I’m a little (ok, a lot) ashamed to admit I love McDonald’s. It’s not just someplace you “end up at” like Denny’s (well, maybe a time or 2). I grew up with it. We all did. But it was started in my hometown of San Bernardino, Ca. by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940, and they introdued the “Speedee Service System” with a mascot named Speedee, who was replaced by Ronald in ‘67, after Ray Kroc made a deal to franchise the brothers’ business. I had my first burger there when I was 3.
Addicted. Guilty. I’ve tempered my addiction with resistance, restraint and have become a good cook over the years. My first actual job was as a short order cook at age 17, but that’s a whole other blog! Overall, I would say I eat healthy, nourishing food and a balanced diet (with ice cream being my saddest weakness) but, as Thoreau wrote, “moderation in all things”. And that’s how I justify my occasional Jones for some McDonalds!
Now I told you that story to tell you this one, because during this particular visit to Mickey Dee’s in my adopted hometown of NYC, I was not hungry. At all. I needed to pee. Real bad. Like the proverbial racehorse.
It was a few years back, as I rushed out of the West 4th stop on 3rd, off of the A subway line on my way to the Village and dashed across the street to the McDonald’s. I stood in line for a quick sec (it seemed like an eternity!) and asked the clueless “sales associate” for the bathroom key. He politely told me the bathrooms were for “customers only”. I asked for the manager.
When the supervisor came over, I explained to him my situation and he repeated what Ronald Youngerson McNewbie had said. I told him, on no uncertain terms, that “McDonald’s was born in my hometown. I have been a consumer of Product McDonald for well over 50 years and my entire family has probably dropped $70,000 to $100,000 over those years into the corporate coffer. I had my first burger at 3. I think that qualifies me as a customer. Give me the bathroom key.” He handed the key over.
I went back and visited recently on my way to a Bitter End show, just to see if anything had changed. Before ordering a Big Mac (Yeah, that’s my Jones) I asked for the bathroom key. I was told I didn’t need one! Now, I don’t have Mac’s often but I do get a hankerin’ now and then, the stinkin’, corporate bastards! Yes, I like Mac ‘n Don’s Rainbow Room.....but don’t try to lay no boojee woojee on the King of Rock and Roll!!!
M. Lanning 9/27/11