(originally posted 3/16/2016)
“Be careful! Don’t step on that fry!” I heard a shrill voice admonishing a yet-unseen child as I stood waiting for my food at Burger King. At least I assumed it was a child. If someone spoke that way to an adult I’m sure it would have been answered with a burst of violence.
It distracted me from looking at the fund-raising bottle on the counter. It was one of those jugs filled with water where you attempt to have your coin land on a little platform at the bottom of the jug in order to win a free burger. All proceeds going to the most inaccurately named charitable organization out there; The Make A Wish Foundation. Given that that recipients of said foundation are all terminally ill children I would assume that if they had a wish it would be not to have their terminal disease. Perhaps they should consider changing the name to The Make Another, Lesser Wish Foundation. I plopped in my coins and watched them flutter down to the bottom of the jug, friction making sure they never had a chance to make their way down to their intended destinations, which was just as well because the jug was placed after you’ve ordered so even in of the off chance you won you’d be getting an additional burger to the one you’d already purchased. A burger you wouldn’t actually be able to eat. In other words, if your coin landed on the little platform you got to throw away a burger.
So obviously I was relieved to have something new to look at.
I turned and soaked in the woman with the shrill voice. I immediately knew everything I needed to know about her. She was the kind of woman that even when she agreed to let the man finger her, she would insist he used his pinkie.
You know the type.
And there, lurking only a few feet from my feet, was the fry in question. I say lurking because apparently there was untold peril should you step on it. Which makes me wonder if I should be using the name of the establishment. Now that I am insinuating that their fries are a menace to life and limb perhaps Burger King wouldn’t appreciate seeing their name being used as the creator of said fry. They might even have legal recourse.
What I meant to say was that I was standing in line at Burger Queen.
So I thought, being the generous man I am, that I would show this woman’s child exactly how perilous a fry being stepped on can be. I realize that in my opening observations about the woman I might appear as though I did not like her but that is besides the point. Like her or not, I understood her role as a mother and I thought she would appreciate the help in raising her dour-faced offspring.
So I stepped on the fry and then let loose with anguished cries as I went head over heels, landing hard on the sticky Burger Queen tile.
Believe it or not, there are fast food places in America called Burger Queens. I’m glad I Googled it at the last minute. What do I have to call a damned restaurant so I don’t have to worry that there is actually one named that?
Perhaps I went in a bit far in making my point of the dangers of stepping on a fry because it never occurred to me that when the bone pokes out of the ankle it will actually start to bleed like a wilderness river. Pandemonium broke out as I laid there spilling out the contents of my circulatory system all over the Burger Dick’s floor. I was going in and out of consciousness as I watched my ankle flop back and forth at the end of my leg, the white bone jutting out contrasting against the otherwise red scene in front of me.
The child was transfixed. She stared at me in horror. She began to scream. Her screams almost as loud and high-pitched as my own. Her cute white dress covered in red dots from when my flailing leg showered her with blood.
I looked at her. “Do you understand now? Do you?!”
Her mother pulled her close.
“Your mother was right! Mothers are always right!”
With that I finally slipped into a deep swirling vortex of black.
If you’re waiting for me to wrap this up by saying that moments later the girl put a coin in the jug and won a free burger and actually ate it and it led her down the path to obesity and eventually to a terminal disease related to obesity that required that she make an additional wish on top of the wish that she never got the terminal disease in the first place, a wish that I’d never broken my ankle in the first place, you’re going to be disappointed. The Make A Wish Foundation cannot, and does not, promote itself as being able to bend time and space in granting their wishes. The girl was old enough to know that so your premise for this ending is flawed.
I simply awoke at the emergency room in a cast, which gave me time to start writing a jingle for Burger Dick. Perhaps a large clown character that sings about the danger of stepping on fries.