Thursday, August 14, 2008

McFail

This morning I ran eight miles then took a quick shower before detaching my dignity, replacing it with my magnetic nametag and heading to work. I was ravenous when I left the house. After a year of running increasingly longer distances, I've learned that the 'runner's high' various fitness magazines mention--two words that may entice you to strap on a pair of sneakers and plod through your neighborhood--is similar to an actual 'pot smoker's high'* because they both leave you craving some paper-wrapped fat bomb stuffed with sausage and remorse.

Obviously, that means a McGriddle.

I GPS-ed my way to the closest McDonalds, golden arches dotting the display screen like mosquito bites on a summer camper's leg. I waited my turn in the drive-thru behind an F-150 with a wolf mural airbrushed on the back window and a synthetic scrotum swinging from the trailer hitch--both items reassuring me that the driver's own, um, McNuggets had been undisturbed since the Reagan administration.

After politely enunciating my order to the weary-sounding woman on the other side of the speaker, I drove around to the first window, my appetite beginning to wither after four minutes of watching a pair of comically oversized balls metronoming in front of me. The visor-wearing toddler working the cash register held my credit card** for less than ten ticks before returning to inform me that it had been declined, rejected like a hastily transplanted organ. AGAIN.

I watched sadly as a unformed arm lazily dangled a still-steaming paper bag out the next window but I had no change, no cash, and no choice but to drive away empty handed, forced to endure a year's worth of red lights beside the guy in the truck who glared at me through a pair of generic orange Oakleys before taking a hearty bite of--of course--a fucking McGriddle.

I got to work in time to check out the employee fridge which was empty save for a half-finished bottle of Propel and a decomposing package of Danimals even Alexander Fleming would've tossed out. Turning my attention to the discard drawer beneath the staff computer, I found a handful of orphaned holiday M&Ms, a partially neutered chocolate rabbit, and a clover-shaped cookie whose iced lettering had smeared and melted so it looked the way I felt every St. Patrick's Day. I settled on the shamrock--which was like eating sugar coated linoleum--but at least it was swaddled in Saran Wrap, potentially unpolluted by the pencil shavings and uncapped Sharpies rolling around beside it.

And that's probably why I only threw up once.
__________

Between Jackson Pollack-ing the employee restroom and repeatedly assuring a customer that yes, it's completely acceptable for your toenails to have the same curve and composition as a handful of Fritos, I was exhausted when I got home.

I summoned enough energy to call my credit card company, waiting for an answer as I thumbed through the stack of unpaid bills withering on the counter beside an equally neglected trio of bananas, wondering if I should start paying them chronologically or alphabetically. I was debating the logic of putting August before May and enduring an instrumental version of a Bangles song when I was greeted by a heavily-accented customer service rep who wouldn't have sounded more stereotypically Indian if his cheerful "Hello!" had been accompanied by bhangra music or the sound of a slurpee machine. He said his name was Steve.

Steve--which is apparently Hindi for Liar--asked for my account number, my mailing address, and the answer to a security question that seemed too subjective. The first name of my best friend from elementary school? Well, that depends, Steve. Are we talking first through third grades until Amanda moved away because apparently her dad was a cheating bastard or fourth till sixth when my new neighbor Brenda and I bonded over a shared love of teased bangs and New Kids on the Block posters? Brenda seemed to be the correct answer, two syllables that made Steve mutter something in a language that we didn't share.

"Have you made your most recent payment?" he asked, clicking away on his keyboard.

"Oh, absolutely," I said, nodding my head as if he were standing in my kitchen. If Steve can lie to me, I can lie to Steve.

He placed me on hold long enough to get an earful of "Eternal Flame"--which I didn't recall having an oboe solo--before coming back to tell me that my account had been flagged because of some soos-peaches charges. I inquired further about the soos-peaches suspicious bits and he told me it was because of the $17 I'd spent at Wal-Mart on Saturday.

After assuring Steve that the only soospeaches part of that transaction was the fact that I'm 29 and buying Mary Kate & Ashley-brand shimmer mascara, he apologized profusely but told me that my account would be locked tight until 12 a.m. "No problem," I shrugged. "McDonald's is open all night."

But I'll be damned if I'm going to the same one.

* Also a runner's high won't make you spend the entire afternoon watching your new screensaver and downloading two hundred dollars worth of Creedence music from iTunes.
** I use my credit card for everything because my bank account is worth less than the average mall fountain. And also there's that unspoken promise that by the year 2400, I'll have enough reward points for a free iPod shuffle.

30 comments:

Andy said...

another gem...this also makes me feel better about Little Debbie...
I've had the runner's high before, and I ate so much after that it basically took away the whole point of running. I solved that by not running.
I've seen dangling scrotum guy before, I believe. He was buying himself a Valentine's Day card and ky jelly. Guess he was pulling an all nighter.

My Life My Life My Life said...

LMAO the entire time reading this....

do I dare say that the balls you talk about on the back of the truck...it never occured to me that that is exactly what they were SUPPOSSED to be...I just thought they were obscene...damn i'm a dork.

Steve...oh my gawd...STEVE. Can you get any more American than Bob perhaps? Keep trying...

soos-peaches ...whew...thank you. That was good..

Michelle said...

What is so suspicious about shopping at WalMart? Unless you shop at Bloomingdales or Neman Marcus all the time, I can see that. Some hick stole your credit card and they're raiding the candy shelf at WalMart.

For me it would be the other way round... I always shop at WalMart so if they saw someone spending at Neman Marcus, that would be suspicious.

And a McGriddle isn't all that... I had one when it first came out and never again. I think I prefer my pancakes and syrup on the side rather than soaked and used as buns over a sausage patty and eggs.

Dexter Colt said...

