Wednesday, March 28, 2007

McDonald's of Oz, Part 4

I'm nothing if not persistent. I've been warned against being so persistent in the past, as it can be an incredibly annoying trait for people who have to deal with you. I really didn't know I'd be getting into a persistent mood today. But I get ahead of myself.

After a much-deserved break from the Oz doll hunting yesterday, I was determined to find another doll or two for Eric today. As it's also new comics day, I figured I would go visit the McD's near the comic shop after I got my comic books. Not a big deal. It involved some careful planning, as the traffic around there is irritating, but nothing too difficult.

And so I hit the comic shop at about 1 pm, chatted a bit with everyone about this weekend's convention (yay!) and then drove out to the McDonald's. There was no line, the place was in fact pretty dead. I explained that I was looking for the last four figures in the line, and the cashier went over to her manager, spoke a few rapid sentences in Spanish, then headed to the back. The manager, I later noticed, spoke perfect unaccented English as well as Spanish.

The cashier returned with a box. It had a bunch of the toys in it, but I suspected we weren't going to find anything I wanted, since all I could see on top were Glinda and Dorothy. Just as she set the box down, a woman came up with an unfinished salad in one hand and a couple of Oz toys in the other. She asked for a bag for the salad, then noticed the box. Suddenly I had competition!

I explained to my competition that I was trying to find two each of figures 5-8. She wasn't sure what she wanted, beyond getting a complete set. The cashier got a positively wonderful look of long-suffering on her face as we chatted, then she started going through the box.

The Scarecrow (#8) turned up first, then the Tin Man (#6). Lots of Dorothy and Glinda, and a few Wicked Witch of the West and Lions. Finally she pulled up a Wicked Witch of the East (#5) and that went into my pile. My competition was also getting one of each as they were pulled out. I got another Scarecrow, then a Daisy Munchkin (#7). I had a complete set! My competition completed her set moments later, then I finished my collecting with another Tin Man. That was it. We went through the box three more times. Nothing else.

I purchased the six dolls, thanked the cashier, and asked if they would be getting another box like that in. The manager, overhearing, said, "No, each store only gets one of those boxes." Hmmm. Food for thought. My receipt for the purchase reads 6 HAPPY TOY NO FOOD. Current tally: Two each of Dorothy, Glinda, Wicked Witch of the West, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man. One each of Wicked Witch of the East and Daisy Munchkin.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I thought to myself that I'd done a great job. Heck, I had one complete set already!

Last Four Wizard of Oz Figures

But I am cursed with the inability to just leave well enough alone. As I drove down the street, I realized that the downtown McD's was right on the way home. I ought to just stop there and see if they had those final two figures that I want. Numbers 5 and 7.

And so into the downtown McD's I went, with a little trepidation. My luck here so far had been mostly bad. There was a line in this one. A very loud and upset young girl was trying to drive her mother batty at the front of the line, while a lady standing behind them tried her best not to cringe at the screaming. I got in line and waited. The screaming continued. The mother turned around and apologized to both of us. The staff seemed to be gathering her order in slow motion. Finally she got her order and moved the screaming child to another part of the store. My ears wept in relief.

The lady in front of me had a quick order, and there was no one behind me. I was able to make my request without feeling like a complete moron. But the girl behind the counter said that they hadn't got to those figures yet. I mentioned the box that the other store had, but she just shook her head no and offered me a free iced coffee. I thanked her and left. No, I didn't take the coffee. I don't drink coffee.

At this point my persistence kicked in. The competitive part of me whispered that the other McDonald's wasn't that far up the road, and maybe I should just head up there and make sure that they don't have it. I mean, heck, wouldn't it be great if I could complete both sets for hubby-Eric today? Then I wouldn't have to look for them any more, and any further toys we end up getting would be just fun. It wasn't hard to persuade myself, and up to Canyon Park I drove.

Again I was lucky, as there was no line. The cashier was a large white guy, the kind of guy I tend to hang out with at conventions a lot. I made my request, and he said he'd check the back. He came back a minute later and told me, "The Customer Satisfaction box is missing, so I don't have any of the figures from later in the promotion." A-HA! I have a name for that box I saw at the first store. I thanked him, and headed out to my car. Persistent me whispered, there's another McDonald's up in Mill Creek. I decided to try it. One more store.

The Mill Creek McD's is a rocking place, and I expected to feel like a jerk for getting in line and asking for toys, but the cashier, a gorgeous large black guy, made me feel comfortable by joking around as he looked. Checking to see which toys they had, he pulled out a Wicked Witch of the West figure and said, "Here we have Amy!" A fellow employee made an angry denial while other employees laughed, then the girl I presume was Amy joined in laughing. The guy was just too silly. He said he'd check in the back, but I urged him to deal with the other customers first.

There were two people in line. A guy who looked vaguely irritated by the goings-on, and a woman who looked extremely interested. She asked me, "Are you looking for Oz toys, too?" I said yes, that I was waiting for them to check the back. She told me she didn't realize you could get more than the current one. I explained about the Customer Satisfaction box. Her eyes lit up. She wanted a whole set!

Another employee came out with a Daisy Munchkin for me, then. No number 5, she said. The other woman immediately started in with asking which ones she could get. The employee, a girl with a scarf, put on the plastered smile and started to try to fill the order. While the girl looked, I chatted with the new competition. She explained that she was an Oz fan from Kansas. I explained that my husband was a big Oz fan. She said that she and her husband had just moved to the area. I asked if she had a pen and paper, then wrote down the addresses for the Wizard of Oz Page and the Oogaboo Page for her. I explained that the Oogaboos are the local Oz fan club, and that we were having a meeting in April.

I bought Daisy Munchkin after one last check for #5, then it was out to my car. I considered finding another McD's, but logic told me there is plenty of time. And now that I know the secret of the customer satisfaction box, I'm not going to worry that all the figures were being sold out.

My errands, complete with comic shop, had taken about an hour. I needed to get home and get some lunch in me. And so to home. Current tally: Two each of Dorothy, Glinda, Wicked Witch of the West, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Daisy Munchkin. One Wicked Witch of the East.