I owe you guys a story from my trip to Savannah.
On the first day we got there, my friend and I went out for dinner. Well it turns out that Saturday night we stepped right in the middle of the Savannah version of Oktoberfest or some festival involving beer, live music, funnel cake and Riverside restaurants packed with hungry Southerners.
We walked from restaurant to restaurant, only to be greeted with a “Y’all need to come back in 30 min!”. Our stomachs were beginning to growl, so we left the Riverside and started looking for a place to eat farther away from the angry mobs that had hijacked the restaurants near the river.
We walked around for 10 minutes or so – at this point, honestly, I would have settled for McDonalds – and came across a place called Five Guys burgers and fries. “Do you want to go in?” my friend asked. As I’ve said, I would have eaten BBQed radishes if I found any. So, in we went.
Inside, a bustling fast food atmosphere. It was packed in here too, but at least we didn’t have to wait for a table. The place reminded me of Schwartz’s, a famous Montreal Hebrew deli. People were eating and having fun. On the walls, just like at Schwartz’s they had framed newspaper clippings which pretty much said “best fries and burgers in the US”.
We waited in line for 5 min or so, and then ordered a burger each and a portion of fries for the two of us. We figured we’re girls, we watch our figures, so if we pig out and eat burgers for dinner, the least we could do is cut down the carbs.
Now at this point I have to let you in on how the ordering system works there. Since they have so many customers, when you order, you get a number and when your order is ready they call your number.
My number was 52. I still remember that and you’ll soon see why.
I wait, and wait, and I try to get my stomach to stop growling and howling by drinking some water. It didn’t help. I wanted that burger! Then I got worried that maybe they called my number and I didn’t hear it. Where was my burger? That seemed like highly probable since everyone was talking, and you couldn’t hear yourself think, let alone hear the guy shouting “Number 38! 38!” from behind a counter drowned in steam and meat sizzling sounds. At this point I was drooling. Burger, sweet, juicy burger! How about you? Are you drooling right now? What’s that on your chin? See? There’s no fooling me.
So I go up to the counter and ask “What number are you serving?”. I must have looked all confused because one of the guys who was assembling the burgers asked “What’s your number, darlin’?”. 52, I said and then he said he’ll let me know. I go back to our small round table and drink another sip of bottled water. I hear a 42 and then a 47, and I think, oh I’m definitely not going to hear my number. Which you know, was not a tragedy, but never underestimate how much nervousness and restlessness hunger can induce.
After around 3 more minutes which seemed like 3 days in the desert with nothing to eat but tree bark, I hear a voice blasting my year drums through the speakers in the room. “Number FIFT-EEEEY TEEEEW! FIFT-EEEEY TEEEEW!”. Just like when you’re at a show somewhere and someone comes up to the mic and says in a manner very dissonant to the atmosphere of the place “the owner of the blue Saab! please move your vehicle, you’re blocking the alley!”. For a second everyone stopped talking. Can you imagine the embarrassment? It felt like I was walking the walk of shame up to that counter.
In retrospect I figure the guy who asked what my number was thought I was a) hard of hearing or b) from out of town and therefore could not understand the English numerals.