It had been a typical day for Fran to this point. Totally boring in the morning, hectically busy during the lunch rush, and now back to totally boring again.
Working the drive thru at a fast food restaurant was not her ideal job, but she had to take what opportunities were there when she lost her job at the bank. It’s not like this job was horrible. The pay was, for sure, but the people were fun to work with and, hey, 50% off her meals when she worked. Winning!
The ding of her headset interrupted her pondering. Fran hit the button on her headset and greeted her customer.
“Welcome to Tons O’ Fun, would you like to try a value meal today?” Fran asked. She still had to suppress a giggle every time she said Tons O’ Fun.
“In a moment,” a booming male voice responded scornfully.
Fran could tell right away that this man was going to be an asshole. He was either having a bad day or was just a dick in general, but she surmised that she was not going to enjoy this transaction.
She stayed calm, though, as she always did. “Of course, sir. Whenever you’re ready.”
“I said give me a moment!” the man said in a raised voice.
Wow! What the fuck? Fran thought.
“Take your time, sir” she replied courteously through a clenched jaw.
“What’s this guy’s problem?” Fran’s manager, who also wears a headset, asked.
“I haven’t the slightest idea.”
Fran waited patiently for the man to give his order. She began playing the Final Jeopardy music in her head while she waited.
She played the song four times before he finally said, “Heeeellooo? I’m ready to order now.”
What an ass!
“Yes, sir,” Fran replied. “What can I get for you today?”
“I want a number 4 with a diet soda to drink.”
“Did you want the combo?” Fran realized this was a stupid question that would probably not be well received by this “gentleman” but she had to ask as some people just use the combo number to order a sandwich.
“Are you dumb? I said a number 4, which is a combo. Is this your first day or something?”
Fran was expecting a caustic response, but not an insulting one. She took in a deep breath, then slowly exhaled. “No, sir. I simply ask because some people just want the sandwich. I apologize.”
“Your total will be $5.29, please pull up to the window.”
She turned off the microphone on her headset and said, “What an ASS!”
“Yeah, this guy’s a dick,” her manager agreed.
Fran went about getting the customer’s drink and fries and set them on the counter so she would have everything ready by the time the man’s sandwich was ready. She then went back to the window so she could take the customer’s money.
And there he was in all his glory. The man was driving an old, rusted hoopty. His faded jeans were filthy and full of holes (They must be Swiss pants, Fran thought). He was wearing a frayed flannel shirt over a wife-beater and had on a black hat which had a big number 3 on it with the words “The Intimidator” emblazoned underneath.
Fran did her best to contain her laughter.
“Your total is $5.29,” she said to him.
“Here,” the man gruffly said while handing her a handful of singles.
Fran accepted the singles. She then closed the window and began counting the money as she turned to put it into the register. She stopped short.
There were only five singles in her hand. She quickly recounted the money and there were still only five singles in her hands.
She reopened the window and, as nicely and pleasantly as she could, said, “I’m sorry, but there is only $5 here and the total was $5.29.”
The man sharply turned his gaze toward her and glared daggers. If looks could kill Fran would be dead and so would anybody unlucky enough to be directly behind her.
“I handed you $6,” he said with a pause between each word to emphasize how stupid he thought she was.
Fran shook her head. “I’m sorry, sir, but there’s only five here,” she explained while she counted them in front of him so he could see that there were only five there.
“You must’ve stolen one!” he exclaimed idiotically.
“Excuse me?” Fran was taken aback. She couldn’t believe a customer had just accused her of stealing. A dollar, no less. This was a new low. Even for this job.
“You heard me, dumbass. Where’s my dollar? I gave you six dollars,” the man shouted.
Fran was about to respond when she heard a rather loud whistling noise. She looked up and was surprised to see a man standing by her customer’s car.
A psycho, by the looks of him, Fran thought.
The psycho man was wearing a blue warm-up suit, a black towel wrapped around his neck as if it were a cape, and a dingy hockey mask. He stood triumphantly with his hands on his hips and his hockey-mask-covered face looking upwards as if he had just accomplished some noble quest.
Her disgruntled customer noticed the whistling, too. Suddenly, a second whistling noise could be heard. The customer began looking around for the source of the sound when he spotted the psycho man standing next to his hoopty. But for his seatbelt he would have jumped right out of his seat.
“That whistling you hear is all of the air coming out of your tires, you dastardly fiend,” the psycho man said. “You will apologize to the nice lady or I will toss your valve cores onto the roof of this fine establishment, thus preventing you from filling your tires with air.”
The customer tried to open the door of his hoopty, but he was so close to the restaurant that he couldn’t open the door enough for him to squeeze through. He scowled at psycho man and began yelling. “You better put those back motherfucker!”
“Oh, dear. It seems I missed your apology,” the psycho man said with insincere regret. “You’ll have to apologize again if you’d like me to put these back.”
By this time the whistling had died down and all of the air was out of the customer’s tires. The customer was fuming. He pointed a finger at Fran threateningly. Get me my food, bitch!”
Surprised, Fran took an involuntary step back.
The customer then turned his threatening finger towards the psycho man. “And you’re next, fucker! As soon as I get my food it’s on!”
“Hmmmmmm. That doesn’t sound like an apology to me,” said psycho man. He looked to Fran, “Did it sound like one to you?”
Fran numbly shook her head. She wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen or how to react. Her manager finally walked over to see what the commotion was. “What the hell is going on?” he said to Fran. “And what the hell is that guy wearing?”
Fran slowly shrugged her shoulders without taking her eyes off of the brewing altercation before her.
The psycho man turned his attention back to the customer. “Oohhhh, sorry. The young lady has declared your apology insufficient. It’s time to pay the penalty,” psycho man said, and then launched the customer’s valve cores onto the roof of the restaurant.
“You cocksucker!” the customer bellowed.
Pyscho man bent down and disappeared behind the customer’s car. He reappeared a moment later with a sledgehammer in hand. He stuck a hand out holding his index finger skyward and wagged it back and forth. “Tsk, tsk. Now that’s another penalty.” He then took the sledgehammer in both hands and raised it high above his head.
Two things then happened simultaneously.
The customer shouted, “What the fuck are you doing?” and psycho man brought the sledgehammer down with stunning velocity onto the hood of the customer’s car. A deafening crack of metal striking metal rang out when the sledgehammer connected with the hood of the car.
Two more things then happened simultaneously.
The air bag in the customer’s steering wheel deployed, hitting him directly in the face and sending his head back into the head rest with astonishing force. And the engine died.
The psycho man laughed triumphantly before saying, “Emergency fuel cut off. Looks like you’re not going anywhere for a while, you unpleasant traif. Perhaps next time you’ll be more inclined to treat my customer service brethren with some respect.”
The customer’s only response was a gaggle of coughing and hacking as he tried to breathe amid all of the dust and powder that exploded into his car when the air bag deployed.
Psycho man then looked to Fran. “Ma’am, I apologize on behalf of this villainous toad. Hopefully seeing him suffer a small indignity will give you a modicum of satisfaction, and lighten your day. I, however, must be off as the police don’t seem to take to my actions very kindly. Have a nice day!”
“Wait!” Fran beckoned. “Who are you?”
“I,” the psycho man said dramatically, “am Miraculous Man. Defender of customer service employees such as yourself. This tool will think twice before badgering another of my customer service brethren. That’s for sure.”
Miraculous Man gave Fran a quick salute, then turned and fled the scene.