HOT MUSTARD

McDonaldsHotMustard

I walked down the way to the neighborhood McDonald’s like I did every day. It wasn’t too far. I was very lucky to live within walking distance of the burger establishment. The day was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. It seemed as if the heavens were smiling down upon me.

I walked into the McDonald’s and saw people all around me. Some were smiling as they ingested their reasonably priced burgers but some of them looked less than happy. I walked to the counter where Jim, a nice young man who regularly helped me with my daily transaction, smiled at me and said

“Hey Al, how are you doing today? Welcome to McDonald’s,”

“Thanks, Jim. I’ll just have my usual,”

“A Big Mac combo?”

“Yeah, super-sized,”

“Well, Al, we don’t do super-sized anymore, but I can make it a large for you?”

“Large is fine,” I said, “I just really like saying ‘Super-Sized’,”

Jim took my five dollar bill and exact change and gave me my receipt which I crumpled and put in my pocket.

“Here’s your cup, Al,”

“Thanks, Jim,” I said, snatching the cup from his hand, I went over to the soft drink dispenser and filled my cup with very light ice and 48 ounces of ice cold Coca-Cola. I grabbed a large lid and a straw. I unwrapped half off the straw and then blowing into the straw, shot the other half of the wrapper into the trash. From there, I went back over to the lobby and waited, my arms crossed for my burger and fresh French fries.

I watched a lady and her son gather their food as they called out her order. She got a chicken wrap with a large French fry and her son had gotten a happy meal with chicken nuggets. The woman guided her son to a booth and they began to eat.

A skinny man who had rung up just as I had entered the McDonald’s came up to gather his four Spicy McChicken Sandwiches. I was marveled that such a skinny guy could eat so much food!

Then I heard them call my order out. BIG MAC AND LARGE FRENCH FRY? I went to gather my lunch and said to the lady behind the counter,

“Excuse me, miss? Can I get some hot mustard to dip my French fries in?”

The woman looked at me sadly with a smirk.

“You know, I’m very sorry, but we don’t have hot mustard sauce any longer. They discontinued it,”

“What?” I said, “There must be some sort of mistake. You see, I get hot mustard sauce everyday to dip my fries into. Are you sure you’re not just out?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry, sir. We simply don’t have it anymore.”

Her voice sounded slower each second. I could hear my heart thumping in my ears and my hands shaking. A great red rage began to overcome me as the woman behind the counter looked at me, her eyes filled with terror.

“You have to have some back there somewhere?”

“I’m really very sorry, sir. We are all out,”

“You can’t be all out!” I yelled, “You just can’t be!”

“I could get you some barbecue sauce, sir? The French fries are very good in barbecue sauce?”

“I don’t want the barbecue sauce! I want the hot mustard sauce! I come here everyday!”

It was then the anger overtook me. I threw my tray of food behind the counter and screamed ferociously as a coffee pot was shaken off the counter and crashed onto the floor.

“I want my hot mustard!” I yelled again, punching my fist into the Coca-Cola drink machine and knocking over the lids and straws, the salt and pepper and the little packets of ketchup. Some people began heading for the door, as others out on the patio looked in intrigue. I could feel their eyes on me as great globs of sweat began pouring down my face.

“I come here everyday!”

A manager came out from behind the counter, his hands out in front of him as he said to me,

“Sir, I’m very sorry, but I’m going to need you to calm down. You are being out of line. I’m sure we can solve this in a rational manner or I’m going to have to ask you to leave,”

“ALL I WANT IS MY HOT MUSTARD FOR MY FRENCH FRIES! THAT’S ALL I WANT!”

I felt my hand curl up into a stone fist and saw myself swinging at the manager. Next thing I knew he was out cold, as the rest of the restaurant exited out the door. I began flipping tables, I threw a chair threw the window where there was an ad for a new burger sandwich. I could see the red in my fists. I jumped over the counter and shouted my demands again to them employees. I grabbed a teenaged employee by the red polo and demanded that he find me hot mustard. I threw him down and he crawled out the drive-through window in fear for his life.

“HOT MUSTARD!” I said, “I COME HERE EVERYDAY!” I said, throwing the deep fryer onto the floor as cornered employees screamed in terror. “I DESERVE HOT MUSTARD!” I said. “I NEED HOT MUSTARD!”

