As I made my way through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru today, it dawned on me that even though the technological advancements of our country have given us such wonders as i-Phones, artificial hearts, and Tang, we still haven’t developed a drive-thru intercom system that outputs ungarbled speech.
No matter which fast-food bastion I choose to visit without exiting my vehicle, my order is always read back to me in a language that not even a Star-Wars interpreter droid could understand. At Dunkin today, my conversation went something like this:
Me: I’d like a box of the 50-count Munchkins, assorted.
Drive-thru speaker: You’d lshieheno lseir ei ni shh shhh sh mme a 25 whh whhh?
Me: No, not the 25-count — a 50-count please.
Drive-thru speaker: Ok, sljdjdj shh mee mee shmee shmaw total is shmee shaww wuuu…
Me: (sigh) OK, I’ll drive around.
Exactly what kind of microphone-speaker systems do these places use? I got better clarity when I made tin-can-and-string phones when I was a kid. Mark my words: the person who invents an intelligible drive-thru voice clarification system will lead this country out of recession (that is, if we’re really in a recession…).
Also, am I the only person who has spent many a sleepless nite wondering why it’s spelled drive-thru instead of drive-through?