#172 – Just Passing Through

I’m no fan of drive-thru windows. I don’t frequent them, and whenever I’m with my wife I refuse to let her use them. Unfortunately, I see no sign of their numbers or scope diminishing. If anything, their applications seem to be escalating!

Sure, I’ve heard all the justifications. People are in a rush, and the windows offer needed convenience. But America’s fat enough as it is, and drive-thru windows encourage laziness. Also, all those idling vehicles pollute the environment.

I can’t speak for the entire country, but I can safely say drive-thru windows have run amok here in Georgia. In addition to the usual suspects – banks and fast food restaurants – we have drive-thru pharmacies, coffee shops and even dry cleaners. As far as I can tell, the citizens of this State hold a deep-seated aversion to their feet touching pavement.

Some years ago, I witnessed my first express lane at a dry cleaner. In disgust, I jotted down a list of additional drive-thru applications conceivably looming on the horizon. I believed laziness would reach its pinnacle if and when any of those ideas saw the light of day. Here’s my list:

          • Emergency rooms
          • Gun shops
          • Funeral parlors
          • Strip clubs
          • Government offices
          • Churches
          • Liquor stores

As I’ve learned in recent years, drive-thru services in just about every one of my theoretical categories have come to fruition somewhere in this country. Government offices have been the sole exception, as far as I know. Until today, I’d never heard of drive-thru county or municipal services. But this morning I happened to read how certain Georgia counties offer drive-thru windows in their tax commissioners’ offices! As a result, residents can now forego a fifty foot trek from their cars when paying property taxes or renewing their vehicle registrations.

After hearing the unwanted news, I immediately telephoned my wife. I vented for a minute or two, and she expressed condolences for my loss. Sophia said she wholeheartedly agreed with my views on the subject too, which I felt glad to hear.

Having wound down a bit, I asked her what she was doing. She replied: “Oh; I’m at Starbucks getting a pick me up.”

I was about to say goodbye when I heard the telltale sound of a car’s horn echoing from my headset. Sighing theatrically, I offered my best Julius Caesar: “You’re in the drive-thru lane, aren’t you? Et tu, Sophia?”

 
 
 
A drive-thru window in the works at one Georgia Tax Commissioner’s office

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