I love chocolate milk shakes. I just have a hard time getting anyone to make one for me. I mean I can make my own at home and do occasionally, but out on the road I have difficulty.
Now I’m not talking those instant faux milk shakes they offer at modern fast food outlets — no problem getting them. But they do not taste like real milk shakes.
I’m talking the kind the kind they typically serve (or did) at lunch counters, the kind they make with that weird mixer with the slim blade (not the egg beater mixer one might have at home — well everyone uses blenders now). The kind they serve you in a tall glass with the metal canister that it was made in on the mixer sitting beside your glass so when you finish the glass you have a whole additional glass of milk shake waiting for you.
I’m a long distance truck driver and in this kind of work one thinks about two things a lot: when do I get to hit the bunk and where is my next meal? At some point I got this craving for milk shakes. I mean I have always liked them, but one day out on the road years ago it occurred to me that, hey, I’m an adult, I can just stop and have one anytime (time permitting of course).
But I have encountered a strange phenomenon: a lot of people at restaurants or lunch counters don’t like making them, even though they are offered on the menu. Now this is not always the case, but then again it is often the case, at least in my own individual experience.
This is what I have encountered over the past several years:
I went into one well-known restaurant chain location and ordered a milk shake. The waitress looked kind of peeved at me and warned me it would be a while. I thought, oh, she must be pretty busy. Well I had time. I’d wait. But she went about doing all kinds of things, some of which did not seem all that important to me (such as stopping to gab with co-workers). And after some time it became apparent to me that she had no intention of ever making that milk shake. I just walked out. By that time I had no more time.
At another place, I ordered a milk shake and I could see by the expression on the waitress’ face that she was not delighted with the order. And I should add that in these cases a milk shake is an order that your waitress or waiter makes up, not someone in the kitchen (I mean you knew that, but it’s an added chore for the wait person I am emphasizing).
The waitress asked a co-worker to make the milkshake. An argument ensued over who would make it. I got up and said: “that’s okay, I’ll just skip it.” The whole situation was ludicrous, annoying, and somewhat embarrassing to me.
And here’s one: for years I would pass this ice cream parlor near a truck stop. There would be some trucks parked in front. Finally one day when I was having one of those milk shake cravings I chose to stop there. I forget the name of the place but it was a woman’s first name. From the conversation inside and observation I took it that the older lady who waited on me was the owner. I sat down at a lunch counter stool and ordered a milk shake. She told me it would be a while. And it was. She took her time waiting on and gabbing with other people. But I waited it out. The milk shake as I recall was nothing special — I thought maybe at a place specializing in ice cream, but anyway…
And then there was the time not long ago that I ordered a milk shake in a newly refurbished truck stop restaurant. The waitress turned up her nose and said they did not serve milk shakes, they specialized in “fine dining”. Hey, I’ve eaten the food there and there is nothing “fine” about it, mediocre at best. She said that they sometimes had them made up in an adjacent deli counter but their machine was broken. But she did serve me a milk shake. She did it the way I have done it sometimes. She simply stuffed some ice cream into a glass and added some milk and stirred it all together with a spoon — in that “fine dining” restaurant.
And my most recent experience was at still another truck stop restaurant. I ordered a milk shake and the waitress got that now quite familiar expression on her face that seemed to ask “why me?”
She then proceeded to wait on other customers and do various other chores — and in no particular hurry. But finally she came back to the milk shake machine and proceeded to dish out the ice cream and put it on the mixer. But she left that thing there for what seemed an eternity and went about doing other things, such as wiping off tables and whatever else wait staff do, including waiting on customers — but the place was not real busy at the time. I of course should have reminded her about my milk shake or asked someone else. I chose to leave.
I’m getting the message. The hired help does not like to make milk shakes.
But the cravings will get to me and I will keep ordering them from time to time.
And if I want one bad enough I guess I’ll just wait and not be afraid to remind whoever of my order.