Monday, September 22, 2003

" 'AWESOME DAWSOME,' ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee," said the man in line in front of me at McDonald's, and everyone else but me seemed to agree that those were the funniest words ever uttered.

When I say "line," of course, I mean "amorphous mass," because standing in line is yet another of those basic skills that people don't seem to have a grasp of anymore. I groaned when one of the cashiers told the leader of the laughter that her register was closed, but then the mob thinned out -- apparently most of the others were there only to laugh at the first guy's spellbinding storytelling, not to order food or anything. Once we had a reasonable semblance of a line in front of the one open register, a second register opened. Suddenly everyone acquired flawless line-forming skills and two distinct lines formed; why settle for boring first-come, first-served meritocracy when you can turn the waiting experience into a little slice of Vegas?

"Hee, hee, 'Awesome Dawsome,' " he continued.

Is it over yet?

"Yes, sir, ha, ha, ha."


"Heh. Too much."

Let it die.

"Can you believe it? 'Awesome Dawsome.' "

Shoot me now.

I finally got my No. 1 Meal, in the usual haphazard fashion that characterizes the Ray Kroc-is-long-gone McDonald's experience, and I walked over to fill my cup with Diet Coke. My new favorite people had grabbed a big table, and they continued to say "Awesome Dawsome" approximately every 1.5 seconds. This was a double-decker McDonald's, and I hurried upstairs in an attempt to get out of range. It seemed to be working, and then . . .

[Indistinguishable crowd noise] " 'Awesome Dawsome'!" . . . [Indistinguishable crowd noise] " 'Awesome Dawsome'!" . . . [Indistinguishable crowd noise] " 'Awesome Dawsome'!" . . .

Eventually it subsided, and I moved one Big Mac closer to the sweet, sweet salve of death.

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