Milkshakes from the Past

You are probably thinking this is going to be one of those posts where I spend the whole time expounding on some trivial thing in life that actually took only about 20 seconds in real time, but now I am going to force you to spend 8 to 10 minutes reading about it. You are right.

Yesterday, I took my kid to McDonald’s for breakfast because we were out of bacon. And eggs. And toast. I tried to get him to eat oatmeal cookies for breakfast because of the oatmeal content, but he seemed to think that cookies were not a proper breakfast. Sometimes I don’t know what is wrong with that kid.

After we agreed that we would go to McDonald’s to get him a McGriddle, I glanced at the clock. It was 10:07. McGriddle service ends at that place at 10:30 sharp. “Don’t worry Mom,” my child says, “I’ll go get dressed.” (It is the week after Christmas, my kid is out of school, and yes, we have been in our pajamas all morning playing games on his new Wii. Don’t judge me. We will read a book later. Maybe.)

While I locate car keys, my seven-year-old proceeds to go into his room and pull out the most ridiculous match up of clothing I have ever seen. I usually set his clothes out for him to avoid this. Apparently, seven-year-olds think you can pull any random pants and shirt items from a drawer, and put them on without any planning or foresight. It always ends badly. However, the countdown had started, and there was no time to argue. We got in the car and arrived at McDonalds at 10:22. My kid tells me he wants a McGriddle with milk, then rushes off to go find a table.

Ordering at fast food restaurants is extremely difficult, even without the time pressure. There is a line behind you, waiting for you to order. There is a person in front of you, expecting you to order. You have to be extremely precise in your communication with this person in order for you to receive the food you are expecting. Then there is the menu itself, a glaring panorama with brightly lit pictures of food and numbers and drinks.

I have to remember my kids order, and mine. Then somehow communicate all this to a person with the clock ticking down to 10:30. It is a high-pressure situation.

There is one person ahead of me in line. I am trying to pay attention so I will see when they are finished ordering and move up. At the same time I am looking at the McGriddle pictures perplexed as to why they put cheese on them. Then I am trying to figure out if they come with milk. My kid asked for milk, but milk is only listed on the kid’s menu. There is no breakfast kid menu. Maybe I’ll just order it with milk to see what happens. How is the number seven different from the number six? Oh god, one has sausage and one has bacon. Which one did he want??

You can see that I have a lot going on inside my head. This is when I hear a voice behind me saying, “Are you interested in a free milkshake?” I turn to find an attractive looking guy standing behind me. At a McDonald’s, I know. It is hard to believe.

When I see attractive people, I always assume they are selling something. Probably because all the attractive, well-dressed people at my office are in sales. So, here is this guy with the Ashton Kutcher hair asking me about a milkshake. I give him my very best I’m-not-interested-in-signing-up-for-a-damn-credit-card-or-changing-my-electricity-provider glare. He shifts a bit, but continues, undaunted.

“You can get a free milkshake here. On November 25th.” He is obviously trying to communicate something with me by pointing to a hand-written sign on the counter that says “Get a free milkshake on November 25th” I consider the quickest way of ending this interaction and decide to pretend to be agreeable. Sometimes that works.

“Yes, I see that. Thanks.” I respond.

“On November 25th.” He repeats. The guy is not letting it go.

I continue with my tactic of being nice, but dismissive, “Yes, that’s great.” I tell him.

Finally, he decides I am never going to get it. “That is like a YEAR from now.” He blurts out. He now seems pleased with himself, but a little flustered at having to explain his own joke.

I missed it. He was being WITTY, and I missed it. I usually appreciate people being witty. But you just can’t spring it on me like that. I can’t be expected to deal with some kind of Ashton Kutcher look-alike in line at a McDonald’s trying to sell me a milkshake from the past while I am dealing with McGriddle deadlines.

This shirt will prevent unwanted offers of milkshakes from the past. You probably think this will not happen to you, but you can never be too careful.

So, to the good-looking guy in line behind me at McDonalds, sorry I didn’t get your witty banter. In all fairness, if you look like Ashton Kutcher, you shouldn’t even be in a McDonalds. This isn’t Beverly Hills. Go to a Chick-fil-A.

The good news is, that my kid and I had great time eating our McGriddles. He even demonstrated how he almost spit out his milk at school when his friend told him a joke one time. Morning accomplished.