A Coyote Shell Game

I had lunch at a Carl's Jr. the other day. I was out running errands when my stomach reminded me that I hadn't eaten yet. Carl's Jr. was convenient and good enough for my purposes, so I grabbed the book I was reading and headed in.

Gazing over their options, I settled on a double cheeseburger —  some sort of western thing, with onion rings and barbeque sauce. According to the menu, this was option number five of their "value meal" menu. Number four was a single burger of the same type, but I was hungrier than that.

I placed my order, paid, got my order number and my drink cup.

As I was filling my cup with soda, I heard Coyote chuckle.

"What are you laughing at?" I asked suspiciously.

He shrugged, puffing on a cigarette. "You should have ordered the chicken."

I rolled my eyes. "If I wanted chicken, Coyote, I'd've gone to KFC."

He chuckled, shrugged again and said, "I'm sure."

It can be pointless trying to talk to him when he's like this, so I just found a table and started reading.

They brought me my food quite quickly —  a large fries and a chicken sandwich. With an exasperated sigh I grabbed the sandwich and my receipt and headed up to the counter. Coyote was laughing at me.

I told the man at the counter that there had been a mistake. I'd ordered a number five. He said that that was right and pointed at the menu. Sure enough, number five was a chicken sandwich.

Coyote was now laughing uproariously.

I sighed, apologized, admitting that the fault was mine. The man asked what I had meant to order. I told him and he got it for me. It was fifty cents more, but he didn't ask for any more money.

As I was heading back to my table, Coyote was finally winding down his laughter. He was wiping tears from his eyes.

"I got you," he teased. "Oh man, you had no idea you were ordering chicken. You looked right at that number four and saw number five. I even made the three look like a four. Damn, I'm good. I don't even care that you didn't eat the chicken."

"Yep," I said with a chuckle. "You got me." I had to give him his due. He tricked me.

"And I saved you fifty cents in the bargain." He started chuckling again.

After that he let me eat lunch in peace, just chuckling every once in a while.


Four Winds Bar

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