I called AOL's customer service the other day (and- in regard to your previous post- I am not from Michigan) and I got a heavily accented Indian named...Kevin.

I laughed as soon as he said it.

Phil said...

I love seeing the dangling scrotum on those big trucks because it means that I can suddenly judge the driver without ever actually meeting him. I think even Mother Theresa would agree with my judgmental assessment(s).

UrbanVox said...

huahuahua!
That's to dyefor... I avoid costumer services hotlines AS MUCH AS I CAN!
Even if it means treckeng my way to the bank or trying to solve things by e-mail or internet...
Why??? Because I can NEVER understand a word of what half the attendants say!!!!!
damn!
lol

Gilahi said...

One of my favorite southern comedians, the late Lewis Grizzard, said that you could tell the difference between novice and experienced runners. Novice runners use phrases like "the wall" and "runner's high", while experience runners use phrases like "throw up" and "something funny in my left knee". Sounds like you made the transition right in the middle of this experience.

J-Money said...

andy: I do the "cancel out the running by drinking a gallon of peanut butter banana milkshake" thing every. Single. Sunday. And with that punctuation, you know I'm serious.

my life x3: Yes, truck balls need to be stopped. I think I'm going to start neutering every set that I see.

michelle: You shut your mouth about the McGriddle! It's syrupy, sausagy, cholesteroly perfection!

I also like corn dogs.

dexter: I hope Kevin and Steve work together. EIGHT THOUSAND FREAKING MILES AWAY.

phil: Oh yeah. As I've said before, occasionally stereotypes just save time.

urbanvox: See, if I'd known that, you and I could've taken a road trip to Visatown.

J-Money said...

gilahi: My mother still stores a collection of Lewis Grizzard books on the tank of the guest room toilet. Also, I had a boyfriend once (wait! that's not the whole story!) who refused to eat gazpacho based on something L-Grizz had written about it.

Ben said...

That's so stupid. Since when is a $17 charge at Walmart suspicious?

I hated them everytime they froze my credit card in Europe. HATED THEM.

lathan said...

Awww...truck balls! Haven't seen those since I moved from 29706 - almost makes me nostalgic.

theloosemoose said...

Hilarious as always!
Truck scrotums remain very popular here in Frostburgg. I've always wondered why they're hairless, though. One would think that anyone redneck enough to display balls on their pick up, would NOT engage in manscaping. They should definitely make a version with a thick, nasty bush and some lil' plastic crabs that bounce about when you hit pot holes...super classy.

poodlegoose said...

Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?

JB said...

WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS NAMED STEEEEVE! I have to call three major companies whose call centres are located in Buttfuck, India, and almost every time the support techs are "named" Steve, Mike, or Gerry. I once got transferred to three different Steves in one call. I can guarantee you that where they come from, no one has ever named their child Steve.

I am Meggie Poo. said...

Brenda and soos peaches made me laugh so hard I spit out my mid-morning snack of zucchini bread. Yup. Nice work.

rs27 said...

Its not an Indian person unless they say foots instead of feet.

They're proper in this way

lacochran said...

I always wondered what kind of person hangs those balls off their truck axle. Thanks for clearing that up.

I once had a Chevy Chase card that I had to call to get unlocked three times in the course of two weeks. This involved 27 levels of security questions each time. Each time, the "suspicious activity" was mine. I canceled them, toot sweet.

Joy @ Big Time Fancy said...

I am reasonably certain that McDonald's puts crack in the McGriddles.

JustinS said...

My former employer's accountant got me into the habit of using my credit card for all purchases, too. He mentioned that he puts everything on the card then pays it off each pay check. That way, he earns all the points/miles/sex slaves his bank offers for purchases but doesn't incur any interest.

I do the same thing, but I've streamlined the process by cutting out the "pay it off each pay check" step.

Laura said...

Um... is it wrong that I still totally wear the Mary Kate and Ashley cream eyeshadow? Like, to work?

Suzel said...

In my 20's, I said a prayer and kept my fingers crossed (both hands) when I handed over my credit card to pay for something.

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Oh, I too am running and have (re)discovered a love of greasy foods. My favorite: pizza.

And I called Amex a while ago. After being disconnected, transferred and put on hold for an eternity, I had a lovely lady say, "Hello my name is Veronica, how can I help you?". To which I exclaimed, "Your name CANNOT be Veronica." She laughed at me.

Falwless said...

The best part of this was the Steve--which is apparently Hindi for Liar... too damn funny. At work they've started outsourcing our own internal IT help desk to India, so it's really effing great to have a problem now because if it requires elevation to the next tier of support, they ALWAYS send it to the wrong support group. It's terrible. Really.

Jennae said...

Go little Debbie! Just treated myself to a vending machine sugar rush - thanks to you!

JL said...

and she said "we'll have to suspend your account. Did you make the last payment", to which I promptly responded, "dead fish DO smell!" And then my account got frozen. I don't understand, I didn't lie.

Jenn N Butter said...

Saw a ball sack hanging off the back of an old Escort this morning and thought of you! Yeah, I know that's sad.

Jenn

Paula said...

Sounds like you had a FANTASTIC day . . . And as for customer service . . . I am having trouble with the replacement phone I was sent when my original one broke and emailed O2 to ask them to resolve it. I got a one line email (no signature or anything) saying . . . "sorry but all you can do is call us on .... and they will try and arrange something for you". No "kind regards", no signature, nothing!

h31n0us said...

Hmmm...for me runner's high = lack of oxygen to brain.

I'm thinking of suggesting a law to congress about truck balls. They can only hang them off their truck if they can fit them up their ass first. Let me know if you want to sign the petition.

Dr. The Bird Man said...

Credence Rules!

Kayleigh said...

Wait, it happened again? McDonald's Conspiracy Theory (MCT)?

Wtf. Fail.