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Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

August 2nd, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

You deserve a break today

When I was a kid, McDonalds was the best place in the world to eat. And this is before there was those playgrounds or the Happy Meals, or any of that crap. It was all about the wonderful, dreadful food. But I was a kid, with barely enough sense not to eat out of a dumpster. My palate wasn’t exactly sophisticated. Half the time, I just couldn’t be bothered with eating anyway, since I always had other things I wanted to do, like making smoke bombs or taking apart anything electronic. (Remember kids, those capacitors can hold a charge for a long time.)

Luckily, some gland in my body kicked in when I was about 15 that suddenly made me keenly aware of just how repugnant McDonalds food really is. I’ll make an exemption for the fries, since those are made with some magic ingredient that is impossible to resist. I suspect either McDonalds french fries are of divine origin, or they are laced with crack. Until my company manages to successfully put me through a drug test with my own urine, there’s no way to know which.

Since that day, I’ve probably eaten McDonalds food about half a dozen times. Again, I think I can overlook a few fries now and then on account of the divine origin thing. When visiting >Conny in Munich, we were out with a bunch of friends pretty late, and options for late night dining in Munich can be slim. McDonalds is one of the few places that serves food after midnight. (You can even get a McBeer too.) So, I savored the cultural irony, and had some Mickey Dees in Munich, and much to my surprise I did not have a seizure. It’s still crap food, but in a pinch I can suppress my gag reflex and manage to choke it down.

I don’t think I’ve had McDonalds food in the U.S. for several years, though. But due to the good woman having a craving for McDonalds fries, it was time for that streak to end. Tonight was a classic fast food dinner night.

We strolled down a few blocks to the nearby McDonalds and ordered up some junk food to go. While I might be able to get the food into my stomach without getting the shakes, I don’t think I can bring myself to actually eat in a Manhattan McDonalds. Conny View definition in a new window opted for the fries with the McNuggets, I got some burgers, and of course, a shovel-full of God’s Best Fries.

We scampered home, anxious to dig into our greasy feast. Up the elevator, into the apartment, the smell of the fries is a siren call to our empty stomachs. We tear into the bag, burgers, fries, McNugget lubricant sauce… No McNuggets.

Bastards.

The place is a good 10 minute walk, and I’ve already sunk 20 minutes going there and back. They have my $2.95, and all we have to show for it are some plastic containers with sweet and sour sauce. How hard is it to just get the entire order in the bag?

Apparently, hard enough.

Three minutes later, I am on the phone to the McDonalds we just came from. Directory assistance hung up on me when I asked for Ronald McDonald’s phone number (twice, so I know it wasn’t an accident the first time), so I had to call back and settle for getting phone number of the restaurant.

“Hello McDonalds,” says the voice on the phone.

“I just came from there, and I believe if you look around, you’ll find a box of McNuggets sitting somewhere behind your counter, since it didn’t make it into my bag.”

“Can you hold on a minute?”

“Sure.”

I hear muted questioning and recriminations for a moment.

“I’m very sorry about that, sir,” says the McDonaldite. “Would you like to come back and pick them up?”

Actually, I’d like you to hand deliver them to me, so you can see just how annoying and time consuming the trip would be, I think.

“No. It’s too late for that. I’m not walking all the way back there now.”

Pause. “I am very sorry about that sir.”

You’re not getting off that easy. Try harder. Ease my pain.

“You have my money, and my McNuggets. I paid for McNuggets. I didn’t get McNuggets. We specifically went out to get McNuggets for my girlfriend. It was supposed to be a treat for her, and now that’s all shot to hell.”

“What would you like me to do, sir? Would you like to come by tomorrow and pick up the McNuggets then?”

“I’m not going to want McNuggets tomorrow night. I wanted McNuggets now. By tomorrow night, we’ll have starved to death. They will find our emaciated corpses on the floor of my apartment surrounded by empty sweet and sour sauce containers. Tomorrow is a day too late.”

I’m using mental telepathy to transmit two words to the gentleman on the other end of the phone: make amends.

“I’m not sure what I can do.” he says.

I’m becoming pretty sure of what he can’t do, which is use his head. All he’s got to do is throw me a bone. Offering to give me the McNuggets a day after the fact is not a sensible bone to offer. The temptation to ask him to remain on the phone while I listen to him eat my McNuggets occurs to me, but I let that one pass.

“Think about it. What would Ronald McDonald do?”

“Would you like to come by tomorrow for a refund?”

Finally. Something that makes sense.

“That would be fine.”

I give the guy an out. He made an effort. He takes my name, and apologizes a final time before I let him off the hook.

I don’t even want the money, really. I can’t be bothered to go there to get $2.95. I just wanted them to know that they screwed up, and to have them make some gesture to show they know they screwed up.

This could have all been avoided if I did what anyone who goes to McDonalds regularly already knows to do. Check the bag before you leave the damn restaurant. So now both the manager of McDonalds and I have learned something tonight.

Ron shoots! He SCORES!

Next time, I’ll get a Whopper.

Ronald responds: “Sorry about the McNuggets, but I just picked up this babe, and I am pretty sure I’m gonna get laid! Chicks dig the hair!”

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