I left the movie shortly after 6pm and decided that even though I had a bag of Cinnamon bites, an oversized Coke and a half bag of popcorn I should still probably get dinner before I left property. Unfortunately, Disney Springs doesn’t offer a whole lot of quick service (now called “fast casual”) restaurants so my non-table service options were basically limited (unless I wanted more popcorn or overpriced margaritas).
So, I headed off to the only non-food truck, non-dessert “fast casual” restaurant service place I could think of – Earl of Sandwich on the Marketplace side of the densely crowded shopping mall. Okay, okay, so I forgot Cooke’s of Dublin, but I’d already made up my mind by the time I passed the stairs to their entrance.
I also had largely made up my mind on what I wanted when I arrived at the store, but I took a menu anyway from the CM stationed at the door so I could see what was on each of their sandwiches. I made my way to the end of the line and then replaced my menu at in the plastic slot attached to one of the columns as I passed it in queue following an older couple whose wife was using a scooter
A short (probably about 4’5”), thin man with dark skin and greasy salt-and-pepper hair darted ahead of me and had a brief conversation with the couple ahead of me (wife was in a scooter). I got the distinct feeling he was talking about me. Suddenly, he points to me, the husband shrugs and the old man stares at me angrily (his scowl made him look like one of those audio-animatronic goblins from the “Gringrotts” ride at Universal) before heading back to his place in line.
About a minute or so later I felt a sharp SLAP on my left shoulder, spun around, and this same little person was standing there, his right arm stretched as far as he could reach so he could wave his finger in my face threateningly. If I were a bystander, I might find this hilarious.
“YOU,” he growled. “You have INSULTED my wife!”
What the fuck is he talking about?
“Do not act stupid on me! When you replaced menu you cut out of line and in front of MY WIFE! I said nothing because I am kind and generous man who assumed you are traveling with crippled woman in front of you. But you are liar, they do NOT know you and you are NOT crippled like them!”
I was going to explain the Autistic Spectrum to him or how it takes a few seconds longer to process information, or… but he cut me off angrily before I could say anything.
“You are a horrible, HORRIBLE PER-son,” he said using his last word as an excuse to spit on my shirt (as he was too short to spit in my face).
“And I am taking MY spot in line back and YOU are going to back of the line where you belong! NOW! Maybe it will teach you that your country has ‘RULES’ and YOU are not above them, you selfish PIG!”
He grabs his wife’s hand and drags her in front of me starring daggers at me the entire time. As he and his wife approached the ordering area, he turns around and growls “disrespective ASSHOLE!”
I got up to the cashier (which is at the other end of the counter near the pick-up area) slightly ahead of the bitter old man (his wife had stopped to look at the parfaits) and I saw him again when our buzzers went off at the same time. However, I – or anyone else for that matter – couldn’t get to the counter because he was blocking it while he argued with the poor girl on delivery duty pointing angrily at something on his receipt.
Suddenly, the “horrible person” came to a more horrifying conclusion: this poor girl held hostage at the end of the counter was literally a proxy for ME.
Go ahead; try enjoying a hot, fresh and carefully crafted sandwich after a realization like that.
I clean my table, and head over to clear my head at the Starbucks on the Westside. I check my wallet: I have exactly $7 in it…and then my order came to $6.85. I stopped at the ATM next to the restrooms (if I did that first this post would probably stop here). Since all I had was twenties, I made my way over to the nearly deserted cab stand behind Cirque du Solei.
When a cab finally arrived, I jumped into it as soon as his passengers got out. Finally after several minutes of him pretending to laugh at my serious story, I commented that it seemed to be taking forever to get back to the complex.
“Look at all thiiis traffic I have to deal wiiiith,” he said defensively, gesturing towards the steady stream of headlights on the OPPOSITE side of the highway. Meanwhile, the lanes AHEAD of us were empty… that’s when I noticed we had JUST turned onto I-4 at Downtown Disney.
It wasn’t “traffic” delaying us, the greedy bastard just spent the past ten minutes driving me around Kissimmee!
Then he finally pulls into my complex, but instead of dropping me off at the leasing office like I told him, he shoots through the gate and then pulls up to each building going three miles an hour – with the meter running.
“Is thiiiis you building? How about thiiis one? Which one IIIIISS your building?”
“It’s the first one on the right directly behind the leasing office.”
“Then why didn’t you just tail me to stop at the leasing office,” he said exasperatedly as he pulled into a random spot near the end of the row. His meter clicking loudly as he pulled out to turn around.
“That is $24.75,” he says pulling into a spot in front of the clubhouse, and I hand him the lowest amount I had. “I said $24 – you gave me $40! You are telling me you do not have a five? Are you focking kidding me?”
“Do you REALLY think I WANT to break a 20 over $4? For god’s sake, if I had two dollars I could have taken a BUS back.”
He begrudgingly reached into his seat and gave me my change and I left the cab and followed the barely lit path towards my building…