Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dr. Seuss has a birthday, and an early automated fast food place

I was going to write about an early (1967) fast food place, the first in San Francisco, which was also really early to be computerized. 
  But then I was reminded that today Dr. Seuss would have been 109 years old.  So buckle up for the ride and the drive through.  I try to never, ever use a drive thru, I don't like them, to me they're inconvenient.

When I went by this place I put on my brakes,
and there were no Car Hops that came out on skates,
now the Car Hops are gone, and here in their place,
is a big machine and it has no face.

May I take your order, is all that they ask,
as if that by itself is a diligent task.
Where, oh where, are the girls on their skates;
I guess I'll wait to take my breaks.

And the inside there's a booth with a phone.
Yes!  This place makes you feel all alone,
call up and order, talk to the machine,
does that computer know what you mean.

And watch the food on a conveyor belt line,
burgers wrapped in cellophane, all in good time;
but there are no people with which to speak,
I should have waited another whole week.

So we now have those drive ups all over the place,
and astronauts may have them up there in space;
but, no I won't go through one in my car,
and I'm hoping the "skate girls" have their own star!

Okay, okay here's the scoop.  The photos may enlarge a little if you click.
1987 at Ott's Drive In, San Francisco.  A lot of people
didn't know what to do.
Photo: Bill Young, San Francisco Chronicle - he was there to record history
The computer, bigger than a modern refrigerator,
it was like the little ones today at McDonald's
each button was for a specific item.
Photo: Bill Young, SF Chronicle
Use a phone to order inside, and a jukebox too.
Photo: Bill Young, SF Chronicle

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