Thursday, July 6, 2006

Taco Bell & The Homeless

Last night we went to buy Chicken a bunk bed.

This, of course (like everything else in my life), must be performed in steps. First, we go to Warehouse Store to get the bed. Today, we'll go back to get the two mattresses, Saturday, I'll buy the bedding and pillows. And finally Sunday, the bed will be built and I can finally sleep at night without an elbow in my ear.
We've had an on-going bunk bed/one full size bed/toddler bed debate for 2 years now. I have finally won the bed battle! I always win. I guess that's what happens when you're younger (and more beautiful) than your spouse.

But I digress. That's not why I'm writing today. Before we make the short trip to Warehouse Store, Husband is hungry and wants Taco Bell (he rambles about some greasy, nasty crispy wrap). Luckily for him, there is a Taco Bell in the shopping center where Warehouse Store is. Before we walk into Taco Bell, I see a homeless woman carrying a large BIG GULP-type large I mean 1000's of fluid ounces. She is peering through the windows and walks in before we do and I see her filling up her huge mug. A Taco Bell employee says to her "Hey stupid, you can't be fillin' your cup in here". The homeless woman ignores her and continues to fill up. 4 Taco Bell employees begin screaming obscenities at her, one looks as if she's going to jump over the counter and beat the homeless woman. I say to the angry employees, "We will pay for her drink". "That's not the point", very large, female employee says, "It's unsanitary for her to fill up her nasty cup in our fountain". The homeless woman looks at me and after filling up, walks out of the restaurant. The homeless woman's cup never actually touched any part of the fountain. Granted, her hands were dirty and she was pushing the Pepsi button but plenty of people who have dirty hands touch that button everyday and I've never seen anyone clean the fountains. Anyway, after a long lecture from very large, female employee regarding the issue of sanitation, I observe something in the back. Then I say, "The people back there touching my food aren't wearing gloves so I can't imagine cleanliness is a concern at this fine establishment".
At this point, Husband is mortified and angry. He thanks me for ruining his Taco Bell fantasy dinner and we walk out. He's been bitching about it since yesterday; about how I shouldn't get involved and he was really looking forward to the crispy wrap grease gordito (or whatever it was). "They have a point, who knows where that cup has been" he says. "God forbid that should be someone we know. She just wanted a drink!". He isn't the most compassionate man on earth. He rarely puts himself in another person's shoes for the sake of kindness. So we walked over to McDonald's and he grumpily swallowed a Big Mac.

Looking back on it, I guess it's a pretty funny story. But I'm still haunted by the vision of the humiliation the homeless woman suffered. I felt like the Taco Bell employees should remember that by one slip up of their job and it could easily be them simply seeking a sweet drink.
It could easily be anyone.

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