Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Mr. Satisfaction

"Dad, how do I put in a three-point-five if only a three and four are available? Because the food was better than 'good', but I don't think it was 'excellent'." Eli 8.8 has discovered the customer satisfaction survey, which was handed to us on our most recent visit to Freddie's Steakburger.

We stop at Freddie's every week, because after a forty minute ride (or sometimes longer) on a unicycle, we're both starving, and Freddie's is on the way home.

When the Freddie's clerk handed me the customer satisfactions survey, Eli's eyes lit up. "Dad, can I fill that out?" he asked. I handed it to him, and while I sat in the booth waiting for our order, he scrutinized the survey like he was taking the SAT. When he finished, he handed it to me and said, "Everything was 'Good' or 'Excellent' except for the bathrooms. I gave them between 'Bad' and 'Average' because there's kind of a smell."

"If you ever walk into a new restaurant and aren't sure if you want to eat there," I said, "just go check the bathroom. If it's sparkling clean, it's probably excellent. If it's nasty, keep driving."

"Does that mean we wouldn't eat here?" he asked.

"We would, because the bathroom is clean," I said. "It just has a little bit of a funky odor."

It's a good thing Eli didn't grow up when I did, because when I was a kid, there were bathrooms at gas stations that could send you into therapy for twenty years.
We went to see "How To Train Your Dragon" last week, and on the way back, we started talking about societies and isolation. Eventually, I said that that there was at ime when if people lived in a valley surrounded by mountains, there was a good chance that they had never seen someone from beyond those mountains. Everyting they knew and understood depended on their little world.

Seriously, I just teed up about fifty political jokes, but I'm going to pass.

Eli listened to this very carefully, then said, "Dad, that could NEVER happen. OF COURSE people knew about the outside world."

"Why is that?" I asked.

"Well, duh," he said. "The INTERNET!

Next topic: the history of the Internet.
When Eli's grandmother (my mother-in-law) was in town last week, Gloria talked about going on a wildflower drive.

"Dad, what's a wildflower drive?" Eli asked.

"Well, it's where you take a two-hour drive and every half hour you see a field of wildflowers and you go 'Wow! Those are beautiful!' "

"That's it?" he asked.

"Ask your mother," I said.

"Yeah, that's about it," Gloria admitted. There would be no wildflower drive.

However, when we were all driving to dinner, Gloria's mom was talking about how she hoped to see some bluebonnets, and Eli burst in a few seconds later with "Look over there--that hill is INFESTED with them!"

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