The smells and sounds of the Frankfort, Kentucky Dairy Queen. I knew them well. It was one of my first jobs and one of my worst jobs. My coworkers? Crazy Eddie: “I’ve spent more time in jail than out of jail.” Androgynous DeNice: “He didn’t want mayo?!?!” Wipes mayo off burger with dirty rag. “Send that back out the window.” Sweet Obese Angela: “I d’nno, do you think he’ll like it more with or without the piercing?” And of course, Raging Terrell: “You say that man in that car insult you? Imma whup him.” Runs out door, yells at man, comes back in, makes self burger.
One great big band of misfits working their hearts out for that sweet minimum wage CHA-CHING.
I was working the drive through one day when my intolerance of french fry salt and dehydration came together in one great climax: my nose started bleeding. This was not a trickle, mind you, but a bloody red torrential downpour. I tripped into the bathroom as Eddie came in over the mic, “What the f*** are you doing, white girl? We’re in the middle of a rush.”
I pressed the button on my headset to speak while trying to pull the one-ply toilet paper from the dispenser… while trying to obstruct the flow. “I’ll be there soon, I just have a terrible bloody nose!” The crimson liquid ran into the toilet as I worked the obnoxiously thin T.P. into an appropriately sized plug. Chest heaving under the stress of the moment, I paced in front of the sink, waiting for the blood to clog up. An older woman walked out of one of the stalls and watched me with concern. “Hi.” I awkwardly muttered, wondering if it was slowly dawning on this woman that the person who could be making her food also could have just been bleeding into it. I supress the urge to explain that I didn’t contaminate her burger when she speaks.
“You poor thing… may I pray for you?”
What the heck? I’m a religious person, and a person can always use more prayers, right? I smile at her from behind my homemade nose cork, grateful she didn’t threaten to sue good ole’ DQ. I always felt like Kentucky was a few buttons up on the shirt of the guy wearing the Bible Belt, but you still get a lot of religious folks.
“Ummm. Yeah. Sure. That would be great.”
Though I expect her to give me a brief nod and walk out the door, she looks ever more determined. She marches towards me, slaps her hand on my back, and begins her intercessory prayer.
“Dear Lord Jesus help this girl this girl has the root of evil in her head and she needs that root of evil dried up and cut by you, Lord Jesus, heal this girl of her sickness and her affliction, Lord Jesus, save her from this terrible illness, use your almighty power to overcome that Devil in side of her and snatch this foul and reprobate malady from her beloved body, Dear Lord…”
I stifled laughter as the pressure of her hand on my back continued as steadily as the stream of words pouring out of her mouth. Golly gee. A real-life blessing in the bathroom of a Dairy Queen. The zealous invocation continued for some time, and all the while my co workers yelled through my headset: “What the hell is going on in there, Alyssa? Niagara Falls?”
The prayer finally ended with an abrupt and unanticipated final, “Thank you and amen, dear Lord Jesus.” The woman was breathing heavily from the flurry of speech, and I, amused and bewildered, let a thank you pass out of my lips. She took a deep, resolute breath, passed me an enthusiastic “God bless you, child,” and strode confidently out of the door.
What’s the weirdest experience you’ve ever had in a bathroom? Share below, please.