By Guest Blogger, Charlie Pratt
It was my pleasure to be interviewed about drive-thru etiquette by author and blogger, Charlie Pratt (www.charliewrites.com).
It’s been analyzed countless times by those who analyze things that road rage tricks the mind into believing that to be inside one’s car is to be inside an impenetrable bubble in which whatever is said and done there carries no actual consequence in real life. You’ve seen it all before: Guy #1 yells at Woman #1 from the confines of his Lexus. Woman #1, upon observing Man #1‘s irrational fit, decides to return the favor and launches a choleric counterattack, sometimes involving lewd hand gestures and sporadic pointing. This goes on for three to eight seconds before the flow of traffic forces the perturbed pair to simmer down and get to where they’re going.
It set me thinking about the places in which we create a false sense of superiority based on the feeling that we can’t be touched. The road rage issue is common theater; just the other day, I found myself staring at a man in the lane next to me, driving down the highway and waving his arms wildly, giving the double-bird to a dented blue minivan in front of him. I imagine he was under the assumption that the minivan was packed with parents and little children (which, of course, are the natural target for dyspeptic rage and inappropriate hand gestures) but what if the van had been filled with armed thugs? Mr. Rage-y Pants didn’t know, but he rolled the dice anyway.
We generate a lot of nerve when we think we’re invincible, and the drive-thru line is no exception. Restaurants, banks, pharmacies, coffee shops—the great American drive-thru is one of the best places to observe irrational human behavior based on the magic audacity that is gained by simply driving in one’s own car.
Before I began coming up with my own list, I decided to call a professional. Jacqueline Whitmore (www.etiquetteexpert.com), one of the leading experts in the field of modern etiquette, sat down with me to discuss this issue and to find out if there are a few tenets of restaurant drive-thru etiquette that might be gleaned for public consumption.