Thursday, October 23, 2003

YES, I WENT BACK to the "Awesome Dawsome" McDonald's. It's right on the way to work, parking is usually easy, and the fast food is fast in the eating, if not always in the serving.

I chose a line and lost (remember, it's the little-slice-of-Vegas system, not first-come, first-served). The transaction in my line seemed to be taking place entirely in Spanish, but then I realized that the customer was speaking English. ¡La zona crepuscular! ¿Donde esta Rod Serling?

In the line I should have chosen, a homeless-looking man said simply, "Cheeseburger." Toward the end of the ringing-up process, he muttered, "Double cheese."

I'm not sure which item he got, or which one he wanted. Me, I would have loved a lunch from the kind of place where you'd expect Spanish to be the official language, but I had to settle for a couple of all-American cheeseburgers. "Two cheeseburgers" was the way I ordered them. The price seemed a little steep, but what do I know about what McDonald's items cost? I might as well be George Herbert Walker Bush staring in awe at scanning technology.

What I was charged for, of course, was two double cheeseburgers. The confusion was catching. The bilingual cashier noticed the mistake, albeit belatedly, and after some difficulty (the word "cuarenta" kept coming up) she refunded the extra money. I wasn't sure what was in my bag, but closer inspection revealed that I had the double burgers. I was allowed to keep them. They weren't bad.

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