Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Please don't 'special order' your hamburger if you're in front of me in the long, long line. . . .

There have been times when I asked for a 'special order' at a certain fast-food restaurant. I always apologized for the inconvenience, because I know that one of the things that makes a fast food restaurant fast, is the fact that their food is uniform.

Everybody knows that certain fast food restaurants have uniform food. EVERYBODY knows that. That's what makes them FAST. If you don't like their food, go somewhere else.

People go to fast food restaurants for the fast food, the happy meal toys, and the uniformity, AKA "no surprises," of the food.

There are lots and lots of conventional restaurants for people who have special requests on a regular basis. LOTS of restaurants that will happily and easily serve a plain hamburger, or a hamburger with mayonnaise, or anything deviating from the fast food norm of mustard, catsup, and pickle. I prefer something other than that norm, myself. But I wouldn't ask for it at a fast food restaurant most of the time. I'd go to a conventional restaurant if I HAD to have my own way. Which I usually do, so I usually go to a conventional restaurant. Duh.

I've only asked for special favors at certain fast-food places a few times, and only then at a few places. Did I mention that I always apologized, and I was truly appreciative of the special effort?

However, none of those few times was PRIME MEAL TIME, when the crowds of people with not-a-lot-of-free-time-to-wait-around-for-meeeee, descended on the place. That would have been very, very rude of me to do it at any of those times. It would have slowed things up, and made the fast-food restaurant into a slow-food restaurant. Most unfair to the waiting people behind me. I have better manners than that.

Moreover, none of those few places was a drive-through window. You know, a drive-through window: for the speed and convenience of considerate people who don't hold up a line with a special order, in a restaurant that sells speed and uniformity. It's right across the parking lot from the conventional restaurant that LOVES special orders, and even encourages them, because they are set up for them and it doesn't SLOW EVERYTHING DOWN for the busy people-with-not-much-time-to-eat-before-they-have-to-go-back-to-work crowds.

Special-order-people: PLEASE do your fast-food-eating during the odd hours of the day, NOT during prime time.

Oh, and if your kids are just picky, not allergic, you could always try my mother's secret method of getting people to eat things they think they don't like. She gave us two choices for every meal: Take it or leave it.

After a few 'leave it' decisions, it's surprising how quickly even the pickiest kid will come around and give something new a try. As long as you don't break down and give the poor little thing some crackers and peanut butter because, bless his heart, he's HUNGRY. If you do that, you've lost this war and your child has a new secret weapon to use against you in public.

Item: When I was seven years old, I once went without food for almost four days, in protest of her methods. She made sure I had plenty of juice and milk, so I wouldn't pass out cold on the linoleum, but until I at least TRIED that dish, there was fasting to pay. And it paid.

All of us are fat as heifers now. And we NEVER special-order at a fast-food restaurant during prime time.

I know I swore not to pick at people's kids any more, but I changed my mind. Bite me.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:57 PM | |


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