I read a Bill Bryson essay (from his collection Notes From a Big Country) about how Americans embrace “conveniences” that end up taking longer than before the “convenience” existed, like drive-throughs.

I stop at one of the 600 Tim Hortons’ coffee shops on the way to work, picking up a coffee and sometimes a muffin. If there’s a line-up of more than 3 cars at the drive-through, I’ll park and go into the store to purchase my items; it’s a waste of time and fuel to wait in line for more than 2 minutes for a damn coffee. Yet, I’ll see people driving into the queue NO MATTER HOW MANY CARS ARE ALREADY THERE. It’s insane. They’ll be 10 cars waiting in line and people won’t give it a second thought to join the queue, idling in their car for however long it takes to order a $1.20 coffee. They’re too lazy to park and walk into the store where there’s NO line-up.

And now there are self-serve cash registers at grocery stores. I’ll save my complaints about how people use those for another time.

2 Replies to “Drive-throughs”

  1. When I had a date with lana last week (lana ain’t no llama, mac!) she made me go to the tims drivethrough and it took almost 15 mins. There was about 6 people in front of us. I was sitting there thinking about all the gas that my highly fuel efficient car was wasting just so we could sit there and listen to fatboy slim.

    I like the self-serve cash registers, when there’s nobody in front of you I get to move 5x faster than any normal cashier would move, so I can get the fuck outa there. Too bad they don’t have it at any of the places near where I live though.. too bad, so sad.

  2. I like the self-serve registers for the same reason, but chances are I’m bound to wait in line for someone who doesn’t know how they work or they have six million items that have no UPC codes on them, so they’re always calling for assistance.

    Have you tried the self-serve gas pumps where you can pay at the pump? The ones I’ve used are useless; you have to specify a dollar amount – you can’t specify “fill it up to the goddamn brim you stupid machine”, and when the dollar amount approaches as it’s filling up, the pump slows down to a trickle taking 10 times as long as you would’ve taken if you did it manually. Stupid programmers.

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