Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Irony, McDonald's and It Just Not Being My Year

I was planning to make Chicken Parmesan with garlic noodles and Italian bread for dinner, but Tori asked for chicken strips from McDonald's. On a better day, I might not have gone along, but Tori has Torticollis, which it turns out is not an Italian food. Rather, it's a neck problem the doctor described as being akin to having a three day charley horse in your neck. I'm very indulgent of Tori right now.

I'm also worn out. For those of you who haven't been keeping score, thus far this year:

-my car died forever, not just in another state but in a rural stretch of Interstate at midnight on a Saturday night;
-after about a month without a car, we replaced it and got the old one cleaned out and scrapped just in time for us both to get sick;
-an unexpected new expense cropped up in my life to the tune of $500+/month;
-my doctor joined a local clinic of very questionable quality and integrity on no notice, leaving me low on crucial maintenance drugs and without a physician;
-my father was diagnosed with a serious medical condition;
-I got a serious flu--both bronchial and stomach--that lasted for more than three weeks;
-frustrating things started to happen at work, which is probably par for the course for most people but was pretty much previously unheard of in my formerly Utopian workplace;
-my stepson dropped out of JobCorps and didn't tell anyone in the program or the family that he was leaving or where he was going, so that we weren't sure whether he'd run away or been killed (turned out it was "run away");
-I lost my debit card and discovered that fact while I was downtown Chicago with $2 in cash;
-I spent Saturday night at the hospital being evaluated for a blood clot; and then
-I spent this morning at the ER with Tori and her neck problems.

(Looking for a much better Q2, by the way.)

But I digress.

I went to McDonald's and got the chicken strips. While I was there, I noticed a sign that made me think about a new blog post series. I was thinking something along the lines of "Signs that Shouldn't be Necessary". This one said "Sorry--free drink refills are available only for the duration of your visit. No free refills in cups brought in from outside the restaurant."

I left the restaurant thinking about why that sign had been necessary and wishing I'd gotten a picture of it to post on Facebook or one of my blogs but then, before I was out of the parking lot, I realized I hadn't seen the cashier put the sweet and sour sauce in the bag, and I pulled into a parking space to check.

My coke tipped over and spilled all over the floor of the car and my feet.

You can see it coming, can't you?

So I went back into the store with my bag and my now-empty cup to ask for the sweet and sour sauce. But the bag was wet from the river of coke in my car and started to tear as I was carrying it, and I didn't have a free hand. And no sooner had I gotten that under control than my pants started to fall off. No, really. I'd changed out of shorts to run out to McDonald's and the pants I'd put on were pretty loose...and apparently getting looser as I walked around. I'd been hiking them up the whole time, but this was a whole different ballgame...I felt them sliding past my hips. Long shirt or no, I had to rescue them...but I didn't have a free hand and I couldn't do it walking, so I ended up standing in the parking lot blocking the cars attempting to come out of the drive-through line while I reassembled my clothing.

Good news, though. I got the sweet and sour sauce and then no one even attempted to stop me when I refilled the cup I'd brought in from outside the restaurant after the duration of my visit had expired.