Okay, first I should apologize. This blog was meant to be written and posted about five days ago, but I have had a very busy week of trying to wrap up the school year and polish off my reports, so everything other than those things and eating were pushed aside.
But now I have a few seconds, so here is Part 2:
Going to the McDonald’s drive-through is usually a painless process. Order, pay, get your food, and go. But leave it to me to screw it up. Nick and I went on a late-night run to get some fries and Happy Meals, and we managed to get through the order step without incident, but we got snagged at pay.
“Did she say pull up to first window?” I asked him, as I pulled the car up to window one.
“I thought she did.”
“Then where is the… person… that, you know, takes the money?”
We both peered into the empty booth.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe she did say second window.”
We pulled ahead to the second window. I held my debit card out to the employee. She looked back at me like I was holding out a dead rat.
“Oh,” she said to me. “You were supposed to pay at the first window. Can you go back there?”
Nick and I laughed at each other. “Yeah, no problem,” I said. I put the car into reverse and glanced back in my mirror to see the glaring headlights of a monstrous pickup truck that had been jacked-up to the height of a flagpole. “Crap.”
“Okay,” I said to the disgusted girl, “should we just park and come in so I can pay in there?”
“Yeah, I guess that will work.”
We parked the car, popped out, and went into the McDonald’s. I waited for them to tell the cashiers at the front to run my order through. Instead, the girl from window two waved me over.
“I’m just going to get you to come back here with me to window one,” she said.
“Yeah,” she said. “Don’t steal anything.”
I followed the girl back behind the universally-acknowledged patron-employee demarcation line known as the “front counter.”
The girl led me back into the bowels of the McDonald’s to the tiny, cramped space where the previously missing girl from window one normally managed the transactions. There I paid for my order, waited awkwardly in the postage-stamp-sized space for a few seconds for the order to go through, and then led myself back out to the front to wait for my food.
At that point I realized that I could not find my keys.
“Do you have my car keys?” I asked Nick.
“No. Did you give them to me?”
“I don’t think so. But I don’t have them. One second.”
I ran outside, vaulted the barrier to the drive-through lane, and ran to my empty and still running car in the parking lot. Had I been driving anything the slightest-bit worthy of theft, I would have been looking at an empty space instead, but the family vehicle is about as desirable as my debit card was to the girl at window two.
I turned off the car, grabbed my keys, and went back inside.
Nick was interrogating another employee about the food that she was running out to the waiting cars that had spilled over from the drive-through. (I tried to ignore the nagging sense that the backup was caused by people that that didn’t think to wait at window one.)
“What’s in that bag,” he was saying to her, “because I think that it might be our order.”
“Um, I don’t know. There is a Big Mac in here with no onions. Is that yours?”
Nick looked at me for confirmation. I shook my head.
Five minutes later, we were headed back to the car with our order finally in hand. I went to unlock the car only to find that it was already and unlocked. Also, the driver’s door was slightly ajar. Had there been anything worth stealing, it would have been gone, but no one was tempted in by my collection of old coffee lids and gas receipts.
“Where are my fries?” Erin asked as we passed the food out at home.
I had no answer for her.
Next: Adventures in Goderich Part 3: Culbert’s Bakery, Sand, Sun, and Parties Full of Donuts