We got in the van and looked at each other with half smiles. Traveling, for us, can be complicated. We were guardedly excited about making the four-hour trip to be in the big city for the next two days.
Before pulling out of the driveway, we took quick inventory of all of the needed items that had been carefully packed for the trip.
About half way there, we realized we hadn’t factored in sufficient time for a bathroom break (no quick task for a wheelchair user). We could still get there on time, barring any unforeseen delay.
As planned, we stopped at a McDonald’s for lunch. While not on the top of the list of healthy options, most everything on the menu there is quick, portable, and travel friendly.
I put in my order, requesting a hamburger, a berry smoothie (counting as a fruit, of course), and a pack of three chocolate chip cookies. Mr. Legs would be ordering his usual McDouble and an iced tea. The McDouble, while no longer on the dollar menu, is still a bargain. I waited in the car while he went in to get the food and mix his own iced tea to his preferred taste.
He returned to the car with his cup of iced tea and that familiar McDonald’s paper bag. Experience has taught us to take inventory inside the bag to ensure we were given our complete order. Sure enough, they had forgotten the burger I wanted. So it was back inside for Mr. Legs and then out he came again, this time with everything he had ordered. It was a good thing we checked the quantity in the bag. We congratulated ourselves on catching the mistake () before getting on the road and then took deep breaths as we continued on our way.
Hungry, I started eating right away. I had almost finished my hamburger by the time we merged back onto the highway. When the cruise control was put on resume, Mr. Legs was ready for his food. I reached into the bag and pulled out the wrapped McDouble they had put on the bottom of the bag (the sandwich they had originally included in our order). I arranged the wrapper for him, so he could easily eat the sandwich as he drove. He took his first bite, then began telling me that they said McDonald’s cookies were no longer sold in packs of three, but were now sold individually. He chose to buy three anyway. We discussed this serious change to the menu and how it might affect our future visits to the golden arches.
As he took a second bite of his hamburger, I noticed his face change to show a look of both curiosity and disappointment. Oh no, I thought, they must have put pickles (he does not care for pickles) on that burger. While also paying attention to the road, he placed the burger on his lap and lifted the top bun off. He looked with disbelief. There, inside the bun, you could clearly see two pieces of cheese, a hint of ketchup, and mustard. That was it. Just two slices of cheese, a little ketchup and mustard. Something was definitely wrong…..something was missing. He kept glancing down at it and, after processing what he was seeing, said “I didn’t even get ONE. Not even a single meat patty in my McDOUBLE! Then, after a slight pause, he looked sadly at his empty bun and said “I got a McZERO!!”
This particular McDouble was not a bargain, and was certainly part of an UNhappy meal. Who knew that we should have checked INside each wrapper earlier? We had checked for quantity, but not for quality. We didn’t have time to go back, or stop at another place. Having only a bite or two left of my own burger, offering him half of mine was not an option. While he was grateful there were no pickles, he commented that cheese and mustard, without meat to bring them together, were not a great combination. He begrudgingly finished eating his cheese and mustard sandwich, but not before I took a picture.
When he had finished his McZERO, his puppy dog eyes looked over my way and timidly asked if he might please have a cookie.
I gave him two. (We were glad he had gotten three.)
He ate them, and looked forward to supper.