Saturday, October 22, 2005

When Your Breakfast Smells Like Feet

Another McDonald's post, and here's how it began. This morning, before Bella's birthday party, we drove Hope to the airport so she could fly to Harvard, MA to be bred to a beautiful multi-titled champion dog. So on the way back home, we thought we'd stop and treat Bella to a pancake breakfast at IHOP. She loves pancakes, and she'd never been there. So we got her all worked up about the pancakes, only to arrive at the IHOP and find it overrun with "Race For The Cure" participants. They get free breakfast after the race, or something. So they were crammed in, and there were at least 50 waiting out in the parking lot. I guess waiting an hour or more for free pancakes is worth the $5 they'd cost for some people. Myself, I can't imagine it being worth my time.

So, now we had a dilemma. There was not another breakfast restaurant anywhere near, and Bella was all psyched for the pancakes. Alex said, "Well, I guess we'll just have to go to McDonald's." I told him that McDonald's wouldn't be serving breakfast any more, since it was nearly 10:45. His response? "Oh, they'll serve ME breakfast, because I want some breakfast." This is common Alex logic.

This is when I began sinking ever-lower in my seat, bracing for the impending embarrassment.

We went through the drive-thru, and when it was our turn to order, Alex begins just confidently ordering breakfast items, as if he totally expects breakfast. As if he hasn't been to McDonald's regularly for over 30 years, and has no IDEA that they stop serving breakfast at 10:30. Here is how the exchange with the poor people working the McDonald's drive-thru went:

Underpaid Drive-Thru Lady: "We ain't got no breakfast now."

Alex: (Loudly and confidently) "Well, that's what we came here for!"

UDTL: "Well, I'm sorry about that."

Alex: "When did you stop serving breakfast?" (As IF he didn't know.)

UDTL: "About 20 minutes ago."

Alex: (lying blatantly) "Well, I've been waiting in line here at least that long!"

UDTL: "No you have not!"

Alex: "Yes I have!"

UDTL: "Well, you might have been up in some other McDonald's, but you ain't been in THIS line for no 20 minutes!" (You have to admire her backbone and spunk.)

Alex: "I'm telling you, I've been waiting that long, and I want some breakfast!"

UDTL: "Well, what did you want? I'll see if there's anything left."

Alex: "I want pancakes and sausage."

UDTL: (Consults kitchen worker) "OK, I do have some pancakes and sausage. Is that all?"

Alex: "Do you have any McGriddles left? Bacon, egg and cheese?" (We were not into the healthy eating today, obviously.)

UDTL: (Consulting again) "Ummm, I think we can scrape something together (emphasis mine)."

Alex: "All right." At this point I order a lunch item, and we're given a total and proceed to the window, a couple of cars in front of us.

Me: "You know you're about to get a loogie McGriddle, right?"

Alex: (Laughing) "No, I'm getting my danged pancakes."

Me: "The phrase 'scrape something together' is not really something I feel comfortable hearing at a fast-food restaurant."

We got to the window, paid, got our ridiculous food, and I tried my best to distance myself from the lunatic breakfast-demander in the eyes of the Mickey D's employees, slumped down in my seat and muttering "Thank you" frequently and sincerely. Bella's pancakes were pristine, and she was happy. That sandwich of Alex's, however, looked...well, ragged. As if it had, in fact, been "scraped together" in some fashion, like Frankenfood. He was so pleased with himself for defying the law of the fast-food universe, however, that there was no way he wasn't eating it. He smiled smugly the whole time, until the last bite.

Alex: "You know, this smells kind of like feet."


  1. Go Al-ex! Go Al-ex!

    You know, it's when it doesn't smell like feet that it would worry me. :-)

  2. Having worked fast food for as long as I did, I gotta say.... I don't blame the drive-thru woman for being upset. It would have upset me, too. It is well within her right to refuse to serve him ANYTHING, much less breakfast.

    But, props to her for handling it right.... and (begrudgingly) props to Alex for actually getting what he ordered.

  3. Not only did it look ragged, they probably spit on it before they wrapped it up for Alex.

    After watching/reading "Fight Club," I no longer mess with food service workers. They have more power than you think.

  4. Loogie McGriddle, heh.

    The feet comment reminds me of that episode of "Friends" where Rachel tries to make the English trifle but the cookbook pages are stuck together so half the recipe is actually Shepherd's Pie. Remember?

    Joey: Custard good. Jam good. Beef and peas gooood.
    Ross: It tastes like feet!

  5. The whole exchange was actually pretty jovial on both sides. Alex was assertive (and ridiculous) but cheerful, and the gals at the window were having a whole pile of fun with him. They were laughing and joshing with him when we got to the window, and even looked at me, grinning, like, "Are you with him?" as I slumped down in my seat with my hand over my eyes. These were older ladies, so I'm sure they'd seen their share of outrageous male behavior. ;-)

  6. The Little Rock area McD's employees must be a giant step up from the ones at the Memphis area McDs.

    The following little jewel was in an actual legal opinion from the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004. (

    "Another time, Pipkins and Scooby went to Memphis, Tennessee to prostitute two girls at another strip club, The Queen of Hearts. (snip) While in Memphis, Pipkins and Scooby jointly persuaded a female working the
    drive-through window at McDonald’s to quit on the spot and join Pipkins’s organization in Atlanta."

    I don't normally think of legal documents as entertaining reading, but this one is hysterical. Read is a goldmine. But for safety, don't read it while eating and drinking.

  7. LOL.. a loogie McGriddle. Yeah, I'd have never eaten that sandwich. But then, I'd never eat a McGriddle, period.

    I hate McD's.

  8. LOL! Given that most fast food restaurants are staffed by surly teenagers, I'd be a little leary of the dreaded "loogie."

    Frankly, having also dealt with the public--I'd live on the street and eat out of the McDonald's rubbish bin before working with the public again--I can sorta empathize with the worker too. Hee.

  9. One of my favorite skits from the old Tracy Ullman show was about teenagers working at fast food places. It was a takeoff on the horrible sitcom, "My Two Dads," and concerned the teenage daughter's first day at her first job--a taco place with typical teenage workers.

    She quit the job that night saying "There is snot in the tacos."

    I haven't eaten at Taco Bell since then...

  10. I LOVED that show. T.U. is an underrated talent. Two of my favorite movies that she was in are the comedy "I Love You To Death", with Kevin Kline, River Phoenix Keanu Reeves and William Hurt, and the overlooked drama,
    "Household Saints" with Vincent D'Onofrio and Lili Taylor. Both movies from the early 90's.

  11. TU is a knitter. 'Nuff said....

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