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$17 Dollar Mashed Potatoes


By Sheila L. ChingwaPublished about a month ago β€’ 6 min read
Top Story - October 2023
$17 Dollar Mashed Potatoes
Photo by Wouter Supardi Salari on Unsplash

Life has given me the opportunity to explore other means of employment on my terms. I have enjoyed spending my afternoon hours running DoorDash for the community. I have met some very nice people while doing so. Seriously, the walls of my office space were closing in and I had to explore other means of escape.

In Northern Michigan, DoorDashing has become a staple in the community. So many just sit at home and click their money away. I get it, there is nothing like a double espresso coffee from Starbucks to chase the afternoon brain fog away. I look at the cost of said coffee, the pay I received for delivering that cup of coffee and, if I am lucky, the tip just sets my scrooge-like character reeling in disbelief. The further from the store the more expensive it is. I tell you this, I have driven 40 plus minutes to deliver said coffee to an outlying area that had to drive the cost up crazy. Yet, as the winter settles into Northern Michigan, I can see this will happen more and more as the winter sets in.

DoorDashing has been so, what's the word, surreal? I have been so amazed at the frivolous nature of human spending. I understand having car parts, medication and food to cook delivered to the house but one man, who lives across the street from his favorite restaurant, has his food delivered to his door. Why doesn't he go to the restaurant? He seems mobile and friendly enough. He would have more people to talk to than me at 1pm every day. His wife smiles and rolls her eyes everyday as she calls him to the door to give me a tip. I stroll back to my car and think, 'Is her cooking of that dish that bad?' Bazar behavior but I guess there is a reason for everyone's actions. I guess I am just plain old cheap and don't understand the nature of humans.

Northern Michigan is rural. There are many places I deliver food to that are nothing more than a two track. One lady's driveway required me to put Clyde into four wheel drive because it was so muddy and bumpy. I asked her, 'How do you get to your home in the winter?' She informed me that she parks at the end of her driveway and walks the three football length drive. If she is lucky, she will find someone to clear it for her. Dear reader, I would have to say, I am worried about her. She has to be in her 80's. She is so secluded in her rural home.

By Priscilla Du Preez πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ on Unsplash

Driveways like hers is not uncommon in Northern Michigan. People like their homes nestled in amongst the trees. Just the other night, storms were racing through the area. My windshield wipers could barely clear my site as I drove through the darkness down the winding backroads of Harbor Springs. The GPS announced every up coming turn which I took trustingly. Suddenly, the road became weedy then disappeared into a ditch. I was in the middle of a field in god's country not knowing what to do with the two submarine sandwiches sitting on my front seat. I turned Clyde around and retraced my tracks through the field and called the customer. They explained that the GPS never gets their address right and led me to their home via phone. Once I found their place in the pouring rain, their hill was so steep and curvy that I struggled to navigate my way up to their house. How do they get up to their house in a snowstorm? I certainly do not want to find out. That trip was not worth the twenty-dollars. I didn't feel safe at all. GPS error was at fault but I swear, banjoes were about to play at any moment. Some of the places I have gone really had me concerned at the moment.

Most deliveries are not scary and are easy to do. I have over 350 deliveries under my belt. I start in the morning and I stop when it gets dark. I have two rules to driving. Limited driving at night due to night blindness and NO driving in the rain at night because of the headlight glare. The above story started with plenty of day light but the location took the job into the dark hours. The storm that raged that night was only supposed to be sprinkles when I watched the news in the morning. Through the day, what developed was impressive. Somehow, I made it back to my girlfriend's house in Harbor Springs. She and I watched the lightning flash and the trees bend in it's light as we sipped some warm tea. I survived, I do not know how, but I did and drove home when the rain ceased. What a scary night that was.

I am use to delivering coffee to the masses. I endure the smells of chicken wings, pizza, Indonesian food and Mexican food. I deliver medicines and car parts to people. I haven't been shocked by any of them. More amused at the whimsy of people's order. Tonight, however, I was amused with the most unique order and situation.

By Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

My last delivery of the night and my phone instructed me to proceed to Bob Evans. Off I drove and arrived with plenty of time to spare. As I walked in, three servers were laughing amongst themselves. Most stores know me by now and said, "Are you here for the mashed potatoes?" With a quick scan of the phone's menu I could see I was picking up mashed potatoes. JUST MASHED POTATOES. I love Bob Evans' mashed potatoes but I found it an odd order. So did the staff. They laughed and I just grabbed the container and zoomed back to my car.

Nights are getting shorter and I groaned to see that the delivery was going to be ten miles away. The rain wasn't a bother really but darkness was nearing. With time in mind, I drove off to the area that I knew was full with wilderness. I was regretting taking the order once I saw where I was going. I put Clyde into gear and off we went. I told him that we had to beat the darkness and get home.

The trees are rapidly losing leaves and they were whipping past my windshield in the blowing rain. I hear the final instruction to turn left and the home would be on the right. A large white house was were it was supposed to be and I pulled into the drive. Little did I know at this time I was being watched as I fought the wind and rain to gather the potatoes for delivery.

An old truck sat in the driveway. Odd for the stature of the house but it sat there so stoically. After I took a few steps, the owner of the house emerged from the truck. His eyes were wide and concerned as he said, "thank you" and took off with the potatoes. When I sat back down into my seat, I glanced over to see his wife at the door with her arms crossed. My guess, he was suppose to bring them home and he dared not go in until he had them. As I worked to turn the car around, the man walked back to his truck, climbed in, and shut the door. I wondered, 'What else did he forget and will he have Doordash deliver it and save his butt?' I just smiled and left the old truck and the man behind.

When I finished the process of the delivery I saw the charge for the delivery. Grand total of $17 dollars. I hope the expense was worth the peace. I hope the night went better for this man. I battled the darkness and rain for his sake. I can't image the battle that raged in his home if he was willing to spend $17 for mashed potatoes. I try not to judge but I admit, I was judging the daylights out of this delivery.

I finished my night with a chuckle and drove home to my peaceful place.


About the Creator

Sheila L. Chingwa

Welcome to my world.

Welcome to my thoughts.

I am proud to be a Native American Elder born and raised in Northern Michigan. Thanks to my hard work I have a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Administration and Supervision in Education.

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Comments (16)

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  • Tim Boxer20 days ago

    Cool story thanks for sharing

  • Naveedabout a month ago

    Congratulations on achieving top story status! ❀️

  • Celia in Underlandabout a month ago

    THAT is some insanely expensive potoaoe! Really enjoyed the story-and love that your car is called Clyde! Super congratulations on Top Story 🀍

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    A fun story! Congratulations!

  • Cindy Calderabout a month ago

    I really enjoyed your story. So amusing and well written. It also helped that I visited Harbor Springs once several years ago, so I had a small inkling of visual insight with what I read. Congratulations on the Top Story.

  • That is a lot for mashed potatoes. I never use delivery for small meals and items but I am lucky enough to be surrounded by the things I need. Excellent story

  • weight loss solutionsabout a month ago

    yes munmun

  • Muhammed Ismailabout a month ago

    It was Wonderful reading this story ... Love it ... I invite you to read featured stories in my profile ...welcome in advance 🀠

  • Diani Alvarengaabout a month ago

    It was great reading this!

  • Cyrusabout a month ago

    Congrats on TS!

  • Self Employment is A Great Thingβ™₯οΈπŸ’―πŸ˜‰πŸ‘πŸ“βœŒοΈSide Hustles are the Best Hustles- CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR TOP STORYπŸ˜‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

  • Scott Christensonabout a month ago

    Really enjoyed learning what's it like to be a DoorDash driver and the silliness of some of the customers orders. Maybe they are paying for a few minutes of happiness, you are delivering happiness, not a bad job. And this is one of the best stories I've read in a while! Great work.

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    I really love this one, but I am careful with my change and I wonder what was going through that man's head... So hungry over a Top Story... ;)

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    I’m with you! I think I’m pretty frugal in general and would rather eat a can of beans for dinner than order anything to be delivered other than pizza, lol. Loved your story! Congrats!

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    OMG!!! You are so brave delivering $17 mash potatoes and more!!! Fantastic story!!!πŸ’•β€οΈβ€οΈ

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