Yesterday, I was standing in line at Smithfield’s Barbecue, just about to order my Val-U-Pack (barbecue sandwich w/ cole slaw, french fries, and a sweet tea), when a small lady in a mini skirt scurried up to the counter and cut in front of me. She was holding a tray of hushpuppies in her hand.
“Excuse me,” she said to the teen-aged boy at the cash register, who was wearing a Smithfield’s baseball cap and a t-shirt that said, I serve fresh food. “We didn’t order these. We ordered a banana pudding.”
“Oh…ok,” said the boy. “Can I see your receipt?”
The lady handed it over.
“Ah, you got the 4-piece plate. That comes with hushpuppies.”
And then she said this: “Well, what do I do with them?”
She looked at the boy. The boy looked at me. I looked at the woman. The boy looked at the woman.
“Well, ma’am…you eat them.”
“Hm,” she said, looking at the hushpuppies. “Do I put something on them?”
“I guess you could put butter on them,” he said.
She looked at him, then at the hushpuppies. She took her banana pudding, and walked back to her table.
I stepped up to order my Val-u-Pack, smiling at the boy.
“That’s never happened before,” he said.