Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Excellent Trip Story

I have a fantastic story from the beginning of our drive down to California for Christmas.

We left at about 11:30 am, I think, and I tried to sleep on the ride down since I'd just finished work and I'd not slept anytime recently.

I woke up as we were pulling off of the I-15 at Fillmore. Jess and Mitch let me know that it was time for lunch and I could either choose Burger King or Arby's. "Arby's," I said. Back home in Calfornia, I knew people who had worked at our local BK, and they had awful stories confirming every fast food rumor you've ever heard: people DID pee in the pickle juice. Stuff that dropped on the floor WAS picked up and served anyhow, especially if it was fish since it takes a long time to cook. And there was definitely a cockroach infestation. To prove that my friends were not lying, our local BK had a "B" rating, which is kind of hard to get when inspected; stuff has to be wrong. Reading Fast Food Nation did not improve my opinion of Burger King. I think it's probably been 5 or 6 years since I've eaten at a Burger King.

"No, we've had Arby's a lot lately. We're eating at Burger King," they decided. And it was fine, because the local California Burger King is run by completely different people, and a lot of time has passed anyway.

We parked and walked into the gas station market, which connected to the Burger King. There was a really really long line.

Jess and I left Mitch in line, and went to use the facilities. When we came back, Mitch was near the front of the line. (We asked him about it later, and he said a bunch of people were just waiting for their food. Some people just left. "I guess I should've taken that as a hint...")

We waited at the front of the line for a long time. There were two girls working. One was cooking food, and the other girl was wandering around, watching the girl in back cook. She wasn't passing out the food that was ready; just watching it pile up. Lots of people were waiting.

Finally we ordered food. We waited for about 20 minutes. (And I'm not exaggerating.) Mitch went up to ask if the food was ready. The girl who was taking orders and watching asked what Mitch had ordered and he told her. "Looks like it," she said, and when she didn't go get it, Mitch went back to his seat. Jess went up the the counter a few minutes later. "Can we have it?" she asked. The girl asked her for her order number, but the girl hadn't given Jess/Mitch their receipt, so they didn't know. They listed the items in the order and the girl gave them our food.

AND THEN Mitch's onion ring sauce was rancid. He took it up to the counter. The girl smelled it and said that it was fine. Mitch told her that it was curdled, and could he have some from a new box? She told him that his was from a new box...and she didn't offer to open another box or anything, so Mitch came back to our table.

AND THEN I had weird chunks of lettuce on my whopper, which were from the middle of the lettuce and not the part that people actually eat. So I kept pulling stuff off of my whopper and had a pile of gross stuff and a wimpy burger left to eat.

AND THEN my food was not hot.

AND there was hair on one of the trays. Not our hair.

AND the tables were all dirty.

AND the ketchup had a sticker saying it needed to be used by Wednesday, and we weren't sure if it was two days past its expiry, or if it was fresh.

So by the time we were done eating, we all felt in absolute and unavoidable danger of food poisoning. On our way out of the gas station market, we bought a bottle of Pepto Bismol. We went out to the car and, in the Burger King/ gas station parking lot we each took preemptive adult doses of Pepto Bismol.

The fun continued when we had to store the bottle somewhere and it was messy. We rinsed the dose cup with Powerade and wiped it out with a napkin.

This was the fun start to our California trip, and the rest of the trip proved to be not such a good one food-wise.

The End. (or, The Beginning, depending on how you look at it.)

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