Idle a few seconds at the first window, staring into the stock boxes and someone’s elbow, before rolling to the next window because some fast food joints don’t use all their windows. Pay, grab the food, drive off. Another lunch served. Another plastic straw you never asked for.
From roll-up to roll-out the whole drive-through (drive-thru) experience can usually clock in well under 19 minutes, 17 even on a clear enough day. It’s a wild ride staring at tail lights for a swinging combination of convenience over speed. When the line of cars chains out longer than a smoke break, it’s a clear reminder that that chugging purr of the car’s engine is not there for any other reason.
Phonetically, “drive-thru” is the same as “drive-through” but on signs and billboards, it’s three letters less of ink. That’s a savings worth spending countless time waiting for death.
Like tracking the spelling through the English corpus, “thru” is creeping up higher on the charts like that outstretched hand tugging at the window curtain, popping it off the rails as the clutching intensifies and the phone sits out of reach as the gasp and agony of the tightening chest claws with each stroking fingernail.
Plant-based diets are not the typical fare strolling through the drive-thru and it’s for reasons they keep the name of the paved vessel of cholesterol short. Subtle it may be, but with the grease and animal carcasses filling up the bags sitting on the passenger side, they have to take out the “ogh” from “drive-through” because a hog a day is another day less chugging down that fast food repast. The shortened spelling of drive-through mirrors the shorter lifespan of a lifetime sitting in the drive-thru lane. And it’s all drive-thru lanes at this point.
Written on Friday, 21 December 2018