Friday, May 19, 2006

Alien Nation

I went into a Wendy's last weekend. The girl at the counter asked me a four-word question: 'Can I help you?' Those were the ONLY four words of English I heard. After taking my order, the girl started speaking in Spanish to all the other workers...Mr. Drink, Ms. Burger, and Ms. French Fry. Not a word of English among them. Upon leaving the counter with my bagged order, other workers in the restaurant spoke to each other in Spanish, too. After 'Can I help you?', everything else was in Spanish.

There's a growing unease about the 'Press 1 for English' America we live in now. Back at the turn of the century, everyone crowed about the marvelous vision of 'The Global Economy.' To be sure, we've enjoyed the dividends of that. But what I encountered last weekend was also a by-product of this 'global economy.' And what struck me most was that this Wendy's wasn't in Dallas, or San Diego, or Los Angeles. It was right here in New Hampshire! Since the genie can't be put back into the bottle, one wonders what kind of 'America' we'll have ten years out or twenty years out.

The biggest irony of all: A mile or two down the road from this Wendy's sits an abandoned...Taco Bell.


At 7:31 PM, Blogger Raven said...

uuuhhh..this must be in Milford???



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