She had the pills in her mouth. She was just feeling them around with her tongue and teeth. And she heard the voice of her granddad.
--Meli! Where ya at, Mel?
She spat the pills out and dried them with the end of her long sleeve shirt, sinking her elbow back so that her hand was in the sleeve and able to grip and pinch the pills dry under the protection of the fabric. She placed the pills back in the little slot of the container with the capital M written on it. She had never had that many pills in her mouth before. She hadn’t even had that many Tic Tacs in her mouth before. Now she knew what it would feel like, just before.
--I’m coming, old man!
--Well, I’m not old enough to not take you, Mel. Remember that. He says, with a trailed off kind of nod and mumble.
She brings him the container filled with chemical strength, and he takes the capsules with his Yoo-hoo.
--Yoweee! C’mere, girl. Flex. Flex. He grabs her by the wrist and moves it up so that her elbow is at a right angle. Then, with the other hand he pinches her bicep. Flex!
--I’m not going to, Grand. I’ve got these babies on safety, remember? It’s not Granddad huntin’ season yet.
He laughs so hard he coughs.
--Plus, I better get going. I’ve got to go to work.
She hugs him goodbye, and they say they love each other, and confirm the next time they’d be together.
--Yeah, I’ll be back around six to make dinner.
She works at a fast food restaurant the size of an American SUV. Only two people work in it at a time. It’s a burger, fry, and milkshake and/or soft drink place. And that’s it. Drive through only, and the Swisher Combo is worth almost every penny. That’s sort of the slogan. The name of the place is Swisher’s Burger and Fries. There is only one combo meal, and it’s the Swisher Combo, and it comes with the entire menu—burger, fries, and a milkshake and/or soft drink. It costs $4.99, and Swisher’s doesn’t accept credit cards or checks and they don’t give change. To get the Swisher Combo, you must pay with an authentic Abraham Lincoln fiver. And when you do, the Swisher-C will prepare the meal, and the Swisher-T will take a penny from one jar and move it to another. And every 501st person to get a Swisher Combo gets it free of charge—paid for by the pennies of 500 other happy eaters.
--It’s a pretty dumb business model. I’m not sure how this place hasn’t closed down yet. The Swisher-C named Stephen says as he flips a burger.
--People like it, I guess, sort of like winning some burger lottery. Mel, the Swisher-T, says, as if she didn’t have a mind or care about what Stephen had to say.
--Yeah, people like it and all. But how does the place stay alive? It only takes fivers, no credit or debit and no change back. It’s only a drive through, save for the picnic table there out front, but you gotta park in the Target parking lot if you wanna get to it. I’m just baffled really. I mean, how do we still get paid?
Someone pulls up to the window.