FOILED (literally) - halloween phase 2
I had everything all planned out. There are 18 Chipotles in the Denver area, but I decided trying to hit all 18 was a bit crazy for a few reasons:
1. I have a baby
2. Gas isn't free (although, prices are going down...)
3. What would we even do with that many free burritos?
4. I have a baby
So I narrowed my scope and decided to focus on 4 Chipotles. Each is with-in a mile of my house, and if I took the right route - I estimated we could hit them all in 35 minutes or so. With Brig and I both in costume I figured we could score 2 burritos per location. 8 burritos would surly be enough.
I know that the line gets longer as the day progresses (last year I waited in line for 30 minutes for my free burrito). So my goal was to hit all locations by 11:30. Chipotle opens at 11:00am, and right on schedule, I pulled into my first parking lot at 10:50am.
I walked in at 10:55am and triumphantly noticed I was the only customer. YES! I was right on track to beat the crowds!!! (I actually was a bit nervous when I left my house - what if people got there at 10:20am to wait outside and there was already a really long line? But luckily there wasn't another soul in sight. Apparently I'm the only one who waits for this event all year.)
I walked in and declared, "We've come for our free burritos!" The manager looked at me with a sad smile and said, "We don't start giving out free food until 6pm."
I looked down at Brig with a broken heart, and then slowly held him up so she could see him, "but...but...I dressed up my baby..."
She noted my crest fallen face, looked at Brig, and said, "Well...I'll give you one free burrito. Just don't tell anyone."
I sheepishly went through the line and got my pity burrito. I was so flustered I forgot to get my tortilla on the side or hot sauce. I swiftly walked to the car feeling totally ridiculous.
I was about to admit defeat and head home when it donned on me. If this super nice manager took pity on me and gave me a free burrito - wouldn't the others? I know, I know. HAVE I NO SHAME? But I really had my heart set on working my route. So I rallied my spirits, took a deep breath, and quickly sped off to location #2.
I cruised into the 2nd location feeling confident. Who can say no to burrito Brig? I hesitated for a second at the front door. Unlike the last Chipotle where I was the only customer for miles, this one already had a few eating - and a line waiting to order. At this Chipotle there might be a bit of a scene. My instincts told me to run...but...I was already there...
Just stick with your story I told myself. Just pretend you don't know about the 6pm rule.
I walked in and said, "We are here for our free burritos!"
Let me note I should have immediately noticed a difference between this chipotle staff an the last. The first group of workers were all decked out in costumes, jovially talked and laughed with one another, and gave me a big smile when I walked through the door. This new group was quite different. They were not in costume. They were not talking to each other. They were not smiling. They did not look happy.
Without even looking at me the girl pointed to a sign and said, "No free food until 6pm."
I raised up Brig and said, "...but look! ha ha. I dressed up my baby! ha ha ha." (I'm the worst actor.)
I held him up for about 10 seconds before she unwillingly looked at Brig. I kid you not, she didn't crack even a small smile. I might as well have been holding up an empty car seat. How do you not smile at a 3 month old dressed as a burrito?
She sighed and said, "Not till 6pm."
At this point it was like I stepped out of myself and was watching a scene take place in a movie. I know I should have left. Any fool would have left. But you know how once you start something ridiculous its seems impossible not to keep plugging along like an idiot?
"But, look! Look at the baby!"
She looked at the cashier as if to say Is this girl for real? And then said "Sorry. A manager would have to approve it."
At this point at least 4 other customers were watching the scene unfold. They probably thought I was homeless, or really really poor.
In a quiet, mousy, voice I actually said..."Well, can you get the manager?"
She paused for a second, and then went into the back room.
In the back I could hear chatter.
It sounded like heated chatter.
I wish I could decipher the details for you - but it was all in Spanish.
Next thing I know a MASSIVE and MEAN looking lady comes out. Is this the manager or the bouncer? She looked at me, looked at my baby and said, "trick or treaters come in the afternoon. That is why we do free food in the afternoon."
At this point I had come to my senses and wanted to run. I started to back away slowly. In an attempt to salvage a scrap of pride due to the small audience around me I said, "Ok...sorry...fair enough...it's just we have plans after 6pm...so I can't come later...but that is ok...I understand..."
I was almost to the door when she said, "What do you want?"
I paused, and then quickly placed an order. When I asked for guacamole she looked at me cryptically as if to say "you are really pushing your luck lady."
I got my free burrito and ran. I don't think a new car would be worth that humiliation...let alone a crappy six dollar burrito.
My only comfort comes in knowing Brig is too little to understand what I just put him through. When we got home he happily played with his new best friend as if it was just another ordinary day...