And now, after a month's absence due to SOCOM 3 addiction, here is the conclusion to A Day at McDonald's, or
The glut of handicapped seating forced me to the playland section. I ventured beyond the clear plastic partition that barricades the handicapped people (how lucky are they?) from the din and frenzy of the little devils. Playlands are the Viet Nam of the under-8 demographic. I just happened down the Ho Chi Min trail and into Kiddie-Saigon. I found a booth on the southeast perimeter with no sign of Victor Charlie nearby. I pounced on it. It wouldn't be there long as it offered patrons the maximum distance from the playland. Once I settled into the booth, things weren't too bad. The prepubescent VC were a click west in the playland. The noise level was tolerable. I had a comfortable booth seat. Time for me to lock and load some chicken nuggets.
Safe in my foxhole, I ate. The nuggets had a previously frozen, processed taste. The fries – arguably McDonald's best menu idem – were undercooked. They had traces of green potato, glistening in vegetable oil. Oh yeah. This is why I don't like McDonald's. I'm never coming back, I thought. I gagged my rations down and cracked open my book, Freakonomics. I planned to make a big dent in the book this afternoon. My eyes scanned the pages. After a few paragraphs about how blacks are mentally inferior to whites (Oops! I'm sorry. I'm confusing Freakonomics with The Bell Curve. In Freakonomcs, blacks are more likely to be drug dealers. My mistake.) my mind focused. My brain devoured the text. I stopped only for an occasional sip on my diet soda. Before long I needed a refill. I sashayed to the soda fountain and topped of my glass. I'll be damned by what I saw when I returned.
Evidently, Victor Charlie decided to move in on my position. Two little booger-eater bastards were playing in my booth! The two little tykes, maybe 40 pounds apiece, where standing and wandering about in my seat. Undeterred by my personal effects on the table or by any sense of decency or by a conscientious parent, they played with reckless abandon. Even as I approached, they played. They didn't give a damn. They just didn't give a damn. And though they were small, they were old enough to know better. Get outta my booth, you little bastards.
In the neighboring booth sat four stay-at-home-and-suck-your-husband's-cock-twice-per-month moms. Seconds before, when I was reading in my child-free booth, I had to tune out their lofty intellectual dialogue about hair care products and reality programming. Now I had to hope one of these bovine was the aloof mother of the two pint-sized Cong so she could tell them to stand down. I entreated the SAHMs with a stare. No response. I moved closer to my table. Nothing. I stood at my table. Still, nothing. The kids played and moms ignored. Surrendering, I grabbed my book and prepared to leave. Suddenly the kids' mom mustered a shred of maternity. She verbally coaxed the kids down from the booth. “Sweeties. Get down. Come on sweeties. The man is sitting there. Time to get down.” Whoa, take it easy on'em lady. I might have to call Protective Services.
The kids got down. I admit it was no big deal. Kids do stuff like that. But get what happens next. Another of these SAHMs chimes in, “You just don't know what you're going to get when you eat in HERE.” I detected a subtle sarcastic tone.
That comment tore it. That one little comment. It reverberated in my brain for the rest of the afternoon. You just don't know... when you eat in HERE...Here...here... Hey, wait a minute. In that woman's mind, this whole thing was MY fault. She figures I got what I deserved. That's what angered me about the whole affair and that's what moved me to write it down and share it with you. You see, that snarky comment really meant, “Hey you big, dumb guy. How dare you sit in the kiddie section and expect to eat undisturbed? My friend's children are so precious that whatever they do is going to be adorable, including tyrannizing the innocent patrons who have the nerve to sit here and attempt to enjoy a meal.”
As she made her comment, I took my seat and smiled at her. But in my mind I was screaming, Up yours, Tokyo Rose!
This is the kind of shit that puts me at odds with the human race. I expect parents to keep their booger-eaters in check and not dancing on my seat. Is that so unreasonable? But that expectation made me, in the eyes of the SAHMs, a six-fingered rube. I swear, this country needs to rediscover its sense of shame. Nothing's wrong anymore. Especially when kids do it, it's so fucking precious. No matter how irritating or inconsiderate. It's part of that everybody-has-a-valid-point-of-view bullshit. Lady, your kids were making a mockery of civility and an ass out of you. Show due shame. And tell your busybody friend to pop a cork in it. I hope she chokes on her low-fat chicken caesar salad.