McDonald’s Fucks You at the Drive-Thru!
Okay so first let me state that YES, I understand that we all shouldn’t be eating fast food and that it isn’t good for you blah blah blah just shut up. I think we can all admit that sometimes you find yourself at McDonald’s regardless after a shitty day. For instance when you are hungry and only have a dollar in your pocket, or when you are too tired to slave over a home-cooked, perfectly-balanced meal, or when you crave the fries like a five dolla crack whore who just woke up and realized she forgot who she fucked to get her next fix and the room is now empty. I think we can admit that we have ALL been there.
My issue is that I am finding it harder and harder to justify my unhealthy little habit to myself. It used to be that I could order a “Number One” (which, let’s face it, makes me feel like a winner right there), pay my money, get my food, go speeding away like the wheel man at a bank job and no one would be the wiser of my presence.
First order of business was to scarf down my fries while driving because god forbid you let them sit for more than thirty seconds and let their molecular structure physically alter before your eyes, morphing into a box of 600-calorie wax sticks. Seriously what the hell is going on there? Is that something that the brilliant scientific research and development team at McDonald’s worked on for years to perfect? That way you are compelled to eat them as fast as is humanly possible so you don’t think twice about the shit you are putting into your body? Why don’t we just reverse engineer a minute-old McDonald’s fry and solve the world’s hunger problem?
I figure all we need are several boxes of Crayola crayons and the antidote to this phenomenon and PRESTO, potatoes for everyone, in a lovely assortment of colors no less. You could even sharpen them if you bought the specialty box.
So yeah, first thing to go are the fries, we all know that, and those of you who don’t, well then I suggest you reverse your eating order because they are freakin’ delicious (at least for the first 29 seconds). Next thing to go would be the Big Mac which I have to say nowadays always makes me shed a tear at the mere sight of the sesame seeds. I can’t help but mourn the loss of Mitch Hedberg because, like him, I always wondered what the hell would grow if I planted one of those little guys.
I devour my Big Mac merrily, humming the little song, “Two all-beef patties special, special, I am special because only someone who is special would be licking this stuff off his palms! I am SO special I am NUMBER ONE!” Don’t even lie people, if you have eaten a Big Mac in your life you have most certainly licked your palms and there is no shame in that when the sauce is special.
The rest of the ride home I used to happily sip my soda but that too you have to drink quickly before the ice melts and you discover that it wasn’t water they made those cubes with after all. I have tasted melted ice before (it’s called water) and sadly that is never what their ice tastes like when it melts. I know because one hot day I thought I would chase my soda with a cup of freshly melted ice, I don’t remember much after that.
Today is very different though and sadly much more disappointing. Of course, I still order a Number One to feel like a winner, and because it comes with special sauce in it. However, it is also partly because over the years I have noticed that the Number One is the only thing on the menu that hasn’t changed numbers—it is my rock, my constant, my lighthouse in the fog. I have tried to deviate, but trying to find something on the drive-thru menu that you KNOW is supposed to be there is close to impossible. Anyone else notice that? The other food seems to jump around the menu and can NEVER commit to a number.
In addition, these days drive-thru menus are minimalistic at best. I know they have certain items standard to the restaurant, but they don’t seem to be on the menus anymore and unless you know it by heart then you are just screwed. I’m sure McDonald’s would be shocked to know that I haven’t memorized their menu for the last two decades. Luckily, Number One is holed up and fortified in its spot and I can always default in a panic to ordering that and know exactly what I am getting…or can I?
I speak as clearly as I can into the McSquawk Box, “Number One with a Coke, please!” As I start to drive away, the flurry of unintelligible questions ensues.
McSquawk Box: Marge?
McSquawk Box: Sarge?
Me: I’m not in the Army.
McSquawk Box: HOE CHARGE??
Me: FIVE DOLLA, but I’ll waive that if you throw in some extra fries!!
The McBox then displays my order, charging me separately for each item. Big Mac, Large Fries, Large Drink, which correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of ordering off the value menu? I thought it was supposed to be like a package deal but lately it seems they just charge you separately for everything.
I pull up to the first McWindow, hand the McPerson behind it my money and wait the five minutes it takes them to find the correct numbers on the computer to punch in so they can find out how much change to give me back. Meanwhile I have calculated correctly in my head 700 times what change I should get back. I still get the wrong amount back but I know better then to argue with them because thirty cents isn’t worth the McSpit they would add to my McValue Meal for the Mcaltercation.
I pull up to the second McWindow to claim my food. First thing the McPerson behind this window hands me is the drink. Now I don’t know about your car, but mine is equipped with eight different cup holders and not ONE of them will fit this cup. In my head I am screaming because in trying to angle the drink and shove it in the cup holder I am losing precious seconds of fry stability. Next she hands me my food and I ask for some ketchup and barbecue sauce (you should try the fries with barbecue sauce, yum) and the McPerson says, “Oh that will be thirty cents extra.”
I just stare at her like she has three heads or something and reply oh so eloquently, “Huh?”
McPerson: Thirty cents.
Me: For ketchup?
McPerson: No for the barbecue sauce…the ketchup is free.
McPerson: McDonald’s charges thirty cents for one package of sauce.
Me: SINCE WHEN?!!
(Me in my head: TICK TOCK TICK TOCK, THE FRIES!)
McPerson: Do you want it or not?
Me: Yes because by now I will need it to hide the taste of whatever the hell your fries are currently morphing into!!
McPerson: Thirty cents then.
Me: I already gave you thirty extra cents at McWindow Number One, but FINE here is ANOTHER thirty cents!! (practically throwing the money at them)
(In my head: McFUCK YOU!)
McPerson: What kind of sauce would you like?
McPerson: Have a nice day. (In a way that conveys “McGo to hell!”)
I go speeding away as fast as possible and reach into my bag and grab the fries which I might add has about TEN fries in it so in buying the large all I really did is get a bigger drink and a larger fry container to hold my TEN fries. I put a fry to my mouth. As it touches the inside I can almost feel its molecular structure change into a sad memory of what a fry used to be.
"Son of a McBitch!" I exclaim as I reach for my Big Mac while still driving. My hand squishes into the special sauce and I look down to find that what should be a sandwich is really just a pile of various unassembled ingredients from the song I am currently humming. "Two all beef patties special, special, SPECIAL? NO I don’t feel special! I feel like a McVictim!!"
I close the box so that I can assemble the “sandwich” myself at home later and start licking the special sauce off my hand like a wounded animal would lick his wounds. I don’t even care about the look the driver in the next car over is giving me as I lick my palms. I reach for my gigantic, unwieldy drink precariously balanced in the seemingly tiny-in-comparison drink holder. I take a sip only to discover that the mixture of syrup to carbonation isn’t even close to what it should be and I am drinking something repellent to anyone with taste buds. In my anger I accidentally squeeze the cup a fraction of a micron more, thereby dislodging the lid and spilling the drink in my lap.
Leo Getz was right, “They FUCK you at the drive-thru!!”
If there is one piece of advice some of today’s most successful companies have to offer it is this, “Screw over your customers ruthlessly while shamelessly profiting from it.” In a shaky economy with customer spending at an all time low, it is important for any successful company to not just provide a sub-par product but also to suck the life force out of each and every customer. After all this is a “Dog Eat Dog World” and we are all left feeling hunger pangs, but then maybe that is because we keep returning to the god damn drive-thru. Sure, I know what you are thinking, I could go inside and order at the counter but I wouldn’t be caught dead setting foot inside a fast food restaurant.