There’s a Whataburger coming to Nashville. At least that’s what the news reports say. What they’re leaving out is there was at least one Whataburger here many years ago, a triangular orange building not far from where the Nashville Zoo is now. I know this because we went there for a field trip when I was in kindergarten. Why this was a field trip is a mystery to me, but it was close to the end of the year so our teacher may have been looking for any excuse to kill time.
Right now I think it’s not safe for kids to go back to school, a problem that could be fixed if more people would get vaccinated, but I hope that will change, and if it does I hope it means field trips can resume too because there are some lessons you just can’t learn in the classroom.
Many years after the Whataburger field trip when I was in high school, having somehow made it out of kindergarten, I was on another field trip. This one, I think, was supposed to be educational—a trip to a museum or historic site or something like that. I don’t really remember. What I do remember is we were allowed to go to lunch by ourselves and some friends and I went to a pizza place that I won’t name but had just introduced their new “personal pan pizza” with a special deal: the pizza was brought to your table in five minutes or it was free.
We each ordered one.
Five minutes went by.
Ten minutes went by.
When fifteen minutes passed we finally got the attention of the waitress who’d been ignoring us and asked where our pizzas were.
“I’ll go check,” she said, and went around the restaurant, ignoring us for another ten minutes. Finally she came back with our pizzas and the check. We said that the five minute guarantee meant we were supposed to get our pizzas free.
“That’s only for weekdays,” she said.
We pointed out that noon on a Thursday was very much a weekday.
“I have to check with the manager.”
After checking with the manager she came back and told us the guarantee only applied to adults, “not little kids”.
Several years after that I worked in a building that had one of the same pizza places next door. Every time anyone ordered a pizza they were charged a higher price than what was on the menu, and every time someone complained the manager would say, “That’s an old menu,” and if anyone pointed out that he should update the menu he’d tell them to get out, sometimes keeping their money without giving them their pizza. It didn’t take long for the place to close.
So today’s lesson is this: a healthy society depends on cooperation. Don’t be like those pizza place managers. Get vaccinated.