Let me start this one off by assuring you all; no chickens were fucked during the course of this story. At least none that I’m aware of. People are into some weird stuff. (See “Slovakian Traffic Cone.” If common sense and natural progression are in effect here, you should have just read it.) I’m actually talking about the McDonald’s Hot and Spicy McChicken Sandwich. It’s on the dollar menu. Normal stale bun, oddly thin shredded lettuce, processed chicken by-product pink slime patty saturated with pepper, and a half jar of Mayonnaise. Seriously, the put a ridiculous amount of Mayo on those things. No matter where you go. I’ve had this sandwich in a bunch of different states and in three different countries and it’s always the same. A metric fuck ton of Mayonnaise. But I suppose its a good thing. If you get one without Mayo it’s drier than stereo instructions. So, having one in multiple locations should tell you one of three things: either I’m broke, I’m cheap, or I actually think these things are pretty good. Well, my friends, all of these are correct. They are good, unless you modify them to be the most disgusting concoction to exist here on God’s green goodness. Which is exactly what this sociopath did, and it still haunts me to this day.
I had a pretty busy night, not too eventful but steady enough that I didn’t realize it was already past closing time downtown. I guess I had over-done it on either the rides or the energy drinks but I didn’t feel the least bit tired. I’ve already met my goal for the night but I’m still feeling pretty good and decided to keep going for the night. Maybe I can get another two or three rides in and get an early jump on tomorrow’s goal. It doesn’t take long before another request comes in and I get on the way. The destination came in as an address range and a dropped pin, rather than a specific street number. These calls are always fun. Usually I’ll go straight to the dropped pin and it will be within the same block I’m supposed to be on, or it will take me behind the building I’m supposed to be in front of. Tonight, this was the case. I went to the dropped pin and it dropped right next to one of those funky independent coffee. Picture Dutch Bros., but not a chain. The kind that either has bikini and lingerie-clad baristas, or the kind with the creepy old dude with the comb-over and bad teeth that offers his customers handy J’s while they wait. I am really hoping for this ride to be one of the bikini baristas. That would be awesome. I could use the perk-up and a friendly flirt. It’s been a while, but I’m not desperate enough for a hand job from Panel-Van Stan. Not yet at least.
To my combined delight and dismay, neither of those scenarios panned out. The client called to let me know she was waiting outside a bar close by. As I expected, the coffee shack was not the desired pick up location. Where I was posted up was actually the a large alley behind the bar where I was supposed to be picking her up. That was problem one. Problem two is that there is a shopping center on three sides of me with bars in all three of them. I pull out of the coffee shop and to proceed to circle the block until someone flags me down. Which takes three trips around because the client decided to go back inside to chit chat. So considerate.
When I finally start to get flagged down it’s by a girl with blondish-red hair wearing a yellow tank and combat boots. She was applying a thick coat of lip gloss, had a pool cue case slung over her shoulder and a few extra pounds around her hips like she wore like an inner tube. I have zero room to judge though, I’m no Charles Atlas. Wait, too old of a reference, the kiddos won’t get it. Let’s go with Zac Efron. I’m no Zac Efron. He’s still relevant, isn’t he?
I pulled up next to her and she slumped down in the back; immediately making excuses for not being out front when I got there. It didn’t really matter. And by that I mean that I didn’t care. Zero fucks to give. She could have been in the back alley getting tag-teamed by the Jonas Brothers while freshening her lip gloss for all I care. At least then I could have taken some pictures and made some real money selling them to TMZ. She starts in on her pool league and how she was catching up with all her “billiard buddies” (Her words, not mine.) because she missed last week. Not that I cared, but she insisted that I knew. As the downtown area got smaller in my rear view, the client made a request that I receive often enough. She wanted to stop off for some food. I knew that there was a 24-hour McDonald’s up ahead and she was okay with that. I knew it was there because refuse to go to this particular Mickey-Dees on my own. Not because I eat healthy and turn my nose up like a prude at the golden arches because that is no where near the case. This certain, specific one has funny tasting Coke. Their regular coke tastes like flat Caffeine-Free Diet Cherry Coke which is a disgusting concept on it’s own. And this isn’t a one-time thing, it’s been like that for a few years. “Why not just get something different?” Because fuck you. That’s why. But I think I’m missing the point.
