Sunday is my day to fix the meals, and I had nothing in mind for the evening when mealtime rolled around. Taco Bell is my go-to emergency meal, so slipping on a pair of dusty crocs and loading up my keys and wallet, off I drove into town for ersatz Mexican take-out.
My hearing is getting much worse now, and I do not even try to understand anyone under 30 anymore. So when I pulled up to the order kiosk, I carefully annunciated my rehearsed choices.
Kiosk: Wemon o ako ell. M itak yer der?
Me: I would like two beef chalupas, and two five-layer burritos.
Kiosk: Tu ef hupus n tu ivlar uritos. Wu u ike ot aus we at?
Me: Yes, the mild sauce please.
Kiosk: Tu ef hupus n tu ivlar uritos n ild sau. Nay ting els?
Me: No that is all, thank you.
Kiosk: A be nine twin ive et tu seco wheno. ‘Lees pu fowerd.
I am starting to work up a mild crank at this point and pull forward to the second window. The cutest young Asian girl is at the widow. Flawless skin, bright eyes filled with excitement at the universe that is opening up for her. Her perfect white teeth gleam from a smile that banishes the gloom that surrounds me.
She leans out and asks: Tu ef hupus n tu ivlar uritos n ild sau. Sat ur order?
*sigh!* The cranky feeling evaporates as I hand her my credit card.
Me: You will have to speak slower. I am hard of hearing.
Cute Asian girl: Tu ef hupus n tu ivlar uritos n ild sau. Sat ur order?
Cute Asian girl: Wu u ike ot aus we at?
Me: The mild, thank you.
She hands me back my card and the sack of ersatz Mexican, and gives me another absolutely stunning smile
Cute Asian girl: Ank oo fer oping ako ell.
Me: Thank you!
And I drive off feeling old. Very, very old …