To this day I’m still unsure whether I love lasagna because I read too much “Garfield” or if I liked Garfield because I strongly identified with the urge to shove my face in a family-sized pan of layered pasta and fettuccine, but as neither option says much about my emotional/physical well-being, I’m inclined to ignore both like I do all my other concerning personality traits. What’s important here is that I get across what lasagna means to me because I’m trying to set up a tragedy.
Yesterday afternoon, sitting in one of the few places I think are as close as you can get to dying while alive—the business school study room during finals week—I decided to treat myself and order some good food via DoorDash. (DoorDash is an app through which you order meals from restaurants and “dashers” deliver the food to you.) I got the Lasagna Bolognese from True Food Kitchen, an incredible restaurant less than ten minutes south of campus.
I placed the order around 4:10 PM and announced to my friends that my lasagna was on its way. It’d be here in an hour, I told them. Shane the dasher had accepted the order and would be here at 5:21. They didn’t question why I thought it necessary information for everyone probably because I’ve conditioned everyone around me to tolerate my antics.
Half an hour later, I began to worry. The order tracking page was still indicating that Shane was heading to True Food, and the progress bar hadn’t budged. I reasoned with myself that the drive was only ten minutes and that the order might still arrive as scheduled.
5:30, I received a message that said the order would be delayed by ten minutes, which was a relief. I checked the order tracking page. And did a double-take.
The route had reloaded. It had been a simple ten-minute drive straight up to campus. Now it was showing a winding path that would go west from True Food, head miles north of my location, and loop backward, adding 60-70 more minutes to the wait.
I passed my phone around, laughing at the ridiculous glitch, before calling Shane. He didn’t pick up.
Friend, half an hour later: What happened to your lasagna?
Me: Standing me up, I think.
It wasn’t a glitch. The tracking page indicated that Shane was actually taking the absurdly long route. The ETA was now 105-115 minutes.
Friend 2: Do you have to pay him?
Me: I already did. Tip and everything.
Watching Shane’s icon move further and further away from my location, I called customer service. The rep tried to call him, but he’d gone rogue. I asked to cancel the order, and the rep immediately refunded the credits I’d used.
Friend 2: Do you think he did it on purpose?
Me: There’s no way he was stupid enough to mistake a ten-minute drive for a two-hour one.
Friend 3: Yeah, and Google Maps isn’t that stupid, either.
Friend 2: So he just picks up an order and gets the customer to cancel it and then the food and tip are his?
Me: What a system. He’s probably in his car eating the lasagna right now.
I didn’t have much heart for accounting after that. The sky had darkened outside, and of course it’d begun to rain. Cold and drenched and miserable thinking about the lasagna that could’ve been, I trekked back to my apartment and just ate an entire can of black beans in silence.
I still can’t make up my mind whether I should find the situation funny or not. On one hand, there’s always humor in small misfortunes—that’s the whole premise of this blog—and I was grudgingly impressed by the scamming. On the other, when in the future people ask “who hurt you?” to try to understand how I came to be bitter and untrusting, I’ll have an exact moment to point to.
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