motor scooters and the return of the five dollar buck lunch

Five days a week at approximately 6:30 AM, I drive Berni two miles down the road to a shopping center where the relatively reliable vitamin shop where she works as a “consultant” is located. Since it is a shopping center, the ubiquitous Starbucks has a stand-alone building with a drive-through window is right up front along the road.

This morning I saw something that I had never seen before: a bright red motor scooter was taking up one of the Starbucks parking spaces all by itself. A motor scooter apparently being used as a mode of transportation on the streets of modern America!

A motor scooter in a part of the country noted for traffic congestion and really lousy drivers, most of whom delight in multi-tasking behind the wheel with their cell-phone affixed to one hand at all times.

I can think of only two sights involving vehicles more incongruous than someone riding a scooter in today’s traffic in Redmond, Washington: an aging white man in a “lowrider,” and anyone BUT a white man or woman behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Beetle!

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The return of the “five dollar buck lunch”

When leaving the shopping center, the exit is right turn-only. Therefore, my return trip is a somewhat different route than my earlier drive. So it was that I passed a chain restaurant that I had written about last year on this blog. They had returned a special dining offer to their marquee:

$5 BUCK LUNCH

While I understand the intent of these words, they got it wrong. The “$5” symbol is universally understood to mean “five dollars.” The word “buck” is American slang for “dollar.” Therefore, the symbol followed by the two words above read as “Five dollar buck lunch.”

Reading it this way—that is, reading it literally and therefore “correctly”—one could not be unduly criticized for assuming that the restaurant was offering a luncheon special featuring venison! This is not the first time that I have written about this Eats, Shoots & Leaves-worthy grammatical boner.

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“Motor scooters and the return of the five dollar buck lunch” is dedicated to Bill and Pam—still tooling around on the East Coast looking for thrills, spills, and record collections—from Neal and Berni on the West Coast waiting . . .

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