Nearly every morning I find myself waiting at the McDonald's drive-thru for my medium vanilla iced coffee. On some mornings, when I feel like living on the edge, I add a sausage biscuit w/cheese. Recently I had one of those days!
After having a pleasant, yet brief conversation with the very friendly video screen, I make my way north to the first window. There, I pay a young lady for having that conversation with the video screen a few yards back, then, after I get my change (YES - I used cash!), I continue heading north to the second window. It is at this second window that I encounter what I can only describe as "beautiful symbolism."
After a small wait, another young lady hands me my normal morning beverage and then the small paper bag presumably holding my sausage biscuit w/cheese. As I drive off, I immediately unfold the wrapper to enjoy the daredevil decadence of that great old American breakfast, and behold...
You see...I'm a simple person. I enjoy the simplicity of life as much as I can. I enjoy the drive-thru, because it's simple. I even enjoy having a conversation with a video screen, because it makes it simple. But, when the simple life turns into...how should I put it...not so simple (is that simple enough?) it really irritates me. I don't know why...maybe I'm just a complicated person. But I digress...
...and behold...a smile comes across my face as I immediately recognize that beautiful, tasty buttermilk biscuit and the always delightful sight of cheddar cheese extending from all angles. It's simple, really...biscuit, cheddar, and...whoa...wait a second...
I start retracing my steps. I begin to recreate the conversation with the lovely video screen. "Good morning, welcome to McDonald's. What can I get for you today?" "Yes, I would like a medium vanilla iced coffee, and one sausage biscuit w/cheese...cut the sausage!" NO...I didn't say that. Why would I say that? Does that make sense?
So, I drive back to that first window, this time without talking to the video screen. I told the first young lady my predicament and she offered an awkward smile in return and said, "I'm sorry, please pull forward and we'll take care of that for you." So, I did.
When I arrived at the second window, a different lady greeted me...this one wearing a buttoned up shirt with collar, signifying superiority. I thought, "good, the manager chose to handle it herself and offer condolences for my loss of the "simple life". She handed me another paper sack, and said, "here you go, sorry about that!" I said thanks, and pulled away.
I began thinking to myself, "this may have worked out a lot better than I originally imagined. Instead of having a medium vanilla iced coffee and one sausage biscuit w/cheese, I now have a medium vanilla iced coffee, one sausage biscuit w/cheese, and one sausage biscuit w/cheese cut the sausage!" I could live with that!
Did I mention how much I enjoyed the "simple life?"
As I opened my second paper sack that the nice manager lady gave me, I quickly realized my thoughts of additional sustenance were premature. There was no sausage biscuit w/cheese wrapped in paper. No, that would be too simple. There was something wrapped in paper, but it lacked...for lack of a better term...substance.
There, shimmering through the thin paper wrapping was my sausage biscuit w/cheese, cut the sausage, sausage! One thin patty for my simple enjoyment.
I guess I didn't read the sign stating that today was "Build Your Own Breakfast Sandwich Day" at McDonald's. Maybe, due to the depravity of our nation's economy, the labor force at McDonald's is now confined to just providing the ingredients, and we must perform the actual construction.
Then it hit me...the "beautiful symbolism" part!
I get it! Tell me if you've heard this one before.
You and I give an order, and it is fairly simple. The entity that takes the order decides to, for whatever reason, add their own flare to our initial request. Then, without hesitation, they take our money for said order, and, in return, they give us something that barely resembles our original intent.
Now we are dependent upon that entity and forced to go through the order process again hoping, as we were the first time, to get the complete and total product, as ordered, in its intended form. But, as usually is the case, because the above mentioned powers-that-be desire their superiority over the masses, instead of fixing the problem by producing the complete and total package as originally ordered, they decide to just add one more piece to our "simple life" puzzle, leaving it up to you and me to put it all together.
Does this sound simple?
It is at this point most Americans choose to move on and just forget the whole situation, thus giving up their freedom to pursue their own happiness and become completely dependent on the system for their end products. I mean, really, it's much simpler in the short term to just take your sausage biscuit w/cheese, cut the sausage and add the sausage biscuit w/cheese, cut the sausage, sausage to it, right?
That's what I did...at McDonald's, anyway. But funny thing was, when I went to add the single sausage patty to my already cheese melted biscuit, I was unable to pull apart the two sides without completely destroying the biscuit itself. What I ended up with was a jumbled mess of ingredients, and left to pick up the pieces.
Yes, I ate a biscuit, cheese, and sausage that morning...but what I wanted was a sausage biscuit w/cheese. When put together properly, the "simple life" returns to its original state. I am no longer forced to keep pulling up to the drive-thru to correct my order. I get what I want...what I paid for...what I deserve...when I want it. Is that too much to ask?
"Good morning, welcome to The United States of America, can I help you?"
"Yes, I would like my freedom and an order of fiscal responsibility, please."