Hot off the success of my Chipotle rant (which became the second most viewed essay after only twenty-four hours; it’s actually the *most* read essay if we toss out the porn clickbait from April Fool’s/Fools’ Day), I’ve decided to do my best 10,000 Maniacs impersonation and “give ‘em what they want.” And folks, I’m rubbing my hands together in anticipation because this post merges two of my favorite topics: bad customers and asshole drivers.
Can you feel the buzz in the air? I can.
Oh, can I!
This time I’m putting McDonald’s in my crosshairs. I’ll start by making a confession: despite the unhealthy and cheap nature of the food served at McDonald’s, I *love* their cheeseburgers and fries. I can’t explain it, so I won’t bother trying. These days I don’t eat them much because 1) they’re not good for my 40-year-old belly, and 2) my wife will kick my ass if she finds out I’m eating them. That being said, I will periodically throw caution to the wind, risk my wife’s ire, and get some trashy food.
On those occasions, I enter the parking lot with a smile on my face and a thin runner of drool seeping from the corner of my mouth, visions of hot fries and ice-cold soda dancing before my eyes. That joy quickly evaporates when I come to the dreaded fifty feet of hell that is the two-lane drive-thru.
[American Gladiators is child’s play compared to navigating this gauntlet.]
My first issue is the driver who is noncommittal when it comes to choosing a lane and living with the results. I don’t need some guy plugging up the drive-thru, hanging back as long as possible so he can assess which lane is going faster and maybe, *maybe* save himself ten seconds. Just get your ass in line like the rest of us and keep things moving along.
[Left lane…no, no right lane! Right lane is fas–. No left, it’s definitely the left.]
The next issue is no one’s fault; I just happen to like the meal with an unfortunate number association. My favorite fare consists of two cheeseburgers (I order them plain; condiments ruin my girlish figure), French fries, and pop (Coke being my poison of choice). I also *really* like the fries, so I order the large size on everything. The meal happens to be second on the menu, which makes ordering a blast.
Cashier: “Welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order?”
Me: “I’d like a large number two, please.”
[It was a sad day when they took away my ability to order a supersized number two. Damn you, Morgan Spurlock! Damn you to hell!]
My order is taken, I’m able to verify that the cashier heard me correctly by seeing what comes up on the drive-thru’s monitor…
…and then I enter the Ninth Circle of Hell.
I’m assuming McDonald’s did some research that proved the two-lane drive-thru funneling back to one lane was faster than having a single lane for ordering food. Perhaps they even mocked up a controlled setting in which everything was duckies-and-bunnies and people all played nicely together in the sandbox. But there’s *no way* McDonald’s accounted for what is seemingly an obvious fact: people are assholes, especially when they’re behind the wheel of a car.
I don’t think I’ve ever travailed the drive-thru without someone deciding that their time and hunger was more important than everyone else’s in line. As such, they eschew the simple concept of alternating back and forth – first a car from the left lane, then a car from the right lane – and instead shove their automobile so far up the ass of the car in front of them that there’s no chance of continuing to alternate between lanes.
[“Can you believe this shit?!”]
Even more infuriating is when offending drivers cock their head to the side so they don’t have to make eye contact with you, or they play around on their phone in an attempt to look distracted, all in the name of trying to save face with the drivers around them.
[Look away all you want to; I still hate you with the fire of a thousand suns.]
And so I sit and I stew and I wish I had my old 1983 Toyota Tercel from high school — the one with the rusted out hole in the passenger-seat floorboard that geysered water into the car when I drove through standing water — if only so I could pull a move like this when trying to round the corner and get back to my proper spot in line.
[“I want my fries and I want them NOW!”]
That feeling lasts for approximately 2.6 seconds, after which I realize I’m a civilized 40-year-old man waiting in line for a $1 processed patty served in a bun that likely never rots because of all the preservatives pumped into it. And therein lies my biggest gripe. It’s not like dickhead has found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and being at the front of the line will bring him sole access to untold riches. It’s more likely that the only gifts he’ll find after satiating his hunger is an all-expense-paid trip to the restroom and a menage a trois with multiple sheets of toilet paper en route to a sore, fiery bunghole. All of which has me wanting to ask if it’s really worth getting in a fight or destroying a car over a Shamrock Shake?
Never mind. I should have known better than to ask such a silly question.
Until we meet again…