So there I was standing with my red backpack at 10PM at night in front of the window at Wendy's on Westheimer, my stomach grumbling and whining.
"I'll have a hamburger," I said.
"I'm sorry," she said, "you have to have a car to get a hamburger."
"What do you mean I have to have a car? I'm standing right here. I have two hands. You can put your hamburger in one of my hands and take my money out of the other. What's so difficult about that?"
"I'm sorry," she said. "No car, no hamburger."
She was a thin, pretty, mocha skinned African or African American teenager, with one of those
interesting Houstonian accents that I can barely understand. She looked nervous. She was only carrying out company policy.
"Do you want me to drive you around to the window?" offered some strange big guy in a pick-up truck. We were already at the window. He was offering to drive me around in a circle so we could return to the same window with me inside his car instead of outside it.
He was probably only being hospitable, but I declined.
I allowed my mouth to make a few grumbling noises to match my stomach, then went across the street to MacDonald's. Not wanting to repeat the scenario, I asked some other strange big guy in a pick-up truck to buy me a burger and a Coke, extending my five dollar bill.
With my backpack and my obviously car-challenged state, he must have assumed I was financially challenged as well.
"That's okay," he said, waving away my five dollar bill, and handing me the burger from his car window, before driving off.