Beyond my weekly Double Double I seldom eat fast food anymore. I'd like to say it's because I'm trying to take better care of myself but deep down I don't really crave it, ever.
Though in my day I inhaled it as I do air. I could eat it three meals day. Hell, four times on a weekend. (I think I invented Fourthmeal.) I knew every menu and how to make the best outta my $4. (I didn't eat there because I was rich).
Last week I ate at a McDonalds for the first time in years. I was coming back from the Ronald Reagan Library (my Democratic soul didn't make the walls collapse) and it appears that Simi Valley is full of chains and more chains... so fast food it was.
It reminded me of a story going ALL the way back to my high school years. When hair spray was king and Alf was a star. I was in my neighborhood McDonalds doing something I seldom did. I was looking at the menu. This was due to the person blocking the line with questions about each product. If you don't know anything about a McDonalds' menu by now you have no business in the real world.
While looking at the menu I noticed something very interesting about the cheese. It raised some questions which I hoped to have answered if I ever made it to the smiley, zit faced girl behind the register.
Finally it was my turn, I had one simple order. "Hi, I'd like a quarter pounder with cheese. But I don't want the 40 cent cheese you put on it. I'd like the 10 cent cheese you put on the regular burgers."
I received a very blank stare. Now I will add that either way I probably was going to get that blank stare, I think it was genetic.
"I'm sorry?" she stammered.
"I don't want the 40 cent cheese you put on the quarter pounders. Gimme the 10 cent cheese you put on the regular burgers."
"Isn't that the same cheese?" She asked.
"I don't know, you tell me. You charge 30 cent more for it."
At this point she found it funny and punched in quarter pounder with cheese for me. Then asked if I wanted anything else. I expressed to her I was very serious. I told her to ring me up a regular quarter pounder, then add the 10 cent cheese. She should be able to figure it out.
At this point an older couple was ordering next to me who seemed to be torn between their hatred for whippersnappers and their admiration for my freedom of cheese. They asked the girl to just ring up the regular burger cheese.
I had back up.
She told me she didn't think there was a way for her to ring this up.
I asked her if she could ring up extra cheese? She played around with the register for a bit and found it. 40 cents.
I asked if she could ring up a cheese burger, then minus the meat and the bun.
At this point a manager arrived. I was going to get down to the meat of this thing. Well, the cheese.
Apparently this wasn't one of those helpful managers but one of those manager who is bitter about his job and protective over the teenage girls he hopes he will eventually sleep with. He found no humor in my request.
Though I was no longer trying to be funny, I wanted my 10 cent cheese.
Upon explaining myself I found that the only way to actually get 10 cent cheese was to ring up an employee burger, an employee though... I was not.
When I asked him to explain to me why the quarter pounder cheese was 30 cents more for the same piece of cheese, he tried to explain that a quarter pounder was more difficult to make.
Therefore, we're paying for the labor.
Someone, somewhere did the math and figured out the 3 second rate of making my value meal. I've gotsta give it to you McDonalds... you're thorough!
Now if I was working at McDonalds for minimum wage, yet found out the big boys were scoring 30 cents each time I slapped a piece of cheese on a burger, I'd be pissed.
You'd think this fact alone would start an uprising behind the counter and get the employees to stand up for their rights! Fight oppression!!!
No, all this did was get me a polite invitation to leave to store and not come back.
30 minutes later I ate a Whopper, with 40 cent cheese.