I am hereby rescinding my endorsement of McDonald’s sweet tea. Does a ginormous paper cup filled with lukewarm sugar water sound good to you? No? Then stay away from this beverage. And it certainly isn’t worth the trouble.
H and I recently attended a meet-n-greet with his friends’ newborn son, Baby D. The gathering was quite nice and featured delicious but thirst-inducing smoked salmon (known in these parts as “lox”). The day was balmy, so we decided to walk the 60 blocks home from Washington Heights. It seemed like the perfect occasion to pop into McDonald’s and try the refreshing new sweet tea I’d seen advertised all over the city.
Finding a McDonald’s was not a problem in that ‘hood. We chose one and got on line, where we discussed the various sets of twins who had also gathered, with their parents, to celebrate Baby D’s arrival.
“Did you happen to notice the brute force Twin 3 used when she grabbed the naked plastic doll out of Twin 7’s paw?” I asked H.
Before he could answer, a random woman on the line to our right chimed in at the top of her lungs.
“OH MY GOD YOU SAW THAT TOO I SAW THAT MOTHER FUCKER I SAW THAT THAT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME TOTALLY RAD I FREAKING LOVE THAT SHOW!”
H and I didn’t realize we’d been having a conversation with her, because as far as we knew, she hadn’t been at the gathering and was shouting about something completely unrelated. But it became clear when we didn’t respond within a nanosecond that she was having a conversation with us.
“HEY! I LOVE THAT SHOW CANNOT FUCKING BELIEVE THAT SHOW OH MAN. NICE CAMERA!”
Politely, H accepted the compliment.
“SO CAN I TALK TO YOU FOR A MINUTE SEE MY BOYFRIEND WE’RE ENGAGED HE HAS A CAMERA LIKE THAT I’M TRYING TO BE A MODEL BUT YOU KNOW I LOST ALL MY MONEY SO WE DON’T HAVE A TV EXCEPT ONE TIME WE WATCHED IT AT HIS MOM’S BUT HE’S A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER SO WHAT KIND OF CAMERA IS THAT LIKE IS IT WORTH A LOT WOW THAT IS TOTALLY RAD ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? HEY ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?”
I couldn’t imagine what exactly this woman might model successfully, except maybe track marks. She had roughly the same complexion and skin tone as Grampa Munster, and was sporting pleather pants with a cropped black t-shirt. Her nails, lips and hair were jet black as well, although I wouldn’t go so far as to call her a Goth. Regardless, she was freakish and I began to hear the local newscasters relaying the tragic details of our untimely and violent deaths … in a McDonald’s.
“Good evening. A Manhattan woman who just celebrated the 11th anniversary of her 25th birthday and her boyfriend, an Emmy-winning writer, were brutally stabbed to death while they waited on line at a McDonald’s for a sweet tea.”
Cut to the crime scene, where police are standing around doing nothing, and then, as the voiceover begins, to a hideous photo of me from college, before the flat-iron was invented, without make-up on, and wearing white leather Keds with a ridiculously oversized periwinkle Champion sweatshirt.
“Chuck — wait a minute. McDonald’s sells sweet tea now?”
“That’s right, Sue. Witnesses said the couple was attacked by a fellow customer, a mentally unstable woman who had just ordered a Filet-o-Fish and a McFlurry…”
Grampa Munster continued to chat us up with her excellent social skills and I prayed that she’d wait to stab us until after I’d tasted the sweet tea. When I finally accepted the beverage from the McDonald’s cashier, it was physically difficult to grasp it. I’d ordered a “small,” but this was clearly meant for someone who’d just walked off the surface of the sun. And, it tasted VILE.
FABULOUS. We were going to die because of my quest for a super-sized PUKE-TASTING drink worth $1.
We began to traverse the McDonald’s, headed for the door. Grampa Munster followed us, shouting along the way.
“YO I JUST WANT TO TALK TO YOU FOR A MINUTE WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THAT WHY CAN’T I JUST ASK YOU A FEW QUESTIONS MOTHER FUCKERS I JUST WANT TO TOUCH THE CAMERA MAN.”
We kept walking, and she kept shouting. She didn’t seem like the type of person who’d respond well to reason, but I considered trying.
Look, I understand you’d like to chat with us. I get that. The thing is, we’d prefer not to chat with YOU. Now, I also understand there’s a chance you’re going to kill us because of that. I respect your position. But can I just ask that if you ARE going to stab or shoot us, you wait until we’re a few blocks away from McDonald’s and thus, cannot be identified posthumously as patrons of this venue? Thanks.