I am feeling a bit guilty tonight.
The local Sonic appears to have gone out of business. I first noticed that something was amiss on Sunday, January 1st. The Pony and I had finished our weekly shopping, and I desired a Route 44 Diet Coke to keep me company all afternoon. I turned into the Sonic drive, and noticed nearly fifteen feet of flapping yellow caution tape. Hullo! What's this then? I automatically think with a British accent when startled.
I slammed on the brakes and contemplated my situation. There was one car parked in an odd manner, not at one of the drive-in bays. The Pony said there were no lights inside the building. I looked more closely at the caution tape. It was affixed to a pole on one side, and flapping loose at the whim of the 40 mph winds. I made a sort of U-turn that was more akin to a long-metal-loop-of-a-WheelO-turn (and don't tell me you've never heard of a WheelO). Because the percentage of spring chickens amongst my readership is, in actuality, much lower than the percentage of self-proclaimed spring chickens.
My mother believes that the Sonic is closed for good. Not for the good of mankind. For good, permanent. What does she have to lose by being a doomcrier? She has her own Sonic in her neighborhood. So I'm taking that opinion with a grain of salt. Which would go down good with a Sonic Route 44 Diet Coke. I'm hoping it is merely closed for renovation. Though the absence of those regional-style hot dogs and sundae shake posters from the side of the building does not bode well for my theory.
My guilt stems from a practice of which I am not proud. A practice practiced by The Pony and moi for nigh on two years now. We asked for extra ketchup. Every visit. Though I did refrain on those visits when I only used a receipt to receive a free Route 44. But otherwise, it's true. The two of us have double-handedly bankrupted a branch of Sonic by procuring beaucoups of ketchup for the price of zero dollars and zero cents. Or as we like to think of it, FREE.
No wonder that Skater Drive-Thru Dude felt it necessary to keep the bills from my five just because I gave him proper coinage along with it. He wasn't scamming me for a tip I did not intend to give. He was merely embezzling from me in order to give to poor Sonic. In order to help defray the cost of my constant ketchup-scamming. The goose and the gander both got their just desserts. It took one to know one, and all that.
Now the universe and Even Steven have joined forces to teach me a lesson. Ketchup is never free.