Field Research

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One Small Donkey, One Big Ass

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Memo to Knob Ahead Of Me At Chipotle: YOU ARE DUMB.

I guess this is Have My Worst Sterotypical Assumptions Confirmed week or something, because there I am, downtown Minneapolis, in line at Chipotle just before the lunch rush kicks into high. And in front of me, in line, are three individuals who I immediately, in a very un-liberal way, culturally profile as dicks.

They all had that mid-thirties Power Dude thing going, the dress shirt, the power tie, the short-cropped hair, the slightly... thick build of the middle-aged suburban ex-jock. Bland, midwestern, straight-white-male America in three distinct subgroup packages - The Balding Older Guy, The Always Talking With His Hands Guy, and the Blond Wheeler-Dealer. The odds of at least two Van Halen albums being owned by any one or more of these three people approached 87%, with an 85% probability that one of them is the first Sammy Hagar one.

I know this makes me open to charges of being no better than Anne "Bat-Shit Crazy" Jacobsen, but at least I didn't try to shut down the Chipotle in order to prevent these three men from some unspecified assholic action. I simply waited to see if it would occur. And lo and behold, it did. First, all three of the fuckers ordered burrito bowls.

And here we must digress for a second to denounce the perfidy that is the Burrito Bowl. It is like unto a burrito, except that instead of all the ingredients being wrapped up into a convenient (if massive) cylindrical shape via a very large flour tortilla, the same exact contents are placed into... a bowl. This is, with one exception I'll get to in the next paragraph, a completely retarded idea. It solves nothing, it helps nobody. It's not even an Atkins thing, because there's a fucking pound of rice at the bottom of these things.

Unless you have an allergy to wheat gluten, you should not be allowed to order a burrito bowl. Period. If you think you have a good reason to replace an edible, convenient, one-hand-use wrapper with a large, styrofoam disposable, two-hand-minimum container, feel free to use the FORUM link in the upper left and run it past me. I'll dispense individual indulgences as I see fit. But again, in general, this shit shouldn't even be on the menu. You should just be able to ask for it quietly if a flour tortilla will send you into anaphylactic shock.

So anyway, the three tie-tools ordered burrito bowls, automatically raising their asshole threat level from Yellow to Orange. And then the third guy, Mr. Wheeler Dealer, shot straight up past Red into "What Was That Boom Sound". He proceeded to attempt to exploit the Chipotle system for maximum advantage.

This, frankly, goes for anyone who feels it's their God-given right to min-max* any customer service situation. Fuck all y'all. There's a vast gray area between "sucker" and "man-handle". I'll let you guess where asking the Chipotle guy for two scoops of chicken lies on that spectrum.

"Could I have two scoops of chicken?" FUCK YOU. This is not Kellogg's. Chicken is not raisins. Take your two scoops straight to hell with the rest of you. The whole Chipotle economic structure is built around you getting a certain amount of expensive marinated meat in proportion to your heaping pile of dirt-cheap rice. You know what you get when you ask for two scoops of chicken? Two half-scoops of chicken. You may, if you're lucky, end up with two more cubes of chicken that you would have gotten originally. You sure as hell won't get double. And even if you did, you would not be sticking it to the man. You would not be some master negotiator. You would not have won any kind of personal victory over the forces of minimum wage fast food line staff. You would, at best, have had a bit more chicken.

That wasn't enough, of course. Dude had to tweak every fucking aspect of his order. "A little more green sauce". I'm sure your highly-refined palate can tell the difference between one spoon of green chile salsa and one point two spoons of green chile salsa. You are the very picture of the counter-service gourmand. You're lucky they make the food in front of you at Chipotle, or "green sauce" isn't all you'd have gotten a little bit extra of.

Extra chicken, extra green sauce.... and TOO MUCH LETTUCE! Aigh! It's like there was some kind of Lettuce Apocalypse on your burrito bowl! Your bonus chicken was smothering under the crushing weight of all that lettuce! The lettuce load MUST BE LIGHTENED! But not that much. Just by a little bit. Yeah, just a little bit less lettuce. That's it. That's perfect. You have created the ultimate burrito bowl! You are Iron Chef Ordering Crap! You have mastered balance and harmony, and can head back to your bank with your buddies safe in the knowledge that the Chipotle company did not put one over on you this day. I salute you with not one, but two of my fingers, then buy a plane ticket to England, fly over, and salute you with four.

* "Min-Max": A term used by gaming geeks to describe technically legal but questionably ethical loopholes in the rules of role-playing games exploited by players to provide their characters with a borderline-unfair advantage.

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