Why do people get take-out fast food, then sit and eat it in their car in the parking lot, idling with the AC on?

Update: It’s weird how this became normal for me during the 2020 Covid shutdown. I always figured, if you’re going to eat right there anyway, why not just eat at the restaurant? (Assuming the tables aren’t full, of course.)

But in 2020? First you couldn’t eat at the restaurant at all. Then you couldn’t eat inside the restaurant, but could eat outside. Though depending on the weather, you might not want to. Eventually you could eat inside, but had to make a risk calculation as to whether it was a good idea or not. Drive-through and park became an easy way to keep separate airspaces.

At least by the time that hit I was driving a plug-in hybrid, so I didn’t need to idle the gas motor.

Of course there are also plenty of other reasons I just hadn’t thought of at the time: private conversations, for instance, or a sleeping baby in the car seat who you don’t want to wake up early.

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