"One McMuffin, with egg and cheese, and no meat."
That's what I order for breakfast. No hash browns, no frippity-frack coffee-flavored sugar milk product.
Just an Egg McMuffin.
With egg and cheese.
On repeating this six times at the drive-through, she still doesn't have it right. Every time I say the magic words "no meat" it filters through her own questionable brainmeats as unidentifiable gibberish.
Am I speaking english?
What do you mean, no meat? I don't understand. Why would anyone ask that. Can you use those words together in a sentence like that?
"So you want a egg McMuffin, with no cheese?"
"I want cheese. I don't want meat."
"So a McMuffin with no cheese, drive around."
At this point I give up and continue to the window.
"You had the McMuffin with no cheese right?"
"Oh, you got the McGriddle with a McCafe?" [**Author's Note. Every time I see or hear the word 'McCafe' I have a miniature aneurysm complete with mouth-foam. Hate the name, hate the ads, hate the pronunciation, hate the drink. It is nasty.**]
"No. I had a McMuffin, and I wanted it with egg. And cheese. With no meat on it."
The blank stare and silence that meet my slow, carefully enunciated words last longer than I would like, but believe me when I say it does not surprise me. Not in the least. I repeat myself.
"I. DON'T. WANT. MEAT. ON. IT."
"Ohhhh, I got that wrong! Hold on."
She tears up to the front, shouting "that's wrong, don't put meat on it!" and returns after a few seconds to stick her head out the window, speaking to me as though I were a small child with a lobotomy.
"Now, we gonna do it this way this time, without the meat? But we don't do that. We gonna do it this way this once, but we ain't gonna do that next time okay? We can't do that. That ain't a thing we do."
By all outward appearances, I am a calm and reasonable person. In my mind, however, I am yanking her out of the window by her hair and screaming "IT IS AN EGG A SLICE OF CHEESE AND AN ENGLISH MUFFIN. THIS IS NOT FUCKING ROCKET SCIENCE. GIVE ME A SANDWICH WITHOUT THE PORK OR I WILL SHANK YOU."
Rather than risk prison time, I pull forward again. Deep breath.
It's fine. Just get the sandwich and go. It's not like I'll be coming back anyway. Hell, I was just told, more or less, never to come back, which is fine by me. I go to McDonald's all of twice a year. No need to rock the boat! No big deal. It's fine.
At the second window, a dead-eyed blonde shoves a paper bag into my hand and I exit the parking lot talking to myself, my voice growing progressively louder and more shrill as I pull out onto the road and dig for my food.
"You're doing me a favor? By omitting a slice of ham? Egg. Cheese. Bread. What the hell is wrong with asking for no meat? Why you gotta look at me like I got three heads? I am not an alien! I just want a meatless sandwich! What the hell is wrong with people?!"
There is no cheese on my McMuffin.
I swerve into oncoming traffic.
[Yes, that's my illustration up there. The meat looks weird, doesn't it?]