I told this story the other day and it’s been rattling around in my head for the past few days. I can’t sleep so I thought I’d try to tell the story to my adoring public.
Picture it. Plano. 1994. I am in my prime. Sixteen years old and bullet proof.
I ran with a rough crowd – the homecoming queen. This story is mostly about her and hopefully she won’t kill me for telling it to an audience that knows her as well as they know me. My first car was a 1987 Pontiac Grand Am. It was my sister’s car first and then she got a new car to take to college. The car was the perfect shade of gray with manual windows, manual locks and a center console reconstructed out of duct tape. It was amazing. It was the Silver Bullet. We would gather a someone’s house to figure out our plans for the night – usually hanging out in the Taco Bueno parking lot and chasing the boys to Ford’s house. Each time we left our “gathering spot” the following conversation would take place:
“Who is going to drive?”
“Let’s take the Bullet.”
So began my career as the constant driver. I still prefer to drive to events today – gives me a sense of control in an out of control world. I don’t much like being a passenger. So we would load “The Bullet” full of load girls and we’d load the trunk with Zimas or Bartles and James. Yes, I just admitted that I drank in high school. Sue me. I’m human.
Mostly we would just drive our Plano stopping periodically when we saw other people and then bounce from place to place. I can’t imagine how teenagers can do that today with the price of gasoline, but I suppose they find a way. One night, “The Bullet” was filled with the homecoming queen and two other of our friends. We’d hit all the hot spots in Plano – Bueno, Ford’s, the Church, George Bush Construction Sites and we were wrapping up the night at the McDonald’s at Preston and Park.
I pull to the drive-in speaker and we all yell for our Diet Cokes and Ice Cream cones. I pull around to the window to pay. The man at the window stares at me with a look of both horror and longing. He simply stares. The backseat of my car erupts into laughter -like pee in your pants laughter. I look back at the homecoming queen and she is beside herself laughing. The man at the window just stares at me, he doesn’t take my money or offer me our drinks. He just stares at me. The back seat laughs harder and louder. So, I join in. I just start laughing. I don’t have a clue what is going on but I laughed, too.
Finally, the drive thru attendant breaks his longing stare and hands me our drinks and cones. When I hand the homecoming queen her Diet Coke, she passes me a Free Jazzercise Coupon that she found in the backseat of my car. In her delicate penmanship in marker it said “The Driver Eats Pussy.”
Now I understand the longing stare from Mr. McDonald’s.