Once a week, I have a lunch and learn
with my team at work, and we sit and eat and learn new and exciting
things. Unfortunately, last week was a very heavy work week, and
refusing to deny free food for my team, I went to McDonalds for
a large to-go order.
I walk into McDonalds, I quickly realize that I'm the only English
speaker. Everyone in the restaurant was Chinese. Customers, workers,
managers...I even detected some Asian qualities in the Ronald McDonald
I put in my order:
Me: I'd like seven Filet-O-Fish, seven
extra-large fries and seven pies, please. And I need one of those
Filet-O-Fish plain. (They take the no meat on Friday thing serious
Me: Yes, plain. No tartar sauce, no cheese.
RLMBI: No cheese?
Me: Right, no cheese. But just on one.
RLMBI: For here? (Thinking this was a
lame attempt at a joke, I smiled.
The RLMBI looked at me like a baby bird
awaiting waiting for a worm from momma.)
Me: Uh...no. To go.
RLMBI: To go?
Me: (sighing) Yes, to go.
Me: Excuse me?
Me: (suddenly remembering that a lot of
people like vinegar on their fries up here). Uh, sure. (sound of
approximately 18,500 vinegar packets landing in the bag)
Me: Please. (sound of two packets of ketchup
landing on the vinegar)
RLMBI: Would you like to make those combo
Me: No thanks, I wouldn't be able to carry
the sodas in my truck.
RLMBI: It's only 49 cents more!
Me: Uh, no thanks. But, could I get some
extra tartar sauce?
RLMBI: I'm sorry. We don't have any.
Me: You what? You don't have any tartar
RLMBI: No. Only what comes on the sandwich.
Me: Well, I'll tell you what. Take the
tartar sauce I didn't want on one of the sandwiches, and put it
in a cup.
RLMBI: The cups are counted. We can't
give them away.
Me: Fine. Charge me for a cup.
RLMBI: We can only sell the cups with
Me: Okay...I'd like to make one of those
sandwiches a combo meal.
RLMBI: (hearing a word she recognized,
her two brain cells snapped together and she went back into motion)
..and what would you like to drink with that?
Me: Tartar Sauce.
RLMBI went to get the supervisor, who
by the looks of him, has spent the last three years drinking hot
grease directly from the deep fryer.
Supervisor: Can I help you?
Me: Yes. Fill my order, and let me get
out of here.
(Supervisor and RLMBI spoke together in
Supervisor: You know that tartar sauce
isn't a drink....
Me: And vinegar isn't something for French
fries, but you have no problem with that. You do realize that you're
about to lose a $50 order because you won't give me some extra tartar
RLMBI: He wants it in a cup!
Finally, somebody with two brain cells
(the manager) comes from the back, listens to my complaint, and
disappears behind the grill. He comes back ten seconds later with
a large cup full of tartar sauce, orders the floor supervisor to
get back to what they were doing, and rings up my order, giving
me 10% off for the trouble.
As the RLMBI was handing me my four bags
of food, I had to ask...
Me: And where are the straws?
Loving the great white north!
Driving on the ice:
Sunday - 5:00 p.m. - 34 degrees.
Had a friend visiting this weekend, and
drove them back to the airport. Streets are clear, and traffic is
mellow. I hum a cheery tune.
Sunday - 6:30 p.m. - 33 degrees.
After peering through the one clean spot
in my windshield, I realize that it's been a while since I had a
car wash. I pull into a gas station and pay for the Deluxe Ultra-Wash
2000. $7.95 Canadian. With tax: $828.27
Sunday - 7:00 p.m. - 33 degrees
I return to the hotel, proudly driving
my shiny pickup with enough water pouring out of the bed to wash
a small elephant. Gas mileage suffers.
Sunday - 8:00 p.m. - 32 degrees
After a very tasty dinner with some friends,
I head back up to the room to do some programming while watching
the Simpsons. Bart gives me inspiration.
Monday - 5:00 am - 27 degrees
The alarm clock disturbs my slumber with
reports of a huge snowstorm in Buffalo. I giggle silently. Realizing
that nobody can hear me, I also belch. Loudly.
Monday - 6:30 am - 28 degrees
As I head out the door, ready to spend
my day in front of the computer, I step into the parking lot and
accidentally execute an ice-skating spin. Perfect 10s, except for
the Romanian judges.
Monday - 6:32 am - 28 degrees
I scrape the ice from my window, and hanging
onto the mirror for stability, crawl into the truck and start it.
Jimmy Buffet plays on the radio. Cheeseburger in the Frozen Food
Aisle is more like it.
Monday - 6:33 am - 28 degrees
After letting it warm up for a minute,
I put the truck in reverse and go nowhere, thanks to the sheet of
ice, compliments of the car wash. My truck slides like a fat woman
at Wet'n'Wild, barely missing the cars in the spots next to me.
Monday - 6:35 am - 28 degrees
As I am about to get out of the truck
and lay down some salt, a man, who appears to be about 120 years
old and weighs as much as one of my meals appears at my hood, attempting
to push my truck back for me. I honk the horn. The paramedics tell
me the cause of death was a heart attack.
Monday - 6:35 am - 28 degrees
Just kidding - I didn't honk, and he didn't
die. He actually pushed me out of the spot!
Monday - 6:38 am - 28 degrees
As I start moving forward, I wave to the
old man, and notice that he's wearing golf cleats. Smart idea, I
think, as I realize that I'm not stopping. I am out of control at
4 mph. The old man laughs at my lack of winter driving ability.
I honk, but that only seems to make him laugh harder. I slowly slide
out into the main road.
Monday - 6:40 am - 28 degrees
My heart starts moving again, and the
gentleman in the tractor-trailer I almost collided with seems to
understand my pain. We bond and he shows me the secret trucker's
handshake. Strangely, it only involves one finger.
Monday - 6:50 am - 29 degrees
I slide most of the four miles to work,
and as I pull into my regular spot, a BMW 5-series comes in right
after me. He wants the spot next to me and speeds up to get it.
Monday - 6:51 am - 29 degrees
Is there anything more satisfying than
seeing the look of sheer panic on somebody's face as they slide
an overpriced ego-mobile into a Ford Explorer? Somehow, all suddenly
seems right with the world.