Life’s Rich Pageant: McDonald’s

by pjmcbride

I bring you the first of my Unwanted Restaurant Reviews. Any typos are the responsibility of Redd’s and not, for example, me.

No sooner did I say that there was probably already someone on YouTube doing this same thing, than I saw someone, a guy who wears an over-sized suit and Brylcreem in his hair while he criticizes Domino’s Pizza for being too doughy. (Pizza can never be too doughy, in my opinion.) Instead, you will have to visualize me in a t-shirt and hair without any styling product, and indeed, without any style.

Jimmy Fallon once said, “‘Thank you for choosing McDonald’s?’ You don’t choose McDonald’s. You end up at McDonald’s.” Aside from not being exactly true (Rom observed the other day, “I could go for 10 McNuggets right now,” without actually being moved to do anything about it), this is actually a plus in my book. Why do I like McDonald’s? Because of the ambience, believe it or not. Everyone ends up there eventually. This is where you can observe the difference between a Hippie and a Hipster, as follows:

Hippie: dreadlocks, full beard, tie-dye t-shirt

Hipster: goatee, backwards ball cap with lightning bolts on the back (thereby revealing that you’re supposed to wear it backwards and be ironic), black t-shirt with kittens fighting on the front upon a background of flames (you can only wear this ironically–the irony is built in)

COMMERCIAL BREAK BECAUSE 2 CANS OF REDD’S HAVE MADE ME THIRSTY BUT I AM ALREADY DRUNK ENOUGH, KTHNXBAI WHILE I GO GET A CAFFEINE-FREE DIET COKE BECAUSE I AM LAME

ALL-CAPS VISION BROUGHT TO YOU BY CAT TOWN, A HUMOROUS SITE WHICH STOPPED POSTING IN 2005 AND IS SORELY MISSED

By the way, this subject matter, if I ever get around to it, is brought to you courtesy of Nick, whom I unwisely notified that I was going to do this, and is now not speaking to me so I won’t be distracted. I feel used.

For a representative experience, you should go to McD’s on a weekday. Saturday is Baby Daddy Day, and Sunday is Everyone Is Eating Somewhere Else Day.

I gave my order to an employee who then said, “I hate McDonald’s food. Can’t stand it.” Way to insult the customer’s tastes right out of the gate! In fairness, she wasn’t speaking to me, but to a colleague who was ordering their employee meal.

Speaking of which, I witnessed a guy getting his Employee Evaluation (something we never got at 911, by the way). He got a good review, since he had corrected his previous problem of neglecting to wear his apron regularly.

WHAT I GOT:

Fish sandwich, no tartar sauce, because that is just mayo with boogers in it. This menu item is brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Church–one franchisee was finding Lent was cutting into his sales, so he came up with a Lenten-friendly entree (Ray Kroc’s suggestion was a pineapple slice on a bun). HONORABLE MENTION: McNuggets. These are useful, because I don’t have to make any special requests. They’re acceptable even without sauce. This comes in handy when I’m not alone, because being with someone rattles me just enough that I’m prone to forget my special needs, and end up having to scrape boogers off my sandwich. Speaking of which, McD’s current menu board is not autism-friendly, nor even friendly to other people. Not only is it constantly flashing and changing in a sensory-overload sort of way, but it will change to something else just as you’re trying to figure out, for example, what the price of an item is. There is also an apparently-still picture of a Coke, but I thought, “Are those soda bubbles moving? They are!” and there proved to be a moment when an ice cube enters the frame and dumps itself into the drink, and then I get fixated on staring at it until the ice cube falls into it again, so it’s a good thing they know what I usually order.

Speaking of innovations, I have spoken of their Retro Moderne remodeling before. I have not encountered chartreuse chairs at any other establishment. There is a middle area I call the Senior Corral, where the village elders speak of the issues of the day. (Is Obama a Muslim? Are Catholics brainwashed?). Rom hates the Senior Corral, and positions himself as far from a colorful wall covering as possible. There are two of these, one in the Corral and one on a side wall. I was greatly disoriented the other day when I went in and the central Corral one was gone, replaced by a plain white wall. I thought, That wasn’t white before, was it? No, I know it wasn’t, because I remember comparing the two walls and thinking, It’s OK that they are two different patterns because they use the same colors. This is what I do when I wear my navy-and-white-striped pants with my navy-and-white circle-print shirt. (This is called having a Fashion Sense.) Then, because they weren’t finished facking with me yet, the colorful design reappeared on that wall the other day. You gotta wonder.

My seating preference is to wedge myself into a corner, but the current free-form seating arrangement makes that more difficult, so I usually sit by the window.This has the advantage of swivel chairs, so I can make myself my own fidget spinner.

YOU THOUGHT I FORGOT ABOUT FOOD, DIDN’T YOU?

McDonald’s fries are consistently good. Rom insists they have never been worthwhile since they stopped frying them in beef tallow. I can’t really tell the difference, but he is a professional cook, after all.

McDonald’s sodas (or soft drinks, as we call them in this part of the country–I didn’t know anyone outside of commercials called them that) are also good. However, at the St Joe location, the right-hand Diet Coke spigot tends to give you more carbonated water than syrup, and the center one is prone to splash all over you. You want the left-hand one for optimal performance.

I cannot report on the sweet tea, tea being loathsome.

I finished with a hot fudge sundae. Running an ice-cream machine is a skill McDonald’s is having trouble mastering. I remember reading about a DQ that put out a sign “OUR ICE-CREAM MACHINE WORKS, UNLIKE THE GUYS ACROSS THE STREET!” until the DQ lawyers made them take it down. However, it was working on this occasion, and as good as the equivalent item at DQ.

FELLOW-DINERS’ FOLLIES

–Rhetorical question from parent to a heck-raising child: “You ever had a spanking?”

–Another parent to a toddler: “Why are you crying? Because you want my newspaper? Really?”

IT’S FRIDAY AND PIZZA TIME SO I AM GOING AWAY NOW