Tuesday, March 1, 2011

People Watching...

I've gotta say, one of my most favorite activities to do is to people watch. Its free, its everywhere, it's fun, and you get to witness drama without having to get in trouble, most of the time. Watching people in the movie theater before it starts is always a good time. The BYU library was always a classic...boy looks/stares at girl across the room, he hopes she looks up...wait what?! She looks up?! Boy looks down super quick. Pansy. And just the other day Laur and I were at Barnes & Noble in Orem and I had some pretty good people watching as we looked at some kitchen/bath magazines to get some ideas for our new Mesa pad. The best is the guy(s) who stand around the sports area at the magazine racks pretending they're looking at ESPN The Magazine, or Men's Health, and their eyes are really looking about 3 feet away at Maxim. This was the case when I was there. I watched until he finally had the guts to pick up the magazine. So, I got up, and turned my people watching from passive to active mode, and walked behind him to put away one of the magazines I was done looking at ("Amazing Kitchens and Baths" if you wanna know, real manly stuff). I stand right next to him and he immediately notices me and says real quiet as if to himself, but purposely loud enough for me to hear, "What the?! This is a weird magazine." And then hurriedly stuffs the Maxim behind the wrong stack of magazines and walks away. Good times. Good times.

Anyway, the other day we were in Mesa and I was with Lauren's mom and sister. We were coming back from a game Lauren's sister was cheering at and they decided to stop at Tia Rosas to pick up some burritos (or "burros" as Mesa-ites claim they should be called) for dinner. Laur and I had gone to eat an hour earlier and I was still stuffed, so I was just along for the ride. The place was starting to get busy, as it always does cause its tasty, but we baaaarely beat the rush...like 10 people followed us into the place. Its a great feeling when you beat the crowd isn't it?! It makes you feel you are far superior than those people, right?...I mean, if they would've only thought ahead or had better driving/parking skills they could be like you, at the front of the line. Anyway, so we order and get our receipt/order number and go and stand with the few other smart people like us who had beat the Tia Rosa dinner rush. So I sat down and got my people watching on. People were piling in, some see friends and flip out, others are trying to control crazy kids/spouses, while others at the back of the line look at us and our receipts with jealous eyes and wish they had been as smart and as fast as us.

So they guy behind the counter calls a number and I watch as a person we saw ahead of us in line goes and claims their food and then walks out. Another number is called and another tray of tasty Mexican food is carried to a table. Its exciting knowing that your number is about to be called...especially when there is a huge line behind you. You could tell in the restaurant that the stress was building behind the counter with all the new orders. It was getting louder in there and definitely more cramped. Another number was called and the guy that was in front of us picks up the food...and that meant we were next. But, despite how quick and smart and fast we were, the next number called wasn't ours! I look over at Jackie (mom-in law) and she is looking at her receipt and shrugs her shoulders. So we wait. The guy yells another number, and this time the people who were behind us pick up their food.

Now, its not a big deal when the people behind you get their order first. After all, maybe they only got a quesadilla, or a single taco, or like a bag of chips or somethin. But when the people who were two groups behind you get their food before you, that's a problem. There was a problem. But, we decide to patiently wait because this food is worth waiting for. Then the guy behind the counter yells, "Order number 10!" I look at Jackie...she shakes her head. But nobody picks up this bag of food. "Probably in the bathroom," I think. Morgan (sis-in-law) is now getting a little fed up because she has places to go, people to see, Facebook to look at. "Number 10!" This time its yelled over the loud speaker. Nobody picks it up so they must be outside. I mean, its February in Mesa, but its like 80 degrees, so why not wait outside and escape the Tia Rosa madness during the dinner rush.

Morgan then gets up and asks her mom how much longer this is going to take. "Morgan I don't know. Just relax. Where do you have to go anyway?!" "I've got stuff I wanna do!" she responds. This people watching is getting good, plus I have no responsibility here so I'm blameless to the situation...always a good card to have. As a rule, the more drama/tension there is, the better the people watching. Except for extremely happy moments...those are pretty good to watch too. They call another number and another person that was behind us picks up their tacos. At the same time, someone walks out from behind the counter and weaves through the crowd of hungry, impatient people and opens the door to the outside and yells, "Number 10!" No response. Then the girl walks back to the counter, where Morgan and Jackie are now standing and she basically yells in their face, "Number 10?! Number 10?!" I obviously have to speak up in this situation, so I do. "Bueller?! ... Bueller?!" The guy next to me laughs. "I love the movie," he says. By now the crowd of people waiting were murmuring about their new enemy, order #10. How could they not pick up their food? Reckless behavior.

Morgan finally looks at her mom..."Are you sure we aren't number 10?!" "Morgan!" she snaps back, "Are you serious?! Do you think I'd just stand here forever if we were number 10?" I look from my seat at the receipt Jackie is holding and I could barely see it from where I was at. But I could see that the number was not 10. Then an idea flashes across Jackie's mind. I knew one did cause I'm an expert people watcher and I can tell when people get ideas...and trust me, most ideas I see people get are pretty dumb ones. But not this one...Jackie got a devious idea. Order #10 was a pretty hefty looking bag. "What if we just took it?" she says to Morgan. "It looks like alot of food in there." This is getting good. So Morgan, who was already annoyed at the whole situation looks at her mom and gives her the "are you kidding" look. "What?!? Why not?!?" Jackie bursts out while laughing. "Um, I don't know Mom, maybe cause its stealing!" "No its not," Jackie replies. "Whoever ordered it obviously got fed up with the wait and left. We paid for food and they obviously forgot our order. Its totally ok."

Pretty good logic if you ask me. However, its one of those crap-shoot moments. You are obviously not going to get the food you ordered, but you'll probably get something tasty, especially since Tia Rosas is generally pretty good all-around. One the one hand, if you steal order #10, maybe they ordered a few salmon tacos. Pretty D tasty. On the other hand, if the bag was just full of chips and a quesadilla, your family is probably going to go hungry and you'll lose their respect. Crap-shoot.

Jackie decides that Morgan should steal the bag and that they'd race out before #10 gets back and decides to claim their luke-warm food. Morgan was having no part of that, and since Jackie couldn't actually do it either, there they stood...waiting. By then my mind was totally wandering and I was remembering that movie I just saw, I Am Number 4, and I was hoping some huge menacing guy would stand up and say with a mighty voice, "I, am number 10..." and then walk up, grab the bag, look at the cashier as if to say, "You're lucky I let you live today" and then turn around and walk out as thunder crashed overhead. But that crap wasn't going to happen so I was hoping we'd just steal the bag and leave.

Sure enough, another number was called, and another person that was behind us in line went up and got their food. Finally, Jackie had had enough and looked long and hard at her receipt. "Maybe the 8 was really a 0", she thought. So she walked up to the guy calling out the order numbers and hands him her receipt. "Is this eight supposed to be a zero?" she asks. The guy looks at her with a smile and takes the receipt. I watch him as his smile washes off his face. Without moving a muscle, except for his neck to look back up at her, he responds, "Ma'am, this is a Carl's Jr. receipt." "What?!?" Jackie exclaims. Morgans mouth drops open. I almost fall out of my chair laughing as I watch Jackie frantically shoving her hands in her pockets and finally pulls out a Tia Rosa receipt with a big, fat number 10 on it. "Oh, I guess that's our food...Let's go guys!!!" as she hurriedly snatches the bag and grabs Morg's arm. By now Tia Rosas was FULL of people watchers and we were all having a pretty good time. Number 10 had finally arrived to claim their burritos...and out the door we ran.