Interlude with Burger


The flight home solidified my belief in Jet Blue as a company that works efficiently without sacrificing friendliness or quality.  I continued reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.  I had made up my mind sitting on the patio of my mother-in-law’s Coronado home that I would really work at incorporating his instructions on how to live in the present moment. I didn’t know that I would have a chance to test it in what would be one of the most critical times of my life, a time that would be arriving quite soon.
I spent the rest of my time listening to podcasts and watching a documentary on John Wilkes Booth on the history channel.
We landed at JFK on time.  Our flight to Rochester, due in an hour, had been delayed one hour.
Linda and I found a burger joint where you custom order your meal on a touch screen, then pay the waiter behind the counter. He hands you a receipt and when your burger comes out of the kitchen, he calls the number.  The customer with the number raises his hand and the waiter trades the burger for your receipt.
During a lull with no customers the waiter came over to me.  “What’s your number?”
“00,” I said.   He nodded.
When my burger came out, he brought it over and started to hand it to me.
“No!” I said.  “You can’t do that.”
He froze and looked puzzled, not sure if he should be angry, defensive or apologetic.  “Why not?”
“You have to take it back, yell ’77!” and then I raise my hand  and say, ‘Here!’  Then you bring it over to me.”
He looked totally confused until he realized  I was serious.  After a brief silence, he nodded and walked back to the kitchen  window.  A part of his job he’d never even thought about was now a game in which he was self-consciously participating.
He yelled: “77”!

I raised my hand: “Here!”
He grinned as he brought it over and handed it to me. “Thank  you,” I said.
He started laughing.  “You have a good day, sir.”
One should have fun where one can.  We don’t know what the next moment will bring.
Later we boarded the plane for what I thought was  the last leg of our journey.
It wasn’t.
Far from it.

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