Life's rich tapestry has dropped yet another golden stitch into the fabric of my existence. One more opportunity to compose an Unsent Letter.
Dear McDonald's Manager:
I understand that you are commanding a less-than-ambitious work crew. Few folks aspire to retire after a rewarding career flipping burgers and proffering fries. However, as the leader of this wacky pack, you are responsible for their foibles.
I willingly paid my fee at the first window as directed. I even turned down the receipt. Because I trusted your fine fast-food establishment to uphold your part of the bargain. With only one car ahead of me, I expected smooth sailing.
But the sea was angry that day, my friend. Angry, like a teenage boy refused service for no shoes, no shirt. My clear passage through the drive-thru lane was thwarted by your too-long-leashed employees. My ship of hunger was stalled in the doldrums of their ineptitude.
My drinks were produced forthwith. Then I was asked to pull into the hurry-up-and-wait slot. I did so. Without a fuss. No more than an eye roll, really. A truck behind me was sent to a separate detainment arena. Ten minutes passed. The truck's food was brought out. Even though I was there first. The excuse that we were waiting for fries did not support this breach of first-come-first-served etiquette.
The van in line behind me was marooned at your hand-out window. I observed proceedings through my mirror. Purely for entertainment purposes. The driver received his sodas first. Just like me. He waited. And waited. I saw a bag of food pass through the window. He propped it on his portly abdomen. He opened it. He plunged his Popeye forearms elbow-deep into the feed bag and rummaged like there was no tomorrow. He folded the top of the sack and handed it back through the window.
Five minutes later, a new bag was foisted upon Popeye Forearms. A plastic bag. He peered inside, passed it to his passenger, and drove away.
I was left behind. Waiting for my order. Food I needed swiftly, because I had come from work to obtain sustenance. I was required to return to the workplace within the hour to host parents at open house.
The door opened and a juvenile approached. He poked a paper sack through the portal of my becalmed vessel. An excessively wrinkled paper sack, that appeared to have been folded, opened, crinkled, and re-folded. The food inside no doubt manhandled by Popeye Forearms.
I inquired of your underage minion: "Why is this bag so wrinkled? I certainly hope this is not the same bag of food that the guy behind me stuck his hands in before giving it back to you."
His answer was a shrug. "I really don't know anything about that."
Please tell me, O Great McDonald's Manager, how your workers can be oblivious to the basic public health guidelines which should be implemented in order to maintain a license to dish out foodstuffs to the masses.
Had I more time to spare, and the receipt I had so ignorantly refused, I would have stormed your castle of cholesterol and demanded a refund. Because I am not so ignorant as to assume that a complaint would garner me fresh food, free of tampering. I would sooner take my chances on ingesting microbes bestowed by the fondling my food had received courtesy of Popeye Forearms, an ersatz Typhoid Larry.
In the future, should I be served up an incorrect order, I shall take a bite out of each faulty item before returning it. Like my husband who insists on poking his thumb through every leftover roll in the bread basket, I pledge to save the public from recycled rejects.
And because I am such a Mother Teresa, I asked a relative to establish a scholarship in my name with the settlement he would receive if I died from McDonaldzuma's Revenge, after ingesting a meal so enthusiastically stroked by Popeye Forearms. A requirement for the award of such scholarship shall be an affidavit declaring that the applicant never, ever, worked at McDonald's.
In closing, I heartily wish you a belated feast fingered by a large, sweaty gentleman.
Retching in Revulsion