Monday, October 15, 2007

Bitchy About Butter

© 2007 Leighann Lord
So I'm ordering a bagel from the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts. Yes, I know. This is wrong on many levels. First: I'm ordering a bagel at Dunkin Donuts. Their bagels aren't bad, but they pale in comparison to the bagels you can get in any New York City deli. This is like buying frozen fish sticks when you can have Tuna Steak.

As if ordering second rate carbs isn't bad enough, I'm getting them at the drive through; a step above having them intravenously fed. I do try to make it better by ordering a whole wheat bagel. So maybe there's hope for me yet.

On the surface, ordering a buttered bagel sounds like a simple affair. And it would be if everyone didn't have their own butter application technique. No two people butter the same way. I prepare for this universal truth by always asking for a knife with my order. Some clerks seem reluctant to give me said utensil, as if the value of it is coming out of their check. These are the places that don't keep plastic utensils handy and I have to wait for them to liberate one from of the vault.

In some places the person who takes my order also applies the butter. Sanitary concerns aside, they take my request for a knife personally, as if I don't trust their professional judgment. I don't. That's because there are two types of butterers. The Slatherers, who pile it on with a spatula making what can only be described as a butter sandwich. My cholesterol goes up just looking at it. I use the plastic knife to remove the excess which, if saved, is enough to bake a cake.

If The Slatherer gives me too much butter, then The Economist gives too little. Efficiency experts at heart, they don’t so much spread the butter as they do skim it quickly across the surface. Today I got The Economist.

When I first opened my bagel, I thought they had neglected to butter it at all. I had to look closely, turning it to the light to see a faint greasy sheen. Gee, could they spare it? I didn't mean to cut into the war rations. The other side of the bagel was, of course, dry and bare as a bone. I couldn't resist turning to my husband and saying, "I can't believe it's not buttered."

I showed the lady at the drive thru window my half naked bagel and she said, "Oh, I'll get you some butter." At least that's what I think she said because I think I momentarily lost consciousness. While my inner diva has resigned herself to making butter alterations on the fly, she believes the initial layer of butter should be included in the cost of the bagel. I agree with her.

I'm funny like that. I also hate when I ask to get my left overs wrapped up at a restaurant and they bring a To Go box to the table for me to do it myself. When did that become my job? Do we split the tip too?

I think the drive thru lady saw the look on my face, as my inner Diva strutted to the surface to handle the situation. The fine folks at Dunkin Donuts quickly buttered the dry side of my bagel and sent me on my way. They must have taken the first guy out of the game and sent in their relief Butter Guy, because he did a great job. His butter technique was on point. Not too much, not too little.

Now I know what you're thinking. How can I be so bitchy about butter? But it's not about butter, my friends. It's about making a stand for good service and a correctly buttered bagel is my line in the sand. If I let the butter slide can civilization be far behind? There comes a time to stand and fight. If not now, then when? If not this, then what? If not here, then where? No butter, No peace!
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