Drive-Through Fun

Posted October 17, 1998 at 9:00 am No Comments

For some reason, I find drive-though restaurants fascinating.  I think that my fascination began when my family was driving through Indiana and we saw a sign advertising “Drive-Thru Daiquiris!”  Or perhaps it was the time that I tried to go through the Dairy Queen drive-through on my bicycle.  This was one of those old school drive-throughs that had a thick black cable extending across the road.  The restaurant employee was notified of the presence of an automobile when the automobile ran over the cable.  I tried running over the cable on my bicycle, but received no response.  I think that my bicycle wasn’t heavy enough to trigger the sensor inside the cable.  So I stepped off of the bicycle and started jumping up and down on the cable, stomping on it repeatedly.  A few seconds later, I heard a voice from the speaker shouting “WHAT?” in a very annoyed tone.  My repeated stomping must have been setting the alarm off over and over again.

Drive-throughs can be an endless source of amusement, particularly at 3:00 AM when nothing else is open.  Here are some games that you can play at to liven up your experience at the drive-through and to keep things interesting for the people who work there.

  • Loopity-Loop
    This game really only works late at night, when there aren’t any other cars trying to go through the drive-through.  Drive up to the window and order a small fries.  Pay for them and pick them up.  Then, as soon as you drive out the exit, drive back into the entrance.  Order a small fries.  Pay for them, pick them up, drive out, and drive back in.  Order a small fries.  Repeat endlessly.

    The employees might not notice the second time.  The third time they’ll realize that three cars in a row have ordered a small fries.  The fourth time they’ll notice that the car looks the same too.  By the fifth time they’ll be checking the license plate.   Pretty soon they’ll start to laugh, or ask you why you didn’t just order a large fries.  They might also say: “Did you know that that you can order more than one thing at a time?”  Pay no attention to them.

  • Invalid Menu Items
    In this game, you try to order things that aren’t on the menu.  Here’s an example:
    Drive-Through Employee: Welcome to Burger King, can I take your order?
    You: Yeah, give me a Big Mac please.
    Employee: I’m sorry, sir, but this is Burger King.  We don’t sell Big Macs.   May I suggest the Whopper?
    You: Naw, I don’t think I want that.  I guess I’ll take a Monster Burger instead.
    Employee: Um, sir, I believe you’re thinking of Wendy’s.  We don’t offer the Monster Burger here.  Would you like a cheeseburger, perhaps?
    You: No, not really.  If you don’t have Monster Burgers, I’ll have a chicken Gordita.
    Employee: No, we don’t have those either.  This is Burger King.
    You: Jeez.  How about a pepperoni pizza?  Can you give me that?
  • Free Items
    Many drive-though restaurants offer certain items for free with each order.  The challenge of this game is to get as many of these free items as possible without actually ordering any food.  For example:
    Drive-Through Employee: Are you ready to order?
    You: Yes, I would like some sweet and sour sauce please.
    Employee: Sweet and sour sauce?
    You: Yeah.
    Employee: JUST sweet and sour sauce.
    You: Right, just some sauce.
    Employee: Don’t you want anything else?
    You: Actually, yeah.  Could I get a cup of water?  Also I’d like three straws and five napkins.  And some of those little ketchup packets.

    WARNING: This game has been known to backfire, as evidenced by the following transcription of my experience at Arby’s.

    Me: I’d like some cherry dipping sauce please.
    Drive-Through Employee: That sauce goes with the chicken fingers.
    Me: Oh.  Well actually I just want the cherry dipping sauce.  No chicken fingers.
    Employee: But it’s a dipping sauce.  It only comes with the chicken fingers.
    Me: You have a big sign out front proclaiming “try our new cherry dipping sauce!”  I just wanted to try it, you know?
    Employee: Yes, but it’s assumed that you’ll try it by purchasing some chicken fingers.
    Me: Can’t I just have a packet of sauce?
    Employee: Hold on, let me ask the manager.
    Me: OK.
    Employee (after a long pause): Your total is 27 cents.  Please pull ahead to the second window.

  • Bartering
    Our society’s market system has all but eliminated bartering from day-to-day transactions.  Try to bring it back at the drive-through!

    Drive-Through Employee: Your order totals to $3.79.  Please pull up to the window.
    You: What?  $3.79?  For a chicken salad?
    Employee: Right.  $3.79.  Please pull ahead.
    You: That’s ridiculous.  I’ll give you two bucks for it.
    Employee: But your total comes to $3.79.
    You: And I say that I refuse to pay more than $2.50 for a crappy chicken salad.
    Employee: Perhaps you should have considered that before you ordered it.
    You: All right, three dollars, but that’s my last offer.

  • Radio Fun
    I’ve never done this before, but Adam Berson claims that if you set your CB radio to the right channels, you can actually intercept the messages sent back and forth from that speaker and microphone next to the drive-though menu!  You can also transmit messages at the same frequency.  Apparently there’s one frequency on which the employees and the customers communicate and another frequency that’s just used by employees and isn’t heard by customers.  Unfortunately, there’s no frequency that’s only heard by customers and not employees, but this configuration still offers endless possibilities for mischief.   Here’s an example.

    Customer: I’d like a bacon quarter pounder and a small Sprite.
    Drive-Through Employee: I’m sorry, sir, but we’re all out of rolls.
    Customer: Oh.  I’ll have a chicken sandwich instead then.
    You (hiding in the parking lot with a CB radio): Listen, you stupid fuck — we’re OUT OF ROLLS!  That means NO SANDWICHES!  Get that though your thick skull you MORON!
    Customer: Well, I’m not coming here again if you’re going to have that kind of attitude with your customers.
    Employee: But that wasn’t me who said that!  I swear!
    Customer: That’s strange.  Do you think someone is tapping in?
    Employee: I guess it must be.
    You (on the channel only heard by employees): Give me 108 chicken nuggets please.   And a small Sprite.
    Employee: Hmm.  I guess that would be nine 12-piece nugget orders.  Or would you prefer twelve 9-piece orders?
    Customer: What the hell are you talking about?

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