Photo: iStock

I’d like to tell you a brief story. Buckle up, Buttercup, because like Bandersnatch, this story could have (had) multiple endings.

On a recent mundane Friday in March, I found myself hungry. I’d planned to avail myself of the brand spanking new (and finally open) Busboys & Poets that recently opened its doors in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. But time got away from me, so I had to hit the freeway of love on the way to pick up my daughter for some weekend shenanigans. As I pulled up to the exit towards my daughter’s mother’s house, I realized I had enough time to go somewhere and sit and enjoy some food. This particular strip has a veritable cornucopia of unhealthy fast-food restaurants and none tickled my fancy so I chose Wendy’s because it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have a spicy chicken sandwich.

I got out of my vehicle and walked into the food place and got in line when I noticed a particularly aggie customer approach the counter where he presumably had just received his foodstuffs. This would prove to turn my otherwise mundane Friday into a motherfucking party. I will be quoting myself from Facebook from here on out.

Earlier today I watched an encounter escalate at a Wendy’s between an employee and a customer because the customer kept asking for seasoned dressing for his wife’s salad (she also asked for seasoned dressing) and the employee kept telling them they had no seasoned dressing, but maybe they meant Caesar? They vehemently disagreed and the restaurant volume increased.

I don’t really need to say this here but I’m going to. The annoyed couple was some black folks. I like demographic information and I know you do, too. They looked to be about in their mid-40s to lower-60s and literally could have been any fucking temperature in between. We need to be healthier, black people. I also realize the irony of me saying this as I stood in line at a Wendy’s. That chicken sandwich, tho. I’ll make a doctor’s appointment for next week. Moving on.

After a very tense back and forth the employee finally showed them the Caesar salad dressing and they were both like “THATS WHAT WE BEEN ASKING YOU FOR!!!” And had more choice words for the absolutely not in the wrong employee.

For the record, I and many others had no clue what seasoned dressing was either. And once the couple ruled out Caesar we were especially glad we were just trying to get chicken sandwiches.

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I cannot stress enough how confused EVERYBODY else in this ho was. Like, we were all looking at one another like, “What the fuck is seasoned dressing?” ESPECIALLY since Caesar had been ruled out, or so we thought. But that didn’t stop the increasing pissed-offedness. I legit thought homeboy (at this point, only the husband/boothang/uncle/cousin/some relation, I said wife earlier but I guess I don’t really know) was going across the counter at the employee who by all accounts really had no fucking clue what they were asking for but was also getting increasingly annoyed at the increasingly angry request for the phantom dressing. Because nobody did.

But then she showed them the pack and they got more irate because she wasn’t Miss Cleo and couldn’t clairvoyantly discern that these niggas wanted some of that Caesar goodness to go with their salad. Niggas gon’ nig and shit, and if you know like I know, you don’t want to step to this—and I agree—but these loud and wrong folks legit looked prepared to get to furniture movin’ over the fact that they didn’t know the right term and everybody else didn’t figure it out. Their wrongness almost became our public health issue because once square beef patties start flying, nobody wins.

There is no point to this story other than this: some of y’all need to stop letting your aunties and uncles call Caesar salad dressing “seasoned dressing.” Today was not their first time doing this. I’m not trying to go viral in a random video clip because your aunties go postal in Wendy’s because they don’t know no better.

Be better humans and correct your family members.

Listen, Linda. Please, please, please correct your aunties and uncles when they fuck up some commas. This encounter didn’t end in flying fists of fury (or viral videos), but it most certainly could have. Staff all stopped working, preparing for the worst and I don’t feel like I’m wrong by saying these folks all looked ‘bout that life. That’s no judgment; my food was wonderful. I’m just saying because these loud and wrong ass folks didn’t know no better, we all almost paid the price of y’all not telling your family members who clearly go to the grocery store and buy shit based on what it looks like and not what it says. I come from a family where folks say their own versions and remixes of things so I get it. I also must do better.

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But if I end up on the local news because your auntie pulls some activator out of her purse and I fall because she weaponized the bottle and a grease fire starts and I get trampled as folks try to run out (I fell remember, because activator juice)—without getting my sandwich, mind you—I’m gonna be upset. Don’t make people go viral; correct your aunties and uncles when they get shit wrong.

For the culture.