How Many Teenagers Does It Take? Or, my dad was right, the future of the country is in peril

A few days ago, I went to grab some subs for dinner. Nothing unusual in this, just a quick run up to the local Grinder’s. When I arrived, there were two teenage guys outside the shop, smoking away. I was pretty sure that they were not of legal age to have purchased their cigarettes, so I was a bit baffled about why they got a smoke break. But, I never took a labor law class in law school, so I just wrote it off as one of life’s mysteries.

I went inside and mercifully found no line. I was in a bit of a hurry since I had plans to meet friends in about 45 minutes. I still had to eat, change into an outfit that camouflaged my 18 problem areas, drive to where we were meeting, and attempt to park my car within 15 blocks of the bar. It was going to be tight, but since there is no line, it looked do-able. There I was, happily placing my order with the girl at the register, when suddenly she looked me dead in the eye and said, “I have to go on my smoke break.” And she left. Just walked away, order half placed.

After I got over my shock, I looked around to find there was nobody else in the entire sub shop. I waited. And waited. Yep, and still waited. I just kept thinking she would come back, that this was some kind of sub shop prank. Just as I was contemplating a recon mission, Smoker One and Smoker Two came back in. They sauntered causally to the area behind the register and did their best to avoid making eye contact with the semi-perturbed customer (aka Me). Finally, aware that my outfit picking time was becoming more and more limited, I asked them if I could finish placing my order. Smoker One boldly told me, “No, we only make the subs tonight, we aren’t on register.” I asked him if he was serious, but the only reply I got was two sulky teenagers leaning up against the prep area, giving me increasingly sullen looks. So again, I waited. And waited. And contemplated why scientist hadn’t come up with a genetic modification that made people skip ages 12-19. Finally, the register girl came back.

Once again, I started to place my order. When I got to the part where I asked for a 6 inch pizza sub, she stopped me. “We don’t have any sauce.” “Are you out?” I asked. “No, I put it away for the night.” “But you don’t close for another 4 hours,” I whispered in fury. “Tough shit,” she said. In that moment, I felt my face contort into a shape I had previously only seen on my mother when she was refraining from strangling my teenage self. God help me, I was officially wearing the face of An Exasperated Adult. In that moment, I knew I had truly grown up.

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One Response to “How Many Teenagers Does It Take? Or, my dad was right, the future of the country is in peril”

  1. Laina Says:

    OMG, I would have drug her little teenage ass over the counter and beaten her black and blue if she told me “tough shit”. Un-fucking-believable. I’d be getting all their asses fired, too, for not waiting on me then being so rude.

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