With a friendly smile, Cheyenne said, "$3.10." I responded, "That's not enough." I had ordered two Sausage McMuffins, a hashbrown, a large soda, and the Weekend Edition of USA Today. The bill should have been five dollars and change.
I was at the North Pearl location of McDonald's, just across the parking lot from Big Lots. I was looking for breakfast and food for thought. They are not always the same.
What probably threw the young cashier off was my coupon for a free sandwich. For the past few weeks I have dropped in at the McDonald's restaurant four or five times. Each time I get a "Promo" offering a "buy one and get one free survey offer." I answer a few questions online and in return I get a special code for a free sandwich. I always choose the breakfast sandwich called a Sausage McMuffin that comes with a slice of American cheese. The muffin is slightly toasted, which gives a nice little crunch. Each of the sandwiches weighs in at 383 calories. When I have breakfast at McDonald's I skip lunch and only have breakfast and dinner.
Cheyenne with the help of another clerk ran the new figures. She had not charged for the newspaper. It was a penny cheaper than I had thought it would be. McDonald's offers the sandwich, a hashbrown, and beverage for only $2.99. The new total was $5.28. She asked, "Would you like the receipt?" I said, "Of course . . . I want the promo." This comment led to wonder if they lock up their waste. They do . . . kind of. You can see the dumpster behind swinging gates in the bottom banner.
I sat down at a comfortable booth. Real estate agent extraordinaire John Graham, and his buddies were not present, yet. I think they gather each morning there to discuss old times and new ones. I opened my first sandwich and looked over headlines. What caught my eye was Bill Cosby. My mind flashed back to his successful TV show of the eighties. His show was broadcast at the same time our local cable production Video Realty aired. You might assume that we didn't stand a chance at getting an audience opposite Cosby, but you would be wrong. The more popular a TV show is, the more commercials they crowd into the half hour slot. Each time the Cosby show went to commercials, our clients had their phones ringing. People channel surf during commercial time. Never assume.
Looking at the Cosby article closer, I saw that his photo was a Getty image. I thought, "How appropriate, a presumed guilty serial rapist connected by circumstances with an extortionistic firm involved with financial rape of small businesses." Of course, these are just personal feelings. But you can look up Getty Extortion Letter. So much for light reading.
After finishing off my excellent breakfast and the news, I got a re-fill of my soda (Diet Coke/Barg's Root Beer combo) and walked out to my car just after John Graham wearing his obligatory tweed sports coat entered to place his order. I drove down Pearl towards Pt. Defiance. About half-way I saw a red grocery cart. It was left on the parking strip at a nearby apartment complex. People "steal" carts like these to help get goods they've purchased back to their homes, where they then abandon the carts. Grocery stores and businesses like Big Lots then have to round up the carts, which costs them money, which they then add to the expenses of running their stores, so prices go up. If people would not "borrow" (a kinder word, perhaps) the carts, it might keep prices lower . . . something the people who take the carts don't seem to understand.
Once home I began the crossword puzzle in The News Tribune. I ate a healthy addition to my fast food breakfast . . . a handful of large, red cherries as I sipped my soda and thought about my morning. Soon I would be back at my computer taking a survey and qualifying for another free sandwich.