We pull in and there’s a pretty decent line of drunk in front of us trying to get their Quarter-Pounder on. Since we have a few minutes I know I’m in for more talk about her boring ass pool league from the bar that people only go to when all the other ones are full. This time, she surprises me. I was mentally preparing to be bored out of my skull hearing about her personal life but instead she actually says something I can agree with. Or at least I thought she did. She asked if she could smoke in the car. I was thinking “Fuck yeah, it’s my last ride on a long night. I could burn one.” So I give her a sly “I won’t tell if you don’t.” and grab for my cancer sticks. She rummages through her purse for a moment, applies more lip gloss and then I hear something heartbreaking: the coils heating and that weird crackling as she hits her vape. A fucking vape? Let me guess, it’s some fruity flavor, too. Could you be more cliché, especially in this state? I bet you drive a fucking Subaru too, you wanna-be basic bitch. I seriously wonder what it must be like not to have an identity. I figure it’s best not to dwell on it and I go to spark up my cigarette. Before flame hits paper she stops me by putting a hand on my shoulder. Please, please, please let her say something about how much better vaping is for you so I can lose my shit on her. Before someone throws a fit about me being a hypocrite, yes I own a vape. A friend of mine from work gave me one because it helped him quit cigarettes and he hoped it could do the same for me. I had it for about a day before my kids lost it. So I’m not knocking the concept of a vape, I know a few people that vaping helped them quit smoking and eventually quit vaping. I’m against stupid “look at me” trends. You might have noticed. Don’t get me started on how society wants “men” to look and act these days.
Vaper: “Do you want to try a hit off of mine? It’s strawberries and cream.”
Of course it is. Now, there’s a plethora of things that pop into my head that I could respond with right now. “No, thanks. Mine weren’t made in some guys basement.” Or “I’m good, mine’s actually approved by the FDA and regulated.” Maybe “No thank you. I still have some self-respect left.” Or even “Nah, it’s probably dripping with lip gloss.” But I jump off my high horse and decline politely while lighting my smoke. She quickly changes the subject and start talking about how similar our cars were.
Vaper: “Your car is a lot like mine, hatchback and everything.”
Me: “Oh, what kind of car do you have?”
Vaper: “A Subaru wagon.”
My internal monologue is foaming at the mouth.
It’s out turn at the ordering kiosk and I pull a little past it so she can order from the back seat. I thought I was being polite, but she thought I should’ve ordered for her. Because, you know, I can read minds and knew what the fuck she wanted. The crackling voice of the half-stoned employee comes through the speaker greeting us and informing us that we can order whenever we are ready. Mighty polite of them. The client asks if I would like anything; to which I decline with appreciation. After several “Umm”s she places her order.
Vaper: “Yeah, can I get two Hot and Spicy McChickens with no lettuce and add cheese.”
I’m gonna go ahead and stop here, referencing the first paragraph of this story. The unholy concoction I spoke of earlier? Well, this is it. I want you to really think about a McDonald’s Hot and Spicy McChicken sandwich for a bit, use my description in the first paragraph if it helps. Now modify it to her standards, and try not to yak. The finely shredded lettuce acts as a weak barrier between meat and mayo. The mayo is there as an insulator, protecting your throat from the stale bread and dry chicken. When all these ingredients come together it is glorious. Take one out and there’s a glitch in the Matrix. Add in a dairy product and what the fuck has society come to? This woman basically ordered a spicy chicken patty with a mayonnaise and cheese cannoli on top. All I could think about was her biting into that thing and, because she removed the lettuce protection barrier, getting a hot shot of Mayo down her throat. I was trying not to spew. Knowing the amount of Mayo they put on them things, and then to add cheese to that equation? Have you no shame? Seriously, just thinking about the combination of the two is turning my stomach as I sit here writing this. Really think about it now. Go roll up a slice of processed American cheese by-product and fill it with mayonnaise. (Or Miracle Whip for those really sick fucks out there.) Now take that mayo ravioli and chomp down, letting the oil and sauciness leak into your mouth and down your face and I’m going to be sick.
Stoner: “Umm, you said two Hot and Spicys, no lettuce, add cheese? Is that correct?”
Vaper: “Yes it is.”
Stoner: “That’s new. Okay, pull around and we’ll get that right out for you.”
See! Even Stoney McBurger-flipper knows something is wrong with this equation. And he does this shit for a living! He probably assembles a couple hundred of these a week, and gets it right at least 15% of the time. Even with these percentages, the specific combination that just crossed his ears does not compute with his GED. Now, I’m not assuming that he didn’t graduate High School now he’s stuck working at McDonald’s. That joke would be to easy. I’m assuming that he didn’t graduate High School based on the quality of his character. That, and I’ve been here quite a few times on light night drives, binges and benders. I’ve met the guy a time or two before. He told me.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “I thought this chapter was about the sexy stuff?” Well, I’m getting to that. Now I’ve been hit on a time or two doing this job, mainly from people who have had six or seven too many drinks. This girl was quite sober, even though her choice of late night snacks screams “I’m fucked up.” Typically the advances are quite overt, but this girl obviously is not your typical drunk sorority slut. She unwraps a sandwich and unbuckles her seat belt, positioning herself so that she can lean forward next to my seat. She starts asking me about my life and things I’m interested in with a slight air of “it’s been a while” in her voice. Shes giggling at things that aren’t funny and probing for something she can start a legit conversation about. I can tell by her actions what’s on her mind. And I’m just putting this out there: if you’re trying to make my dick hard, smacking on a mayonnaise and cheese Hot Pocket in my ear like a cow chewing cud while globs of petroleum jelly fall off your adult acne face is not a productive method.