Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Misery of McDonald's


That's the only way to describe it.

Utter misery.

Yesterday I left Baltimore on another odyssey. This time to Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit the Trinity Atomic Bomb Site. However, my connection on United was through Denver and while in Denver, I took a wrong turn.

I was hungry. It was 7:30pm or so and I wanted to grab a small bite to eat. The United terminal in Denver is considerably large and there's a variety of eateries to choose from - none of which are entirely compelling. My usual quickie meal in Denver is tacos at Que Bueno! but they're quality has been declining and the offerings didn't look too appetizing.

In the center of the concourse is a French bistro serving all sorts of odd fare. There's a couple of French dishes like onion soup or coq au vin but I didn't want a sit down meal that would cost over twenty bucks. I wanted something quick, cheap, fast and small. Just something to carry me over until I got to Albuquerque. I chose McDonald's.

Having not eaten at McDonald's in months, I thought a cheeseburger Happy Meal would suffice. Small fries, a cheeseburger and a Dr. Pepper. Simple. Quick. Small.

How dumb could I possibly be?

Not fifteen minutes after eating, my stomach was grumbling. I had to use the facilities. Ten minutes later, I emerge and head to my flight.

My usual boarding retinue is to wait until the last moment possible to board. It's a strategic move that keeps my time in the aluminum tube to a minimum while allowing me to choose an open seat (or combination of seats) at the last moment. If I time it correctly, I can be the last person to board - meaning that those three empty seats in row 8 really are empty, and all mine.

As I stood pensively outside the aircraft door, the flight attendant asked me if I was alright. I told her I was fine. She thought I was scared of flying. I wasn't scared - just unsure of the growling in my stomach. But I went ahead anyway.

By flight level 150 (15,000 feet), I had to make my way to the lavatory. It didn't matter that the "fasten seat belt" signs were illuminated. It didn't matter that the plane was still at a climbing attitude. I had to go and I had to go now. Making my way to the back, the same flight attendant commented about the sign. I couldn't wait, I told her, this had to happen now.

Luckily, it's a short flight from Denver to Albuquerque, about 50 minutes. I spent at least 30 of those minutes in the back.

I won't elaborate further except to say that it was a long and excruciatingly miserable night in Albuquerque.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You poor thing, Jay.

On our way to the SCAA Conference in 2005 I made a mistake of ordering the last slice of veggie pizza under the lamp at Pagliacci's. By the following day, I was so ill I was hallucinating. I couldn't even talk to the doctor on the phone, Alex had to do it for me. Then he ran 12 blocks to a pharmacy to fill an emergency prescription, because apparently I had contracted salmonella!

Most miserable experience I ever had. Also - most expensive, considering the show admission and hotel. I missed the whole thing. :(