August 23, 2003

Feeding Time at the Zoo

Don't go hungry to the Bristol Zoo, or that's what you very well may do while you are there. We decided to stop at one of the eateries inside the premises for some "fast food." After all, it had all the hallmarks of a fast food establishment. There was a queue of people standing in front of a heavily acned adolescent. There were heat lamps atop sloping metal trays onto which cardboard boxes would occasionally appear and slide to the bottom. There was the sound of chipped potatoes frying the background.

I should have sensed trouble when I noticed lots of people standing around with rather gloomy looks on their faces. This didn't immediately register until after I had placed my order and moved away from the counter. Occasionally pimple boy would leave the till and go over to the stack of food behind him, call out an itemized order than failed to match the previously indicated desires of anyone in the room, shrug and go back to working the queue of victims.

At one point he called out the items I ordered and placed the requisite number of boxes on the counter. I lept forward and embraced them, then smuggled them past the glares of other would had been waiting much longer. When I got to the table Mrs H had been holding outside, we opened the cardboard boxes to discover nothing but chips inside. I returned through the huffing crowd and placed the boxes on counter declaring the contents were not what Spotty had called out. He said he knew this already. I was sorely tempted to query something like, "Why did you bloody well call out two chicken and chips and one child's sausage and chips???" Instead, I just involuntarily shook my head and rejoined the frowning crowd.

Finally the zitmeister had had enough of serving disgruntled customers, so he turned away everyone who had yet to place an order. Some had been waiting patiently for ten or fifteen minutes. He just declared that he would be taking no more orders for at least 30 minutes, so would everyone just please go away.

Sometime after this, Mrs H appeared in the doorway to inform me that our food had been delivered to our table by one of his able assistants. I'm not sure how this happened, but I didn't ask any questions. Each box contained an enormous amount of chips and sure enough, nestled in underneath them was a piece of chicken.

Posted by david at August 23, 2003 06:25 PM | TrackBack