Oil Spill in the Loop

Photo Credit

I forgot to go to the grocery store, the week got away from me, and all of a sudden I was going out at lunch to pick up a sandwich at Subway in the Loop — and then this people watching gem happened…

Two girls standing in front of me in line to order.

Girl 1: Yeah so anyway I’ve been on Weight Watchers.

Girl 2: You look really great. I was going to say something.

Girl 1: Yeah, it was just a lot of weight put on while I was in school I needed to just deal with it.

Girl 2: Totally.

TIME OUT! Do you see what’s happening here? Girl 1 is really excited she’s losing weight. She’s about to order at Subway using the skills WW taught her with the points system. Girl 2 will subconsciously (perhaps consciously) take this information into effect while she orders. If she orders after Girl 1 she will definitely order with this in mind.

Subway worker: Next.

Girl 1: I’ll have the Veggie Delight Salad. No cheese. No olives. Light oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Subway worker: Next.

Girl 2: Ugh. I’ll have a salad too. Um. I’ll have turkey on the top, but no cheese.

The Subway worker now reaches for some dressing before Girl 2 can even react —


Meanwhile, this little outburst has caused the 20 or so people in line for lunch to turn, stare, and openly laugh at this young professional who is near tears. Girl 2 is still focused on her own catastrophic oil spill and with a panic stricken face attempts to think of damage control while somehow redeeming herself. The Subway worker is horrified. I’m hysterically laughing, looking at the line of people laughing, looking at the girl in joyful disbelief, and then laughing some more. How do I get this lucky?

Girl 2: I don’t know…um …can you take off the top layer with all of that oil….or I don’t know…

How about this Girl 2, why don’t you stop freaking out? Kindly ask the Subway worker to redo the salad and apologize for your caloric brain spasm. We don’t need to use a Top Kill procedure to save your lunch. This will not be the end of the world. Maybe Girl 2 could call up BP CEO Tony Hayward and provide her “can’t you take off the top layer with the oil” Subway skills to help clean up the Gulf. She’ll be the Jared of oil spill clean ups. If only she could see her own potential.

And on that note, the amount of people who don’t know what’s going on in the world around them amazes me. I would suspect that if I stood in Millennium Park and asked some random individuals to provide me with five details about Justin Bieber or five details about the BP oil spill that more people would go Bieber Fever. I get it. He has an iconic hair cut. Will it take off with men and women like Kate Gosselin’s signature hair cut did? No. Anyone can brush their hair forward, slick it in place with some Aqua Net, and cut away enough hair to see their eyes, nose and mouth. I just provided five details about Justin Bieber. Perfect.

Have a great Memorial Day!


About Caitlin Fitzgibbons

Caitlin is an UPchicago.com contributor with a bi-weekly column on people-watching in the city.

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