Good morning, and welcome to Summit Up, the worlds only daily column thats a couple of menu items short of a happy meal.Once again, we were on hands and knees in the drive-thru lane of a local fast-food restaurant the other day, trying to collect the change that the not-very-helpful window barrista had sent cascading to the pavement.We saw it coming.Despite our penchant for handing over the exact change whenever possible, when we were billed the price for our two value menu items plus a medium soft drink $5.07 we had only four stray pennies in our car console and could dig out only two more from between the seats. So, with trepidation, we handed the voice-garbled agent a sawbuck. (By the way, is anyone else incensed by the prices of fast food up here these days? It seems to us that if youre going to spend more than $5 on a meal, itd better come with ketchup in a bottle first class, you know? instead of 1/10-of-an-ounce packets. More on that later.) Now came the fun part. The wouldyoulikefrieswiththat guy stacked the 93 cents on top of the four singles and handed the whole leaning tower of pizza to us with a sinister smile. It was during the exchange that the coins teetered, tottered and crashed to the ground, like money from oh thank heaven. A word of advice to burger dealers everywhere: We know you have a thankless job and that you must derive your amusement from whatever ways you can. But you need to hand your customers the change first, separately, and then the bills. Seriously. Its beginning to really tick us off when you try that game of shoving the whole pile our way in one energy-saving (for you), Jenga-mimicking (for us) movement.*** So here in World HQ, we have an old vending machine that allegedly dispenses your $1 bag of Bugles and 75-cent packet of peanut-butter M&Ms by spinning a metal spiral and dropping the item a chip-crushing eight feet down into the tray below. Except that, more often than not, the empty-calorie delicacy gets hung up, dangling maddeningly from corkscrew. We bang on the window. We mash the coin-return lever. Then, we begin kicking and rocking the machine with growing frustration, trying to break our high-cost, low-nutritional-value bag of Skittles free from the chains of bondage.Sometimes, it works. More often, it doesnt, leaving the next sucker who comes along the tantalizing choice between betting on two servings of Corn Nuts for the price of one or sticking with the original intention of Cheetos and leaving the bargain hanging for the next karma-ignoring patron.*** This week, we noticed that the local outlet of a convenience-store chain raised the price of its 12-ounce coffee by a dime, which messed up our plan to pay with the $1.07 in exact change that we stole from the dogs college fund. Our change from a five came back you guessed it stacked on top of the bills like an upside-down wedding cake.You know, our salary didnt jump by 9 percent this year, so when you raise the prices of your products by that much, it really hurts us in the ol pocketbook. And when you force us to juggle two quarters, three dimes, a nickel and three pennies like a man attacked by bees, youre really cementing the end of our business relationship.***So confronted with the prospect of overpriced, dried-out, cheese-encrusted, heat-lamped burgers, vending machines that give worse odds than Central City slot machines and bad coffee (but all the free cream and sugar you need to cover up the taste), we hereby are announcing our intent to boycott all crappy food products. Seriously. And if youre a franchisee who notices our absence and given our penchant for fast food, you probably will, when you do your monthly spreadsheets now youll know why. Our one exception: If the Rockies score seven runs in a game and we can get four tacos for a buck. Of course, the way theyre playing out the string, well be lucky if the Rockies score a total of seven runs the rest of the season. ***Its Monday, and were trying to figure out how to work our office coffee machine. Send us your peeves at email@example.com.
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