Jim Terry
The usual, please
By Jim Terry
April 4, 2021

You probably remember scenes in old movies where the big man in town enters a restaurant or nightclub and tells the waiter, “I’ll have the usual.” Because this movie character is either the richest guy in town or the worst criminal in town and frequents the place, the staff always remembers his “usual.”

Wife and I frequent a Chick-fil-A near our home. At least once a week we drop by for a couple of Cobb salads, Avocado Lime Ranch dressing for her, Balsamic vinaigrette for me and an extra Polynesian sauce for Wife.

C-f-A has long been well organized in its drive-through service, with drive-through lanes expanded at peak times and order takers in the lines with their small electronic pads and credit card swipers. And, during the Chinademic, when inside dining has been shuttered, since C-f-A was already ahead of the game, many stores have thrived with drive-through lines wrapped around the building and into shopping center parking lots at noon and other peak times.

C-f-A has either the best job recruiters in the world or the best training program in the world. I know of no other fast food restaurant, much less any fancy sit-down restaurant, where the workers act like they appreciate the customer and enjoy fulfilling the wishes of the customer to the degree we find in all C-f-A restaurants.

Recently, wife and I drove through the line at our nearby C-f-A. A young man stepped up to the car and asked, “What is the name on the order?” I told him my name. Then, he asked, “How may I assist you?”

I sometimes embarrass my wife with my sense of humor, which, she continually reminds me, no one understands. I replied to the young man, “We’ll have our usual order.” A few seconds passed and I began to laugh as the young man looked at me with the look of my wife’s reminder-I don’t understand- across his face.

“We’ll have two Cobb salads with Avocado Lime Ranch dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing and one Polynesian sauce,” I told him as I explained our frequent trips for the salads, our “usual,” and how they should remember us. Young man began to laugh-he did understand my humor, after all.

Yesterday, after a few hours of shopping, we drove though our C-f-A for our “usual.” As a young man stepped forward with his electronic pad to take our order, I thought he looked familiar. Although, these days, with everyone masked up, it is difficult to tell who’s who.

“May I have a name for your order?” I told him my name. “How may I assist you, sir?”

“We’ll have our usual.” At this, we could see a big grin, even through his mask, as the young man stuttered a second, then said, “I remember you. Now, don’t tell me, let’s see, two Cobb salads, Avocado Lime Ranch and Balsamic Vinaigrette. Is that correct?”

Wife congratulated him and reminded, “And one Polynesian sauce.” “That’s right,” he replied. We all had a laugh. He was impressed at his own memory and we were impressed, once again, with C-f-A and the young people they employ and train.

If nothing else, this young man has a story to tell his friends of that old couple who got their “usual,” and we, Wife and I, gained a friend who won’t soon forget an old man’s humor.

From our family to you, have a blessed Easter because He arose.

© Jim Terry


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Jim Terry

Jim Terry has worked in Republican grassroots politics for 40 years. Terry was an administrative assistant to a Republican elected official in Dallas for twenty years. In 1996, he ran for and was elected to Justice Court 2 in Dallas County where he served eight years. Contact Jim at tr4guy62@yahoo.com


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