Thursday, April 18, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 7

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on June 8th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 13 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 11, Issue 13

The orderly

Krider needs some order in his lifeā€"if he only knew how to ask for some


Sometimes I am completely retarded. I know, I know, that isn’t a very politically correct thing to say anymore. But when it comes to doing very simple tasks—for instance ordering something to eat at a restaurant—I fit the definition of being retarded quite well. Webster (the dictionary, not the African-American kid with all the personality from ’80s TV) defines retardation as “slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness.” The only thing missing from that definition is a picture of me standing in front of the counter at McDonald’s, staring at the menu with my mouth open, mumbling, “Uh … I … want … um … something to eat?”

I don’t know how this happened to me. I consider myself a pretty smart guy. Sure, it took me like 14 years, but I graduated from college eventually. I know how many feet are in a mile (5,280) and that Dallas isn’t the capital of Texas (it’s some other city). Regardless of my IQ or knack for knowing what cities aren’t the capitals of states, for whatever reason, I can’t order anything from a restaurant without my brain completely locking up.

I blame my wife, whom I love. She has taken care of me just way too well. Somewhere along the line, she started ordering my food, and now a decade has gone by and I have completely forgotten how to do it. I don’t even really know what I like anymore. My guess is it all probably began when our kids were very little and my wife was taking care of both of them, as well as her largest child: me.

I can see it now: We were sitting in a restaurant, the waitress came up, my wife ordered for the kids, “The little one will have mac and cheese, our son will have apple dippers and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I’ll have a salad with the dressing on the side.” The waitress looked at me, but I had already gone off to dreamland, looking out the window at who knows what, probably a cool car in the parking lot. So my wife just ordered for me, “And give my husband a cheeseburger, he likes it medium rare, but cook it a little more because raw meat grosses me out.” And that was it. I stopped using my brain in restaurants from that moment on. Now I’ve completely lost the ability.

I honestly go into a place, look around, and then ask my wife, “What do I get here?” The crazy part is she knows, and when she says, “You like the clam chowder here,” I totally remember, “Oh yeah, yum that sounds good.” Shamefully, I couldn’t tell you a single thing she eats anyplace. This upsets my wife because she thinks I don’t care about her. I care, but I can’t even remember what I want—how can she expect me to know what she wants? To make myself look like a “caring and loving husband,” I have resorted to leaving notes on my cell phone. “Deli sandwich: She likes sourdough roll, chicken breast, provolone, peppers, oil and vinegar, onions, no mayonnaise.” (Wife editorial note: This is incorrect. I like smoked turkey and pepper jack.) When I come home with a sandwich for her, perfectly made, I am the man. (Hasn’t happened once.)

Sadly, I need to start leaving those same notes for myself: “In & Out: Cheeseburger, no onions, vanilla shake, fries.” The lame part about needing a note for what I like at In & Out is that their menu only has those three things on it, but I still need a reminder to get the job done. If I don’t have that little bit of help, I’ll pull up to the drive-thru and try to get a Big Mac.

The reason this has become a recent problem for me is because my wife is trying to teach the kids to be more independent and have them speak up at restaurants and order from the waiter. I realized if she expects our 13-year-old to do it, then she probably wants her grown-up husband to give it a shot. Just last night we went to Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors to get some ice cream. Our 31 Flavors only had 29 flavors, and when I pointed out to the employees that maybe they should change the name to 29 Flavors, they didn’t find my little joke quite as hilarious as I did (apparently it’s one they’ve heard before, every single day, from every single customer).

I heard my son tell his mom he wanted a chocolate. She told him, “Order it yourself.” He spoke up, said please and thank you, and ordered a single scoop of chocolate ice cream in a cup. The girl behind the counter (the one who didn’t laugh at my joke) looked at me and asked what I would like. A simple request really—how hard is it to remember the ice cream you like? Unfortunately for me, my brain completely stopped working. I stood there and began to mumble, “Um … I would like … uh. Well, I know I want a double scoop.”

The girl just stared at me.

“I want a scoop of … uh … cookie?”

“Do you want cookies and cream?”

“No, no. I want … um … cookies … cookies and dough?”

“You want chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream?”

“Yes. Cookie dough, that’s what I like.”

“Two scoops of cookie dough coming up.”

“No. Wait. I want a different second scoop.”

The young girl behind the counter tried to stay patient. “Okay.”

“Alright. For my second scoop, but like on the same cone, I want um … peanut butter?”

“You want peanut butter ice cream?”

“No. I like chocolate.”

“Okay, chocolate.”

“No, wait. It’s like a mixture, sort of.”

Finally, my wife couldn’t stand it anymore: “I’m sorry, he wants peanut butter and chocolate and chocolate chip cookie dough.”

My face lit up. “Yeah, I like that!”

My wife rolled her eyes. “What would you do without me?”

“Probably lose weight.”

Rob went into Kentucky Fried Chicken and asked for Chicken McNuggets and a burrito.

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the county's new permitting process for hoop houses?

Farmers already have too many regulations to adhere to.
It was necessary to clarify the permitting process.
The process will help protect wildlife.
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