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Road Trip Mickey D's

I was in line today at an establishment that we've all been in line at, a fast food dump of a spot called McDonald's. Yes, I'm aware the coffee is supposed to be great. Yes, they do great things for kids the world over. But make no mistake, I've watched the documentary, one too many trips to the Mac counter and you'll end up in the gutter, I know.

But they're not dumps, really, on the whole, they're clean and sterile and they've got real chicken nuggets now, ok. 

Regardless of your thoughts on this, the king of all fast food franchises, there I stood, in line, behind a smaller, roundish woman in her golden years.  She seemed pleasant enough, from her profile, but I wasn't looking at her much, I had my eye on the menu.

And something was off. The menu, it was smaller. Less choices. Because I was at a truck stop version of McDonald's. Insult to injury, I know. 

I was on a road trip, and on road trips, all bets are off. There no bets. Anything goes. Candy and cokes downed every half hour, anything to keep the eyes peeled and the senses alert.  

And here I was, in line, patiently awaiting my turn to inform the visored one of my decision at their throne. 

And I made one. I decided on one of those great little all-encompassing protein shakes in the freezer in front of the register. Something totally un-McDonald's related. Again, I'll get a quarter pounder just like the next guy, but not this time. This time, it was a processed bottle of shaken protein best served lukewarm and potentially expired.  

But here comes the reason for the story tonight: the woman in front of me, she became odd. 

When the visored employee asked her what she would like, the golden girl replied 'number four.' And what usually follows that answer, from the visored one's side of things?

Yes, you guessed it, a question then of 'Small, Medium, or Large?' The visored one has to know the answer to that one, they simply must, the question is so important, you know. 

The answer will change the path of mankind as we all know it.  

Small, Medium, or Large.

Which. One. 

Clearly this question stumped the woman in front of me, so much so that she didn't answer but merely crinkled her nose. 

And did not speak for a beat. 

Then her response, which trickled forth from under crinkled nose and out through her wrinkled, pouty lips. 

'What? Oh, medium, ugh. Huh-wha.'

She was upset. The visored one offended her. How did this happen? I saw it all go down! 

Where did the offending occur! 

Nothing was out of the ordinary for this exchange. This was business as usual.

But the round, golden aged woman in front of me was offended! I didn't understand. 

Neither did the visored one. But she was a pro at this Mac counter. She handled it well, she adapted. 

She put the number in and took the woman's card and swiped it and moved on. Smile, smile, next in line, who's next in line. Here I am, right here, I've only got this one thingie.

The round woman in front of me was still upset. I've never seen a nose so crinkled, a life so interrupted by total normalcy, a person so thrown off by something so incredibly mundane. 

But she was.

She then looked up at me with a 'can you believe this?' face. Me! What did I have to do with it! I was drinking a protein shake by who the hell knows who and this woman has the gall to look to me for answers. 

Don't look to strangers for answers. You're too far gone at that point. Just about-face and get it over with, this is you funeral, you ordered the Medium value meal, not me, why are you bringing me into this? 

This is YOUR PROBLEM, party of YOU. 

I paid for my shake and I slipped my big ass past the round, crinkley-nose weirdie. The worst part? She still seemed mystified that she was asked about the size of her meal. Still so shocked. 

I couldn't take it. Luckily, it was time to go, so I did just that, I went. 

Sometimes I wonder about people, and sometimes I wonder why I waste the time wondering about people. This is absolutely one of those many, many times. 

Justin HarderComment