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  • Dan Rattiner

A McDonald’s Story

Our friend Chris came over to our house Saturday afternoon. I think it is still legal in the State of New York to do this, if you are otherwise healthy and follow the rules.


It had been a wonderfully sunny morning. From inside, we watched as she parked out back and walked around to sit in a deck chair overlooking the harbor. We then came out and sat in deck chairs at a more than six foot distance from her. It was quiet. We could easily hear one another speak. After a half hour, she left the way she had come. We then washed our hands.


Among other things we talked about was our individual childhood memories. They seemed to all three of us to be more vivid in these recent weeks of self sheltering.


“When I was a little girl,” she said, “my mom as a special treat would take us to McDonalds.


“Last night, I dreamed of her taking me there. It was a wonderful dream, so I thought when lunch came today, I’d go through the drive-through at the Southampton McDonalds. Surely, it would cheer me up, given the situation these days. At the window where you pay, the girl was wearing a mask and gloves. That was good. I had ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla shake. I paid her. At the next window, the girl who assembled the food was wearing gloves and a mask, but the mask only covered her mouth. So when she slid the window open and held out the food, I pointed this out her and asked her to slide the mask higher and also get me a fresh order and she did.


“I parked right there in the lot. I took out the vanilla shake and put it in the cupholder between the two front seats, then I took out the cheeseburger, opened it and put that between the two front seats. Finally I took out the fries. When I did, my hand accidentally hit the steering wheel which knocked the fries upside down all over the floor. As I bent down to pick some of them up, the dog in the back seat snatched the cheeseburger and ate it.


“That left me looking at the vanilla shake in the cup holder. Huh. I guess enjoying my long ago childhood was not going to be relived this day.


Had she drunk the shake?


“Yes,” she said. “Defiantly,”


She then told us that she had driven to us from there and the fries were still on the floor of her car. If we wanted to, when she left, we could walk her out and look.


I declined. Too big a risk, I thought.


--Dan Rattiner


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