Ferdinand stood at in line, waiting.
Finally, he was at the front, and the person behind the counter said, “Next please.”
Ferdinand walked up. “Hi, could I get a root beer float, but made with, uh, orange soda?”
The person behind the counter frowned. “I don’t think I can do that.”
“Why not? Do you have orange?”
“Yes, but – ”
“Then why can’t you put ice cream in the orange, rather than in root beer?”
“Because it’s a root beer float. Not an orange float.”
“Okay, can I get an orange float?”
“Sorry, we don’t have those here.”
Ferdinand felt his frustration mounting. “Okay, can I order an orange soda, and add in a scoop of ice cream?”
The person behind the counter frowned again. “I’m going to have to check with my manager.”
“Please do.” Ferdinand waited while the employee went in back. A minute later, an older man came out.
“You the fellow who wanted orange and ice cream?” the man said.
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Sorry fellow, we don’t do that.”
“Just don’t. Please order something else, or let the next person in line through.”
Ferdinand stared for a second, unable to figure out why this was such an ordeal. He held a hand up, annoyance floating above it.
“Sir, step aside, if you’re not ordering anything. Next please!” The man turned and went in back, and the employee returned to the cash. The next person in line stood beside Ferdinand, ordering a root beer float. Ferdinand turned and walked out the door, confusion and frustration mingling in his head.