So, since I have twelve-year-old twins this week, and I hate cooking anyway, and I didn't feel like cooking, naturally I took everyone out for some disgusting fast food.
I won't target the particular fast food chain, but here's how things unfolded:
Ramona and Miranda and Anne and Betsy ordered some food and stepped aside.
Me? Well, though I hate cooking, I hate eating fast food even more, so I decided to just get coffee. I planned to eat something later at home while I complained to Atticus about cooking and the evils of fast food.
I said to the girl who worked at the evil fast food place, "Do you have any coffee brewed?"
She shook the coffee pot (I could hear some lame, cold coffee swishing around in there) and said, "Yeah, there's a little bit left here."
"Okay," I said, "Here's the thing. I'll have a coffee, but I can wait until you brew a fresh pot."
"Okaaaay," she said, blinking. I should have detected the beginning of confusion.
She started piling food on the tray, while I dug out a credit card. When I looked up from my wallet, there sat a cup of coffee in front of me. Unless I had just stepped into a wormhole, this was the old coffee, not the "I'll wait for it" coffee.
Ramona and Miranda, et al, got their tray and settled in at a table, and I caught the counter girl's attention.
"Okay, so, can I just give this back to you, and I'll wait for the fresh stuff?"
"What?" she squinted at me.
"Well, this is lukewarm -- I'll just wait while you start a new pot."
"It's too warm?"
"No, it's lukewarm."
She squinted again.
"It's not warm," I said. "Not warm."
She cocked her head, her mouth hanging slightly open.
"It's not hot. Isn't hot," I said, grasping for something that expressed not-hot more simply than, well, say, "not hot."
"It's unhot. I'd like a hot cup of coffee, so I'll wait."
"Do you want it in a cup?"
"Yes, a cup would be nice." (I may have been nodding desperately at this point.)
"Okay. I'll have to brew some."
I nodded again. Emphatically. "Ok, sure, that's a good idea," I said. "I'll be at that table over there, okay?" My eyes were wide, and probably wild. Had we fully established contact? Would a hot cup of coffee be forthcoming?
She blinked and turned away in the general direction of the coffee pot.
A couple minutes later, she brought me a coffee.
In a cup.
And it was hot.
I'm pretty sure someone probably spit in it, but it was really hot. Maybe even lukehot.