You’re at a North Shore hot dog shack, a favorite around here. It’s crowded wall to wall, as usual. You and others stand shoulder to shoulder placing orders over a chin-high glass divider wide enough to hold trays as they fill with food and move down the line.
Talented short-order geniuses hustle to assemble sandwiches and other delicacies, then plunk them onto the trays that — and this is worth repeating — are about “chin-high.”
Your family’s hot and gorgeous order has just been completed. Your tray’s jammed with BBQ chicken sandwiches, a char dog with the works, piles of fries. You pay and grab the tray with both hands, bringing it toward you.
A tallish woman next to you sneezes.
The sneeze is sudden and not her fault. She looks like a very nice lady. Plus, she’s apparently well-mannered because she instinctively chooses not to sneeze in the direction of companions who are on her other side. Instead, she quickly pivots toward you.
It’s the perfect storm. An uncanny, unexpected, unkind quirk of fast-food fate. As your tray moves under her swiveling face, the sneeze happens.
Airborne particles, visible and invisible (but well-remembered from a documentary on public TV that filmed sneeze spray with slow motion strobe lighting), creates a blast radius with your food at ground zero.
What do you do?
Do you ignore the moment, forget it and take your tray to a table, then dig in with gusto as planned? Or, do you calmly walk to the garbage cans, toss everything in and call it a day?
What do you do?