Dear Ronald McDonald.
I have a bone to pick with you. This is prairie speak for: You screwed up, son and we need to talk.
I am recovering from breast cancer and have the common complaint of a poor appetite. This happens to chemotherapy patients because well, putting poisons into your body kind of fucks up everything inside of it, including your appetite. It's different for everyone. Some of us can't eat anything yellow. Others don't tolerate the smell of eggs well. For almost all of us, a LOT of food has a metallic taste to it. This supposedly goes away in time. I'm still waiting.
What is universal for all of us, I have discovered, is that there is usually one or two foods that we not only tolerate but CRAVE. It's kind of like being really fucked up pregnant. Except instead of morning sickness you puke pretty much all day long. We need a lot of naps and we cry a lot. Or suck it up. Whatever.
Anyway, for some strange reason, no matter how sick I was with chemotherapy, I could almost always eat an egg mcmuffin with sausage breakfast meal. Crazy, huh? The smell of a cooking hamburger could make me vomit profusely for hours (remember Bing? That was SO fun!), but hey...take me to Mickey D's after chemo and I was one happy eater.
So, I was THRILLED when you started serving breakfast ALL DAY LONG! I could have my sausage egg mcmuffin meal whenever I wished! Wow. Well, goodie. I could use my "make a wish" on something else! (Just kidding, Ronald, I am actually in my 50's...WAY too old for that foundation...but, you know what? I believe EVERYONE who endures cancer should get a wish. You might want to pour some more millions into that foundation to include ALL of us....just an idea...)
Ok. We have a McDonald's that is just a few blocks away from our house but we dislike it because the employees are slow and don't seem to give a damn if we sit in the drive thru all day long. Their speakers also suck, so you end up screaming your order and looking very, very foolish while the disembodied voice on the other end keeps saying, "Um, could you please say again? I can't hear you." I don't know, Ronnie. Maybe they're just messin' with us. Could be. Anyway.
Instead, we go to the McDonald's a few miles away. My wife, Bing, who is really big on research, found out that this place seemed to be the fastest and their employees seemed pretty efficient.
Ok. I have to cop to something. Before chemo, we weren't McDonald's partakers. Bing (wife) compares your food to um....something bad. Our daughter, Liv, is a coffee addict and gets her goodies from Starbucks or Scooters when she can afford them. We hadn't been to McDonalds EVER that I could remember before I got cancer. But, then, well....suddenly a memory of a sausage egg mcmuffin resurfaced in my chemo fogged brain and it sounded....edible. Bing was thrilled. She would have made ANY food on the planet for me by that time. I was losing weight dramatically and very anemic. If I wanted to eat at McDonalds, boy howdy, that is where we would go.
So, things were fine for a while. I don't know if you hang much at the McDonald's on 72nd St; I don't recall seeing your bright red hair anywhere, but I was usually riding shotgun and only partially awake, so excuse me if I missed you.
But, anyway, I think this place underwent new management or something because suddenly a once easy process became difficult.
First, your automatic registers went out a lot. This meant that the cashiers in the drive thru actually had to be able to COUNT OUT change.
Ronald, it was a staggering shock to me to see just how many of our youth today DO NOT KNOW HOW TO COUNT BACK CHANGE MANUALLY. They are great at punching in what you give them and having their electronic friend tell them that if I give them a 20 dollar bill, two dimes, and a penny for a meal that is 5.21$, this means that I get 15.00$ back. But, if they do not have their electronic friend telling them this, they will look down dismally at my twenty dollar bill and change and start frantically counting on their fingers.
I think a training beginning math course should be mandatory, don't you?
But, Ronnie...I hope it's okay if I call you Ronnie...things became worse. First, I went through the drive-thru and picked up my order and went home and discovered that there was no egg in my sausage egg mcmuffin. I sighed and chalked this up to one bad experience.
Until the next time that I went through. And silly me, I DID NOT CHECK MY ORDER before I got home again. This time, you forgot my hashed browns. Now, I know that those hashed browns are really, really bad for me. My wife is a green eater, it almost makes her sick to have to watch me scarf down those hashed browns, but she does it because she will watch me eat live snakes if it means that I eat something. I happen to ADORE those hashed browns. And FUCK....they were missing. Well, I consoled myself, at least I did get the egg in my sausage egg mcmuffin this time.
