COVID-19 AND THE BRAWL AT TACO ON THE BLOCKO

Jeffrey Black was excited and nervous at the same time. He had been in Home Isolation for six weeks and his bubble (the people he interacted with) was extremely small. He had made most of his contact with family and friends through Zoom. A process that was starting to feel redundant and uninspired. What prompted him to get excited was the idea of going to a restaurant for take out.

When it was announced that only three people in the county he lived in had contracted the Corona Virus and nobody was in the local hospital with it, there was a celebration. A few of the local restaurants opened for take out and Jeffrey was ready.

He had become proficient at barbecuing. He made steaks, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs on a regular basis. He also knew how to open a can of soup, macaroni, and beans. Every morning he had some oatmeal, or eggs. He made his eggs in different ways and loved the fact that in the future if he needed to impress a date he could whip up Eggs Florentine.

Jeffrey studied the restaurants in his neighbourhood that had re-opened and decided on ‘’TACO ON THE BLOCKO’’. The company that owned the restaurant had spent months renovating, and Jeffrey thought it was a good sign that everything would be clean and guidelines would be followed.

There were three ways to order, you could decide what you wanted online, send the order and then just walk in and pick it up. You could go through the drive thru or you could enter the store.

Jeff pulled up to the TACO ON THE BLOCKO location and couldn’t believe the number of cars lined up in the drive thru, he hadn’t ordered in advance, so his only option was to go into the restaurant. There was a sign that read ‘’Six people only allowed in the restaurant.’’ When he walked in, he counted three other people.

He placed his order and stepped away from the counter and found a spot at the back of the restaurant. Within seconds people started walking in, showing their orders on their Smart Phones and picking them up and leaving. Between the cars in the drive thru and the advance orders, it was taking forever for his Crunchy Burrito with a side of Nachos to be made.

Much to his chagrin, Jeffrey noticed that people were filing into the restaurant. They were all showing their orders on their phones, and then situating themselves in the restaurant to wait. At one point Jeffrey counted sixteen people, which was not comfortable and made a joke of the sign on the door.

He was forced to move, when a guy came in without a mask on and started coughing close to where he was standing.

A terrible thing happened when Jeffrey moved, he had a perfect view into the kitchen and he felt sick. There was a guy standing over the food, making it and not wearing a mask. The girl beside him was exactly the same. It was ridiculous.

Things went from bad to worse when Jeffrey observed the food maker without the mask, rubbing his arm on his face. It was nauseating.

Jeffrey went to the counter and asked for the Manager, when he complained about the workers making food with no masks, the Manager looked at him like he was from a different planet. ‘’Sorry Sir, but it gets hot in the back. Do you want your money back?’’ Jeffrey said yes, and she asked him to sign a receipt that she gave back money. He wrote on the receipt. ‘’Refunded because employees making the food aren’t wearing masks, and store over crowding. When she returned his money, Jeffrey couldn’t wait to get out of the place. He was heading out the door when he looked back at a couple who were arguing with the guy who had been coughing.

‘’I don’t have to wear a fukin’ mask if I don’t want to, so go fk yourself.’’ The woman said, ‘’You’re in ignorant son of a bitch, you coughed on me. Why don’t you learn some manners, you asshole.’’ It was at that point that the cougher, threw a punch at her. He hit her in the shoulder and she fell back. Her boyfriend or husband than started throwing punches at him and the fight was on. Instead of trying to break it up, people were pulling out their cellphones to record it.

Jeffrey Black watched for a couple of seconds but wasn’t surprised by what was happening. TACO ON THE BLOCKO was a disaster. They could have renovated everything, but when you have bad management, terrible things are not a surprise. He felt relieved that he hadn’t gone through the Drive Thru or he would never had known that people making the food were so irresponsible.

As he was heading home, Police cars with lights flashing and sirens blaring were passing him to get to TACO ON THE BLOCKO.

It had been a miserable experience and a complete let down. After weeks in Home Isolation, Jeffrey still hadn’t had a meal from an outside source. He took it as a message from above. As he stood in front of the barbeque looking at the hotdogs on the grill, he was sorry he had wasted forty five minutes of his life, waiting for a Crunchy Burrito, but he was also glad he hadn’t eaten anything made by the idiot without a mask.

As far as the fight in TACO ON THE BLOCKO, it was already posted to YouTube. He watched with interest because someone in the restaurant hadn’t gotten the message. As the two men were rolling around, the woman at the counter kept yelling’’Crunchy Burrito for Jeffrey, Crunchy Burrito for Jeffrey, It’s ready for you.’’ Could it have gotten any more nerdier.

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.