Friday, March 23, 2007

We're Off to See the ... McDonald's?

I used to be a big McDonald's fan, back before I realized that they don't actually sell food, but "food product". Still, they have their uses. I liked getting the mini-Beanie Baby penguins, back during the craze (I collect penguins). I have nothing against most of the toys. And I've always liked the Monopoly game. I don't like eating there often, but every once in awhile I crave junk. Sadly, today wasn't really one of those days. But I wanted to get hubby-Eric a Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz doll, and I wanted to go on a long walk, so I decided that lunch today would be a Happy Meal from McDonald's!

I wasn't positive that today was the first day of the promotion, so to hedge my bets, I decided to take some books back to the library first. That way, if I got to McDonald's and there was no Oz, I could head home at least feeling like I'd accomplished something. The walk to the library was easy, as I've been doing it for the last few months no problem. Ok, I generally avoid walking in the rain if I can help it, but you can't always help it around here, and it was more a light drizzle than real rain.

From the library I headed to McDonald's, which isn't much further away. As I walked up to the place I saw a cute little girl in the window playing with a doll that had a checked blue dress and ruby red shoes. I grinned broadly, and the girl smiled back. Into the place I went... and there my problems started.

McDonald's Wizard of Oz Dorothy
Only one poor cashier was taking orders, and she was out of her league. She spoke English with a thick Spanish accent, and although she was cheerful, she was a bit hard to understand and was having some trouble understanding the customers. I speak very little Spanish, otherwise it might have been a less stressful moment for me. I ordered a "Wizard of Oz Happy Meal with Apple Dippers and a Diet Coke". She didn't understand me. All she got out of it was "Happy Meal". Then she asked me which toy. I said, "Wizard of Oz". She looked confused then typed something into her register. "Wadriwayaike?" She said. "Huh?" I said. "Wadriwayaike?" She said. I thought maybe my ears were misadjusted, "HUH?" "Wa drink waya like?" She said, and this time I got it. "Diet Coke," I responded, then said aloud, mostly to myself, "didn't I already say that?" The guy behind me grunted, "yes."

I paid then stepped aside to await my "meal". As soon as I got the bag, I checked the toy. Yup, it was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, not a Wizard of Oz figure. I called the cashier over, pointed to the Wizard of Oz side of the bag and said, "I wanted a Wizard of Oz figure," and handed her the turtle. She nodded, smiled a forced smile, and got me my Dorothy figure. To her defense, she was young enough that she might not even know what Wizard of Oz is AND it's the first day of the promotion. I then retired to a seat in the place to eat my food product. As I walked to my seat, I saw a duck standing in the door, looking in. I paused for a moment, then continued to my seat.

I was maybe a quarter of the way into the fries when I thought to myself, MAN, these fries are really salty. And then I thought to myself, Hey, I ordered Apple Dippers! I sighed, looked down at my food product and weighed my choices. I could go back and complain. I'd probably get my apple dippers. I could eat the rest of the fries. I could dump the rest of the fries and just not worry about it. I had eaten enough of the fries that I didn't want to eat any dippers. And the fries were just too salty to finish. So I decided on number three: non-confrontationally dump the rest of the fries and be happy I got the Dorothy doll at least.

I looked up and saw a guy walking in the door looking curiously at the duck, which was still standing there. "He's not on the menu," I said to the guy. He smiled, looked back at the duck, and said, "Not yet, at least." I was going to say that McDonald's would never serve anything that fresh, but decided I'd had enough human interaction for the moment.

As I left McDonald's, I realized I was a little angry at them for messing up my order. I decided to use that anger to go on a longer walk. So what if it's raining? I walked to the local Safeway to check if they had any of Stephen Colbert's Ice Cream. No go. Then I walked about a quarter mile out of my way to the QFC to see if they had the Stephen Colbert ice cream. Nope, not yet. Then to home, where I entered my lunch and my walk into CalorieKing, and was pleased to see that they canceled each other out.

All's well that ends well? I suppose. Hubby-Eric was pleased when he got home and I gave him the Dorothy figure. That makes it all worth it.