Monday, May 28, 2007


apparently we live in thug central

So last night B3 and I went to McDonald's. We knew we were pushing it when we began our journey at 10:30, and hoped that it would be open until 11. Lucky for us, we made it in, the employees locking the door behind us, so to keep out additional late-comers.

There were four other people in front of us in line. Three teeny bopper girls wearing cute outfits, and one guy in athletic wear. All seemed to be going smoothly. B3 placed our order, we got our cups, we filled them, etc. etc. You know the drill. He sat patiently, I stood, silently, gravely, pondering the correlation between coming at closing and quality of food served.

Suddenly, all was not right in Mudville. The guy in athletic wear (I should have known that he had excessive testosterone!), who up to this point seemed, you know, normal, started getting all alpha male with the poor McDonald's employees. I couldn't tell if he was angry with the person he was chatting with on the phone, or with the MickyD peeps...but then he angrily shook his little package of fruit in the face of poor Manuela (the woman at the register, and who seemed to be in charge) and all became crystal-clear. His complaint? His fruit was not fresh. Dude. Please. You're at McDonald's. If you want perfect fruit, go...somewhere else.

Manuela & Co. tried to appease the irascible man, giving him package after package of fruit, only to have him reject it. They pointed out that the expiration date was a good two months away, but he wasn't having any of it, and practically shouted "I see the date - do you think I'm stupid?!" I'm not sure how it ended...he either got fruit or he didn't (I was pretty much averting my eyes, sending B3 "!!!!" signals), but he stormed out of there, finally.

Awkwardness ceased.

For a good 20 seconds. Then the pop princess on the phone channeled her inner Plastic, and pissily said that she didn't like the worker's attitude, and she demanded her money back. Maunela, fresh from the fruit wringer, looked a little surprised, and weary. They exchanged words, with the lackeys flanking the princess repeating choice phrases...for example, princess would say "I'm gonna call the POLICE on you" and tweedle dee and tweedle dum echoed "Yeah, call the police," dripping with attitude and ignorance.

By this time my eyes were so busy being averted that I thought they might never look straight again. Manuela gestured to one of the other workers, and she went to get the register key, so to give the girl her money back. Being a swift little multi-tasker, princess alternated between chatting on the phone glued to her ear, and slinging insults at Manuela, saying "Why are you just standing there?! Open the register!! Don't be so SLOW!"

I was this a robbery?

Finally, the girls left, after Manuela opened the door for them. They called her a bitch, and Manuela wished them a good night. And honest to goodness, she sounded sincere.

I wanted to give those poor people a hug. WTF?! Who gets off treating people like that? We talked to them while they handed us our food, and Manuela explained that those girls come in almost every night, and tonight they were all insane because there had been too much salt on their small order of fries. Manuela & Co. had been making an entirely new batch of (unsalted) fries in order to appease the mob, when they decided that it had been taking too long.

It's funny how, with all the atrocities in the world, it takes only little things like that happening to me to shake my faith in people.

In my one tremendously boring and (I thought at the time) useless sociology class, we learned that if people witness another performing a helpful act, those people are more likely to help out as well. I've seen it in action on the street, when someone gives a beggar money. Quite often, someone in proximity rushes to do the same, when previously they had shown no such inclination.

I think this was an example of the same concept, only for worse. Things were all chill until the crazy fruit man started up, and that seemed to froth the girls into their little rage. Who are these people?!

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