, suddenly, profoundly, to tell her to put it back.
I explained I couldn’t eat the whole thing.
Which was weird to do, since I knew I could just take the rest home. But let me tell you, this was a lot of fucking chicken. Like 11 cutlet pieces in one huge two-piece hulk of a part.
I figured someone else would have been better off. Someone hungrier, someone more eager to chow down. With no veggie burgers in their fucking fridge.
The Hunterian Opiate describes my actions pretty well. It’s the emotion we don’t talk about, you know. The fire in your head that makes you feel valuable and interesting.
You could say that I was going too far while also holding back. I was only kind of connecting myself to the woman in front of me. It was a mischievous thing to do, a mature thing to do. Like I was invoking my own power, but also doing something really fucking reasonable and practical.
If you want to know what the fuck I’m talking about, read the rest of this blog, trust me, you won’t regret it.
Anyway, this very eager and alert (but kind of suave?) young lady put that piece of meat on someone else’s plate. And replaced my serving with something a lot smaller.
I don’t know if it was because she had also received a roast chicken request, or because she knew someone else was of course going to get some goddamn chicken as well.
In this moment I felt really connected with her. Mostly because it was an example of her being like a hunter as well, with her heart on fire.
That’s what retail work is, you know. I haven’t had a retail job but I’ve waded in similar muck. There’s so much fucking shit people do in that line of work that isn’t appreciated enough. I’m not even trying to be funny or cool. I think retail work is the most poorly analyzed thing about the entire human experience. And the reason we don’t talk about it in school is because it’s filled with literally all the shit you learn how to do or how to be in order to get the fuck by.
Which in my opinion is really just connecting people to stuff in a way that feels adequately non-rigid. Yeah, that’s what’s makes a person worthy of hiring. And feel like very far from useless.
Anyway, in case you haven’t put the pieces together yourself, let me explain. She had the hunterian opiate inside her hotter than the reheated pizza 9 feet away from us. I could just tell.
Because when somebody asks you to not give them something you asked for, it’s kind of both humble and ungrateful. It’s an act of adapting, it’s a demand, it’s sometimes an act of altruism. It’s rich fuckin’ shit.
And maybe she could have refused and told me off about wanting a change in my chicken. Or maybe asked if I was sure if I wanted less food. She could have said nothing and given me a dirty look. She could have done anything.
But that’s not what happened. She swapped those chicken chunks so fucking fast. I honestly might have felt a real connection right then and there.
Because I could tell, that as a human, she was familiar with the weird and frustrating possibilities in the very near future when a customer asks for that kind of service.
Here’s another angle. The pile-vat of chicken or whatever is really kind of a mess. You can’t really gaze into it and request a specific piece.
So maybe it’s to be expected people might not be content with the chicken they get. It’s very random. It’s not like KFC, where you’re specific on which fucking body parts you want in your cardboard chicken carrier.
Yeah, I think that’s it. There’s a whole exciting and rich point of emotional activity and tactical competence when somebody is like “I don’t want that piece of chicken.” And it’s always the chicken of course. Ziti is far too homogeneous. And with vegetables, it’s usually a matter of somebody saying “pick away the broccoli” before consummating the acts.
If I wasn’t so proud of myself for articulating my frustrations with the world, I’d be really upset. But the way things are going I feel like the only person who’s done a half-decent job at breaking down this type of public interaction.
Basically, this was a moment filled with ass-tons of friction. And it’s the type of thing that makes people’s heads and hearts get warm. When they do stuff that borders on extremely proper and highly unnecessary. On both side, both food-demander and slop server.
Sbarro, for me, tastes like school pizza made perfectly and with tons of care. Or maybe restaurant food with just the right excess of saucy sodium delights and little regard given to feeling neat.
Anyway, I can tell you, this lady really deserves whatever positive feedback she gets. She wrapped up my food real nice. Did someone teach her or did she put her own spin on it? Was she glad to do it because work was ending? Was she comforted by how patient I seemed with her? Or dreading if I didn’t like the way she crammed my ample leftovers into a different container?
I could have totally asked her to just stick it back in the other plate. I wasn’t confident the chicken (yeah I could barely eat 2/3 of the meal I got) would fit into the other container. But I just remained patient. I did my best to be not an asshole. But you know I get off on feeling like some vaguely royal gentleperson.
People are hungry, they want to eat. But they also want to feel like the opposite of assholes. I see it everywhere, I really do. Fucked up things happen because of that desire. I think, for me and her, in that situation, both of us succeeded at doing things properly. But in a way nobody would really directly congratulate.
But that’s what I’m doing right now motherfuckers. This is my “hunterian opiate” diary where I analyzed the mega fuck out of awkward fast food pleasantries. For the sake of de-shitty-ifying our actions.
So that we can fucking see the weird thin space between atrocious unpleasantries and pleasant non-atrocities.
Some salty cookies from the cookie house might have made the meal better, but would I have then missed the timing for this situation?
If you’re feeling warm, that’s just your hunter.