Monday, April 20, 2009

What'll You Have, What'll You Have?

We shopped at the Mall Sunday. The Varsity of this area is just on the edge of the mall’s huge parking lot.

My mother-in-law loves Varsity chili dogs. We called her on the and asked if she wanted us to pick her up a couple. Yes.

We decided what we would do was first order each of us a Varsity Frosty Orange, then after we finish that, go back to the counter and order the two hot dogs. We were not sure if Anna’s mother wanted slaw on her dogs or not. We tried calling and couldn’t reach her. We decided when we ordered the chili dogs we would asked for the slaw in separate containers and also chopped raw onions.

Can you do that? We wondered. Order the slaw and onion in separate containers?

We approached the counter. The little man behind the counter said, “Whaya have, whataye have?”

I have been going to The Varsity for at least 60 years, first in Atlanta near Georgia Tech, and now here in Cobb County, and the counter man always says, “What will you have, what will you have?”… which when all the words and accents run together, it is something like “Whayehave, whayehave?”

Although we were the only ones at the counter for the little man to take care of, the way “Whayehave?” sounds there is a sense or urgency to blurt out your order.

It is not so bad in Cobb County, but at The Varsity in Atlanta the shout is a demanding urgency….HURRY TELL ME!!!! …. Which at times I got so much in a hurry I bungled the order.

We told the little man two Frosty Oranges. He repeated it and punch his cash register keys. I detected he had a heavy accent of some sort. It seems at the Cobb County Varsity all the counter people have heavy accents.

Then Anna told the man that after we eat we are coming back to the counter and order some more stuff. He looked at us with no expression.

Anna went on to say, that after we eat we will want to go two chili dogs…..

The guy interrupted ringing his cash register saying, “two chili dogs!”

Anna said no no, she was not going to order them at the that minute, it will be later and she wanted to know if she could also get slaw in a separate container and also a container of chopped raw onions.

He just looked at us. We finally convinced him the only thing we wanted were two Frosty Oranges and just forget everything else.

I think being from another country and not knowing our language that well yet he was taught to listen for key words like things that are on the menu, such as chili dogs, Frosty Orange, and so on.

It is like the “Pepsi and Cheeseburger” skit John Bellucci did on Saturday Night Live.

Interesting when we did return to the counter to order the chili dogs the little man had left. A lady waited on us. She did as we requested and we paid her.

After she gave us change back the change Anna decided her mother would also love a Varsity fried peach pie. Which she ordered. The lady went and got the hot dogs and the two little cups of slaw and a little cup of chopped raw onions and put it all in the Varsity red and white box, that seems to hold in the heat.

Another lady, behind the counter was listening to all this and rung up the fried pie and we paid her while the first lady gathered up everything. She put the peach fried pie in a separate little paper bag and put it on top of the red and white box.

When we were driving down the road Anna looked in the sack to make sure she gave her a peach fired pie and not an apple fried pie when she discovered two peach fried pies. We only ordered and paid for one.

I blame the second incident for too many hands on the cash register, too many cooks cooking the stew, so to speak.



Blogger Susan said...

I think those folks that work at the varsity at Town Center sound almost Jamaican... definitely not the same as the one in Atlanta! But the food is just as good, they must have imported some of that old grease from the original store to start this one off right!

7:33 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

I agree. The food is just as good. I forgot if the one on North Avenue has it, but the one in Cobb has a big sign for the customers to read - a numbered menu sort of like a Mexican restaurant if you want a glorified cheeseburger and a chili dog, I'm sure there is a number you tell the guy at the cash register and probably takes away from interpretation/translation problems.

8:09 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

You're making me hungry!!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Me too!

8:13 AM  

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