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Angela, Captain D’s and my quest for free shrimp

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Severo Avila

Severo Avila is Features Editor at the Rome News-Tribune.

I’d like to lodge a formal complaint against an employee of the Captain D’s in Rome.

She’s a little too good at what she does.

Here’s the back story — for quite a while now, Captain D’s (on Turner McCall, across from Taco Bell) has had this little sign on the drive-thru speaker that says:

Free Shrimp. If we do not suggest 5 butterfly shrimp before we give you your total, you will get them free!!!

Let me first say, in case it’s unclear, that I LOVE the food at Captain D’s. I realize it may not be the most healthy meal option out there. Yes, I know it can be greasy and almost everything’s fried but that’s what makes it so delicious.

I always get the two piece fish plate which comes with two sides. I ask for DOUBLE fries as my two sides. I love the little “cracklins” they put in there with the fried fish. I guess those are just the little pieces of fried batter. They’re delectable. I should probably just ask for those as a side.

Anyhow, the meal always comes with hushpuppies which I DO NOT enjoy so I give those away, sometimes to my coworker Tona who loves them.

And to top it all off, I’ll bathe everything in half a gallon of malt vinegar.

Malt vinegar is really the only condiment that’s appropriate to have with Captain D’s. I rank malt vinegar right up there with Dale’s Sauce when it comes to the perfect complement to food. You can’t beat those two for flavor. They go well with anything.

But I digress.

So anyhow, for years I’ve been going to Captain D’s and for years I’ve been waiting on the drive-thru worker to mess up and forget to offer me the five shrimp before she gives me my total.

And it seems to me like it has always been the same lady working there since I can remember. Her name is Angela, I believe. She is very nice and always patient with customers. And if for some reason my double fries take a long time, she’ll always apologize for my wait and it seems like she has a kind word for everybody who pulls up.

HOWEVER, Angela’s a little too on-point. NOT ONCE has she forgotten to offer me those shrimp before she gives me my total. Just once I’d like her to slip up so I can get them for free.

As it is, she never fails to ask if I want to add them to my meal, and with great annoyance I usually go ahead and add them. But would it kill her to slip up every now and again and let me have five shrimp for free? It’s five shrimp for goodness sakes. Captain D’s can afford to give me five shrimp. I’ve almost single handedly kept the franchise alive for the past 10 years.

It’s the least Angela could do.

So the last time I was there, I ordered and Angela asked If I wanted anything else. I said no and there was a long pause. I thought “This is it. This is the day she slips up and I get my shrimp for free.” She was going to give me my total and tell me to drive around and all those years of waiting would have been completely worth it.

But lo and behold her voice came over the speaker asking me if I wanted to add five shrimp for just over a $1. It was like a kick in the gut. I was so close....and yet so far.

Of course I grudgingly told her to add the shrimp and when I drove around I made sure to finally confront her and tell her that her professionalism and sharp memory were both extremely frustrating to me.

And she APOLOGIZED. She seemed genuinely sad that she had caused me to not get free shrimp for so long. Then I couldn’t even be mad at her because she was sincerely apologizing to me for doing her job well. Not only had she robbed me of my free shrimp, but now she was robbing me of my anger.

I just can’t win with Angela.

She’s good. But she’s got to have a weakness and I’ll find it. No one can be at the top of their game ALL the time. She’s not a machine.

I’ll continue to go to Captain D’s on a regular basis because I really enjoy the food but also because now it’s personal. Now I’m on a quest to get Angela to forget the shrimp. Mark my words. I won’t rest until I get those five shrimp for free.

Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune