It started out as a normal dinner at a family favorite, Granny’s Drive In.
The bummer was the pierced and tattooed cashier saying they were out of fries. “What did that mean?” the family asked each other in hushed whispers. “Will they make more soon?” Nobody asked the teenage cashier with a cigarette sitting on his ear like a pencil. Dad ordered himself onion rings instead of fries.
They all laughed and talked while gorging themselves on burgers, onion rings, and Granny’s famous shakes.
After dinner, the four adults and baby climbed into the car. The gray four door sedan turned onto the road and into moderate traffic considering it was Heber City, UT. The baby was fussy and the family wondered if she could handle an hour long trip home. Grandma started feeding her toddler snacks, the kind that look like cereal but immediately melt on the tongue. The baby was still crying and was in no mood for snacks from Grandma.
Several snacks in her open wailing mouth meant gagging and nearly choking. Mom looked back with concern at the first gagging noise. The car was stopped at a light but Dad deftly pulled out of the lane making a right hand turn. A couple feet on the side street revealed an entrance into a parking lot.
The stores were all closed for the night. Small towns don’t provide much retail entertainment after 9:00 pm, even on a Friday night. The parking lot was empty. Dad pulled up alongside a vacant store and Mom bolted from the front seat to the back seat almost before the car stopped completely. In record time Mom was unbuckling her baby to pat her back.
The choking stopped as soon as Baby was relieved from the indignity of a rear facing car seat. Grandma asked if the family should stop for a minute to feed Baby. Mom agreed. Grandma and Mom traded places in the car.
While Baby played with her bottle, much to Mom’s irritation, Dad pulled out his new iPad. His fingers danced across the screen to pull up the commercials mentioned earlier that evening.
Cackles, giggles, and guffaws rang out from the car in the deserted parking lot. Onlookers did not know what to think. A short time later they were back on the road.
The family quoted lines from the commercials and laughed some more. The giggles soon died down and the only sound in the traveling car was the soft snoring from the passengers.
Thank you World Wide Web. This evening has been dedicated to you.