I pulled the drawers of burgers out, I swiped the mess off the counter as I lurked closer and closer to the cornered workers.

“It’s not our fault!” they said to me, but I knew better than that. They worked for McDonald’s. They were McDonald’s. They were keeping the hot mustard all for themselves. They looked at me like I was the devil himself, but I knew I was in the right here. The customer is always right. I yelled it at them.

“The customer is always right!” I yelled. I was a hero, standing up for my rights. You can’t just give someone something they love then take it away from them. That’s not fair. I approached them even closer my breaths ugly and harsh now on their faces.

“Please don’t hurt us,” said one brave employee desperately, wearing their McDonald’s employee visor, “Here, here’s a coupon for a free Big Mac combo.”

“Oh, that would be great,” I said, taking the coupon and exiting the McDonald’s. The day really was nice enough. A bit hot, but there was a cool breeze catching in the trees of late summer. Maybe tomorrow I would go back and try the Sweet and Sour sauce.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2014

READ “IN REALITY”

About these ads

DEAREST HIPSTERS

please quit remarking on the irony that christmas, a religious holiday dedicated to the birth of a man who was adamantly against materialism, has ironically become a celebration of commercialism

and for those of you hipsters who have fallen deeper into the trap, please stop noting that the acknowledgement of this is so outdated, been there done that

dearest hipsters
please acknowledge that the plaid shirts you wear, form-fitting, neatly pressed with a bow tie are essentially the afterbirth of grunge, the lumberjackian persona has been done

dearest hipsters
please note that tagging yourself at city o city on instagram with a clever sepia picture at 11:30 on a friday night does not only provide a sufficient mating call to potential lovers but also provides a verifiable location for you should your enemy hipsters decide to crash your party for that backhanded comment you made about the shins’ second album

dearest hipsters
what the hell do you do?
drink coffee
ironically
smoke american spirits
ironically
talk about the bands you used to like
before they became too hip
while in your heart of hearts
you still hold a vinyl copy of i’m wide awake, it’s morning

dearest hipsters
let’s not dance to joy division
let’s not trek to the hipster meccas
of san fransisco
portlandia
let’s not drink our own boredom
out of a coffee cup that says
“this is a coffee cup” on the side

dearest hipsters
your book cases are full
and the spines of the books are pristinely
not bent

dearest hipsters
invite your gay friends to your party
as long as they are your cool gay friends

dearest hipsters
occupy starbucks
occupy whole foods
occupy illegal pete’s
occupy the spaces that are easiest to occupy
and already filled

continue to ignore the rapist plains of kansas
continue to ignore the shotgun shells of texas

continue to ignore that one place outside of america
that you forgot existed
until you wanted a statue of the buddha
to set on your turntable beside the underwood typewriter

continue to ignore the misogynistic kitchens of montana
continue to ignore the homophobic roar of laramie, wyoming

continue to ignore that one place outside of america
that you forgot existed
until you decided you and your friends
needed to know how it feels
to trip balls in bangladesh

dearest hipsters
thank god you’ve come along
to show us how identities based on pop culture
are the enemy of progression
that the goal is to express your individuality
with a slightly worn pair of oliver peoples from buffalo exchange
and a shirt from urban outfitters
that you spent thirty dollars on
to proclaim loudly
that you like the cheap beer

i see you at leela’s
dancing up to the counter
to order a PBR
and the hummus platter
but i can see you now
in your apartment of expensive recycled furniture
at two in the morning
eating two mcdoubles
and drinking a stella artois

dearest hipsters
before there were hippies there were hipsters
there was the beat generation
and sadly there were bongo drums involved
but there were ideas involved as well
and though i must acknowledge
that we do have a tendency
out of necessity
to rehash the same ideas again and again
like we just keep sleeping with culture again
in hopes that this one isn’t a miscarriage
i just ask
that maybe you take a second to identify
that you don’t have to got to sputnik
you don’t have to go to denver cruisers
on your fixie
with your handlebar mustache
and you don’t have to take the opportunity
to do what you truly want to do
and use it
to do what everyone else is doing

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “THE ABORTIONIST”