Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Fast Food Tales
Last week I recounted horrible tales at Friendly's. It got me thinking about all of the crazy experiences I've had in restaurants in my short 40 years of life - especially at fast food restaurants, where I know all of you have stories to tell as well. No binding theme to these stories, but some of them are worth sharing.
Though I do not eat there anymore (trying to maintain this 130 lb. weight loss!), I, like millions of Americans, was raised with this being part of my eating life. I have seen a lot of funny things in McDonald's, but the best was one night when my friend Eddie and I were going through the drive-thru and ordered a burger and fries. When we got to the window, the woman handed us a bag with like 12 hamburgers, a 20-pack of Chicken nuggets and like 12 fries - hot and fresh. Eddie took the food and drove away.
As I'm sitting in the passenger seat COMPLETELY bewildered as to how that happened. Eddie broke the silence and said, "That girl likes me."
Funkyman: "Likes you? I dare say that's quite a gesture for liking someone."
Eddie: "Don't hate."
Funkyman: "I'm not hating. Look, she could get fired for doing that. What if she got caught? What if they run out of food for other customers because we just pulled away with the mega-family McFeast? Are we planning on eating all of this food? I mean, what a waste really! There are people starving and dying for food all over, and here we are with a sack full of hot and salty, delicious McDonald's fries."
Eddie: "Do you want some fries, David?"
Funkyman: " . . . yes."
No long story here. I just want it to go on record that THE BURGER KING GUY IS SCARY!!!!! I have had nightmares with that huge bearded head with the crown. Enough said.
You've heard of KFC and maybe even Popeye's, but in Memphis where I grew up, Church's Chicken was a big deal. Yes, in the south we had KFC, Popeye's, Bojangles (SO GOOD), Krystal, Jack Pirtle's, Captain D's, Long John Silver's - come to think of it - A LOT of fried chicken places (I'm not saying ALL black people love fried chicken, but stereotypes are rooted in selective data) but I digress. What makes Church's stick out in my mind was the unfortunate fate of a criminal.
Yes, a criminal decided to rob a local Church's Chicken. He broke into the store through the air duct, and waited in the vents of the place until everyone had left. While trying to get out of the vents, he slipped and fell into one of the vats of oil that they use to fry the chicken - still boiling hot from that day's batch, and he fried himself from the waist down. They found him the next morning - though he was able to pull himself from the oil, he didn't survive.
For years, there was a joke in Memphis about Church's Chicken. "Yes, I'd like a 2-piece, a biscuit, and a side of toes."
Crime doesn't pay. Fail.
Speaking of black people and fried chicken . . .
There is a fast food place on the East Coast called Roy Rogers, named after the late, great singing cowboy. They sell burgers and fries, but they speciailize in fried chicken.
While visiting a location in Washington, D.C. once, I was minding my business - eating my lunch. A man walked into the store and was just looking around. He went to the counter to order, but didn't order. He then took a step back and shouted to the entire establishment, "You're all niggers! Just a bunch of niggers!"
We're going to pause here for a brief service announcement.
PSA: If you are a white male or female, surrounded by nothing but young, strong, and possibly stressed-out-working-at-a-fast-food-joint African-Americans AND young, strong, just-waiting-for-some-justice African-American patrons, you probably should NOT scream at them and call them the n-word. Just saying. We now return you to your previously scheduled Adventure of Funkyman.
The restaurant froze. No one knew what to do. I honestly thought this man was crazy, because who would do such a thing? However, crazy or not, I feared for his safety. I was also surprised there was nothing but silence. I broke the silence.
"There are no niggers in here."
The man looked at me and left the building. That was the day I learned to speak out.
Yes, CRAZY stuff happens in this world. It's crazy that I haven't had a piece of fried chicken since July of 2007, ever since I began this lifestyle change. However, every once in a while, I do get the craving for some good, old-fashioned cajun, spicy, buttermilk fried toes. 20-piece with BBQ and Sweet & Sour.