Car StoriesOn Tour

How to Meet New Friends and Get a Free Meal at Sonic

By: Richard Fleener

Daytona Superbird 40th Reunion

While we were at the Aero Car Reunion in Alexander City we saw a lot of old friends and met lots of new ones. One such meeting was way more entertaining than the others.

Katrina and I went to the Sonic next to Tim Wellborn’s Muscle Car Museum for lunch one day. Because all of the car folks were hanging out there, no one was ordering from their car. Everyone was up on the patio and all orders were being placed by the big intercom speaker menus. We have a Sonic back home and are very familiar with the way they work; read the menu, push the button and wait for the person on the other end to ask you what you want, you tell them, they give you the total and you can either pay by credit card or cash to the carhop when she comes to deliver your food.

We did just that with the intent to pay the carhop with cash. There was a long line waiting to use the electronic menu but we did not think much about it.

The food came and I tried to pay the carhop but she kept saying you paid with a credit card; I said I don’t want to use a credit card I just want to pay with cash. The banter went on for a while and she started to walk off when I heard someone at the table next to us say, “I think that’s our food!”

I said, “No it is just what we ordered.” They said, “But we paid for it!”

It seems they walked up to the intercom menu board immediately after us and it said “insert credit card” so they did. The board then put our bill on there card and said thank you!

They had no idea what they paid for put quietly sat down and waited. When our food arrived they figured out what it was they had paid for!

I paid them back and we all had a good laugh. Every time we bumped into them during the reunion I would ask them if they wanted to buy us lunch again.

I will be more careful at Sonic from now on.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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