But, I was feeling especially old and cranky and chemo ridden that day, so I sent an email to your Mom and Dad. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald's? Now, I didn't say one word of ridicule to them about the fact that their son is a clown. A clown is a FINE profession. You aren't out there selling meth or pimping or such. And I am Irish, so have many, many relatives with red hair. Not quite THAT red, but it is what is on the inside that counts, yes? And you seem like such a jolly, kind son. Anyway, I wrote to the big cheeses.
I immediately received an answer. My comment had been received and would be sent on to the proper people to rectify the matter.
Well, now. I was impressed. Quality service and a fast response. And then, it got better. The very next day, I was taking my mid afternoon nap (sorry, still zonked out from the cancer thing...) and my phone rang. The number didn't seem familiar, but I was expecting a call from my insurance company as I am fighting to get a BRCA genetic test paid for, but...hey...that's another long sad story, so I will just say that I answered the call.
It was from the manager at the McDonald's that forgot my egg and my hashed browns. She was the nicest, perkiest person I have ever spoken to, Ronnie. She apologized profusely for my less than stellar service and said that she would be sending me a coupon for a free breakfast meal. She also chirped that she was so EXCITED that I craved McDonald's during my bout with cancer. I didn't say anything smarty pants, Ronnie. I got what she was trying to say. And I appreciated it. We hung up on good terms and a few days later, there was that coupon in the mail!
Well, Ronnie. Here is where the hard part comes in. My wife and I have a special thing that we do every Saturday. We stop at Starbucks for pumpkin spice lattes (I know that you offer them too, Ronnie...but frankly....yours kind of stink...really too sugary...) and then go to Taco Bell for a breakfast roll up thing for her and then on to McDonald's for my sausage egg mcmuffin. And then, we go to a nearby park and eat our breakfast on a sunny bench by a lake and feed the ducks some cracked corn (no, we don't feed them any of your food...my wife refuses to be responsible for clogged arteries in those ducks, she says....) It's a lovely way to start our morning and this morning it was even more special because hey....MY breakfast was FREE!
So, we purchased our breakfasts and got to the park and I opened my bag.
You guessed it, Ronnie.
No hashed browns. And instead of a sausage egg mcmuffin, there was um...something else. I am not sure what it was. It was a muffin alright and there was an egg in there, but there was what looked like a slice of canadian bacon and two strips of regular bacon as well. I checked the receipt. Yup. It said that I had ordered a sausage egg mcmuffin meal with orange juice instead of coffee and that it was free because I had a coupon.
Oh, Ronnie. Now, I have to call your parents again.
Tsk. Tsk. I don't enjoy playing the cancer card, but for PETE'S SAKE, I'm sort of having a bad year here, dude. My football team, the cornhuskers, suck big large this year and we NEVER do that. We play smash mouth football and win those fucking games. Glenn died on The Walking Dead. I have oozing radiation burns on what used to be a fine, lovely chest, my daughter thinks she is in love with a man who is way too old for her, I had to retire from my job because of the um.....okay...MOTHER FUCKING breast cancer, I have a new gas stove that is not hooked up yet because the electrician keeps canceling when we schedule him to come and change out the outlets, the water pressure in my kitchen sink is suddenly very low and we can't figure out why, my car is due in for an oil change, I am fighting with my insurance company over whether they will pay for a BRCA gene test so that I can see if I handed down my cancer genes to my daughter, my cataracts are getting so bad that night driving is becoming difficult and Winter is coming, which means snow and I was never meant to live in a place where there are blizzards.
So, excuse me if I sound like a complainer, but...
IS IT SO DAMN FUCKING MUCH TO ASK FOR THAT MY STUPID McDONALD'S ORDER BE ACCURATE?
And, hey....is it just me or do you find it really, really ironic, too, that I received a coupon for a free breakfast meal and you guys messed it up again?
C'MON, Ronnie. You can do better. Cut a girl a break here, please?