An Open Letter to the Jack in the Box on West End

Dear Jack in the Box,

Where are the kids who used to serve my food?  There was the kid with cornrows who always made my shake just the way I liked it and the girl who’d dyed the ends of her hair an electric pink, who would always check the receipt and look in the bag and make sure I had everything.

They rocked.

This week, I’ve been to Jack in the Box twice and both times been served by white people who could not get my order right either time.

And I don’t mean to imply that your white folks are idiots, but let me tell you a story about what I saw today.

A woman in an SUV was pissed that her fries were cold.  She asked to speak to the manager.  He came to the window and she threw her fries in his face.  Then she tried to hit him (shoot, they must have screwed up her order twice as bad as they’ve been screwing up mine) and, Jack in the Box, he just kept his face out there.

He’s got a window he can shut or a whole building to hide in and he just sat there looking dumbfounded.

Seriously, if your employees are not smart enough to avoid getting attacked by a woman in an SUV, they sure as hell aren’t smart enough to get my order right.

Please, bring back my usual folks.


Aunt B.

That Takes Some Nerve

Before today, I only ever lost my nerve posting once.  I was over at Blogger, still, and I wrote something and linked to Bitch PhD in that post.  She wrote a post and linked back.

Before that, I had about 35 readers, all folks I knew and could pick up the phone and talk to.  When she linked to me, 300 people came over to take a look.  Three hundred might not be that many, but to me, it might as well have been a million, and I really respect Bitch PhD and her readers, so I, of course, wanted to seem like the kind of blogger who had witty and erudite things to say, someone worthy of them taking the time to read.

I couldn’t come up with anything.  The hardest post I’ve ever written was that next post.  I don’t remember what it was.  I think it was just something light and stupid.  But the point was to post something, just get something out, so as to not become paralyzed with fear.

I sometimes look back on stuff I write and think, “What the fuck, B.?” in a way that causes me to both cringe and laugh.  But I like that feeling, like I’m writing something that is scary and daring and maybe unwise.  It’s like walking a tightrope.  Can I make it to the end?  Are things secure enough?  Do I trust myself enough?

Or will I fall?  And will it hurt?

I blog to stake my claim in the world, to walk the outer edges of my intellectual property and mark my place in the world.  Everything I write is first and foremost about me, about opening myself up in a way that announces my presence and marks my personal space.

Everything you read here is about how I see things, about my opinions, about how I navigate the world and how foolish or wicked or smart I feel.

This has been the second hardest post I’ve ever written.  Today, I lost my nerve big time.  In fact, I’m really only writing this just to push through that fear–that I can’t do this because the possibility of it being misunderstood or turned against me is so great that it outweighs the soul-saving value it has for me.

I don’t have anything more to say about that–just that I did fall and it did hurt, pretty bad, but I’m going to get up and brush myself off and get back on this thing.  And I guess we’ll see how that goes.

You Say You Want a Constitution; You’d Better Free Your Mind Instead

This morning, for the first time in my life, I ate oatmeal.  I found it to be pretty dang good.  I guess, for a girl who loves her some oatmeal raisin cookies, that only makes sense.

It would have been bad if it turned out I didn’t like oatmeal, though.  And why was I eating oatmeal?

Because we are completely out of food and I had the car last night, which meant that the Butcher lounged around the house and brought in the plants so that they wouldn’t freeze instead of buying groceries.

I had the car because I was out talking about the Constitution.  Sincerely, folks, nothing tickles me more than having the kind of life where you make plans to sit around with other folks and talk about the Constitution.

I believe that sitting around talking about the Constitution is all a part of Mack’s secret plan to depress the hell out of me.  Like some Pavlovian response, he wants me to hear his name and fall to the ground in a pile of tears, weeping for the state of the world.

I guess I wouldn’t mind that if his name weren’t “Mack,” but as it stands right now, every time I see a fucking commercial for that burger with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun, I am weeping like the government just killed E.T.

Speaking of the government, that, of course, was the point of our talk–how the government screws over immigrants, both folks who are here legally and those who are not.

I realized last night that I could categorize my feelings on the immigration issue.

Things I Don’t Give a Shit About

–Whether a great influx of immigrants means the end of some unique “white” culture

–Whether immigrants are taking “our” jobs (since, of course, I belong to a gender that is also often accused of taking “our” jobs)

–Whether unfettered immigration from Mexico will some day remove all distinctions between Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.  Would that be so bad?  From our Southern neighbors, we could inherit good food and dreamy brown eyes to stare into and from our Canadian friends, we could get a god damn sense of humor.

Things I Care About on an Intellectual Level

–If we have so many undocumented workers, doesn’t that prove we need those workers?  If we need those workers, can’t we reform immigration laws to bring those folks into our society legally?

–What does it mean for us Americans, for the soul of our country, if we turn into a nation of people who are all required to enforce laws?

–Why are people who are here legally subject to harsher penalties for the same crimes as U.S. citizens?

Things I Care About on a Visceral Level

–If we use every opportunity a person comes into contact with someone in a position of authority to check their immigration status, why would folks who are here illegally ever report a crime or call for help if they see that your house is on fire or step in to testify if they witness you being mistreated by the police?

–If we have a large underclass of people who literally cannot come to the attention of the authorities for fear of being deported, how will we prevent places where illegal immigrants live from being overrun with crime?

–Or how will we prevent their employers from setting up little fiefdoms where they basically own their illegal employees and can do whatever the fuck they want to them no matter how immoral, because reporting him would mean putting yourself in the criminal justice system?

–How in the hell can we live with ourselves ripping the parents of U.S. citizens away from them?

–And when people talk about removing the birthright to citizenship, have they lost their damn fool minds?  Do those folks even know what it means to be an American?  And you really want to give the government the power to decide what native born people qualify as citizens and which don’t?  Are you mad?

I don’t know.  It’s a scary time.  We’ve got Republican frontrunners like Guiliani running around talking about how he believes that the President has the right to hold U.S. citizens without trial, but he’d hope to not have to use that power very often and how he believes that, if Congress won’t give the President the money he needs to, say, wage war, he should be able to look for other ways of funding it.  I mean, the dude is running for President and he seems to be completely unfamiliar with the Constitution and we’re talking about whether his divorces or his penchant for cross-dressing will keep him out of office.

What about the fact that he doesn’t seem to know the difference between president of the United States and a god damn dictator?

Maybe that should keep him out of office.

I am afraid for our country, sometimes.  Right now.

I truly don’t believe that democracy can work on a scale as large as the one we’re trying it out on.  But I hope against hope that it will.

It can’t, though, if we all don’t buy into it.  It’s not enough to “love this country.”  I’m sorry.  It’s just not.

You have to be familiar with the way the government is laid out in the Constitution and truly buy into the apparently still radical notion that people deserve, inherently, to be free and self-governing.

I don’t see a lot of that being championed by either side right now.