The Lengths Gone To

Dearest Rachel –

I don’t recall the family ordering Thanksgiving pies from Baker’s Square before, to be honest. Or maybe it’s just that I was never tasked with picking them up before. In any event, it never crossed my mind as to what to expect when I got there. I’d planned on picking up lunch for Daniel and myself, and threw in a load of laundry to wash while I was out (oh, and I discovered a slide-out tray I’ve been supposed to put my detergent before running the machine, but that might well be a whole other story, if it weren’t for the fact that I was just doing what we both did with the old machine, so I couldn’t be faulted for not knowing, like with the silverware drawer), but I didn’t see this coming:

In fairness, it would seem that Baker’s Square did. They had police and a sign out directing the flow of traffic as best they could.

You might recall that the place is situated next to an industrial park; in fact, you pretty much have to turn into the park in order to get to the restaurant parking lot. However, upon doing so, I found the left turn lane barricaded by traffic cones, and as I proceeded deeper into the industrial park, I saw a line of cars coming from the other direction, filing into the place.

I’m going to say that this picture, while it may say a thousand words in a certain context, doesn’t do the story justice. Perhaps an overhead shot would convey the idea that much better, but I haven’t the means to do so. Still, believe me when I tell you that it looked like the entire industrial park was filled with cars filing in to pick up their Thanksgiving pies, from every direction. I encountered maybe a dozen different police officers throughout the labyrinthine path I was directed through, trying to merge customers into a single line here, splitting us into two separate lines there, and guiding us through various hairpin U-turns along the way.

This includes snaking us through several parking lots, to minimize our effect on the actual roads wending their way through the park itself.

If you’re thinking this was like a vehicular version of a line, say, at a theme park for a particularly popular roller coaster, I’d say you’ve gotten the basic gist of the thing. I have to confess, I’m glad I hadn’t picked up lunch first, or been in any sort of hurry. This is the sort of situation where it’s not as if you could come back later, when things died down. Tomorrow being Thanksgiving, and today being pickup day, this was when you were supposed to show up, and that’s all there is to it. You just have to grin and bear in, as you creep forward in line. At least you’re not on your feet the whole time, getting sore in your soles while waiting (another reason to feel sorry for the police force on hand to direct us all around).

But for what it’s worth, there was surprisingly little in the way of acrimony or road rage. Even as I pulled into the industrial park at first, I found myself cross-talking with another motorist who confirmed that yes, all this traffic was for pie pick-ups, to head further in and follow the policemen directing traffic. She seemed to be in reasonably good spirits, for having endured such an interminable line; maybe the fact that she was almost at her goal had something to do with it.

The folks handling distribution seemed reasonably cheerful, too. Maybe it’s the holiday spirit, maybe it’s that business is just that brisk.

She said it took her twenty minutes to work her way through the line. Can I confirm that? Well, I didn’t think of timing my trip through, but I will say that I wrote more than six hundred words of this letter while waiting in line – and by hunt-and-peck typing, rather than dictating to Siri, since I had to stop regularly to advance ten feet or so at a time. So take of that what you will.

It all goes to show what amazing lengths people will go for a pie from this place; especially on Thanksgiving Eve. Now, I’m going to have to let you go, as I’ve got to get lunch for the two of us, now that I’m through all that.

Talk to you later; until then, keep an eye on me, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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