I definitely have a “contrarian” streak in me. And not just because I’m a senior either, although I’ll concede that the streak may have become deeper in my…seniority. 😉
A contrarian method is perfect for poker players. When you have a great hand, you want to look weak and hope someone will take the bait so you can win most of their chips. That usually only works big once but after that you can “reverse” your play. When you have a mediocre hand and it appears everyone else does too, your “table image” from that previous play allows you to bet if everyone else has checked because they believe you’ve got a good hand.
Investing in the stock market often also supports a contrarian approach. When most folks are selling, prices are dropping and so it may be a good time to buy for “value.” When most folks are buying, prices may be rising and so it may be a good time to sell and lock in your gains.
What I find…interesting…is how many folks in the U.S. don’t like to walk much. At the mall, I’ll see cars circling, waiting to find a parking spot close to the entrance rather than walk from an open but more distant spot. Not me.
Especially in our brutal summer, when the temperature is routinely in the mid to high 90’s, I like to park in the shade so the car isn’t as hot as if I had parked in the open. And most of the shade at the mall is on the end furthest from the entrances. We’re only talking about 150 yards but I rarely have a problem finding one of the few parking spaces under the trees. For me, walking that 150 yards is a bit of exercise which I suspect many of the “circlers” could benefit from.
So it was no surprise to hear on the news that fast food restaurants have found that a good 70% of their business is from the drive-through. And that is borne out by a McDonald’s near me that typically has about six to eight cars in the drive through lane during “busy” periods and only two or three cars parked. But do those drive-in folks park and walk into the store so they can get their order faster? Apparently not, even though McDonald’s parking lot is miniscule compared to the mall’s.
I’m not a fan of drive throughs. I’ll just blame the usual suspect: my Manila childhood. There were no drive throughs when I was growing up. (If there were any, I sure didn’t know about them.)
I remember one day my parents told me we were going out for a special lunch at a new restaurant. We got into our Galaxy 500 XL convertible (just like the one at right) put the top down, and drove for what was way too long for lunch. We finally arrived and…
I’d not seen anything like this restaurant before. You didn’t go inside to eat; instead you ate outside in the car. This new restaurant was an A & W, which I’ve not seen in years but which is hanging on in some cities.
I found it… interesting… that the servers skated out to take our order. I remember liking the root beer, although I liked the local “Sarsi” (sarsaparilla) better. I don’t even remember the hamburger so it must not have impressed me.
Today’s “A & W” is Sonic, which I do like. Not for their burgers but for their hot various hot dogs. My favorites are the foot long quarter pounder with chili and the Chicago dog, which has hot peppers.
Although Sonic is a “drive in” and you can order from, and eat in, your car as you do with a drive-through, I don’t like to eat in the car and so I sit at an outside table. Not in summer when it’s way too hot to be outside even in the shade but fall and spring are nice for dining “al fresco.”
The Sonic in my neighborhood is right across from a city park built around a “lake” (retention pond. So after eating that hot dog and fries, I can walk the calories off with a stroll around the lake.
Next time you pull into a drive-through with a long line, why not be a contrarian and park instead and go inside so you can be served faster. Just walk right it…!