[Blurt alert: This post uses some foul slang for female body parts. And also the F-word. But only as much as absolutely necessary. If I could figure out an effective way to tell this story without using them, I would surely do so. But I can't, so consider yourself warned.]
Today, Daughter-Only had to be to work at noon. We left the house at 11:45 and because she'd overslept and hadn't eaten, she wanted to sneak through the drive-thru at McDonald's to grab a cheeseburger to scarf down (I know, I know: the breakfast of champions, right?).
The McDonald's in our town is in the corner of a busy and poorly planned parking lot. Because of this, there is no clearly marked line for the drive-thru cars to wait in. Some people form a line straight off the sign and going far back into the parts of the parking lot intended for other stores. Some people (including me) come in to the line from part of the lot that is set aside for McDonald's customers. (Not only does this feel logical to me, but there is actually an arrow painted on the blacktop to indicate that that is the way to go. However, said arrow is so faded you can only see it if you already know it's there and it can't be seen at all when coming from the other part of the lot.)
Naturally, with all this multi-directional traffic there are issues. For instance, a year or so ago, I was waiting in (what I consider) the correct line for the drive-thru when a woman came out of the restaurant and saw my van sitting behind her vehicle. While she had room to pull out, it would have required some maneuvering. I would have gladly backed up or inched forward for her, but before I could put my van into gear, she started gesticulating in an extremely rude manner and blowing her horn.
I am not normally an inconsiderate person, much less confrontational, especially in public. I feel sure I could muster legions of people, many of whom do not even know my name, who could attest to my random acts of kindness and consideration in retail settings all around town.
But! If someone is blatantly nasty or disrespectful to me, some sort of chemical change occurs within my brain and I become a person I barely recognize and of whom I am not always proud. Which is how and why I refused to move for the woman whose car I was behind until, forty-five seconds and numerous F-words (from her) later, the drive-thru line moved of its own volition.
During our exchange, in which I calmly told the woman that I would not be moving out of her way that very second, this woman called me a "fucking twat."
My first thought was, "I didn't know anyone even used that word anymore." I hadn't heard it since the school bus in seventh grade, when it was the height of hilarity to say "Twat did you say? I cunt hear you."
My second thought was, "What the hell is your fucking problem?!" Which thought came out mouth before I could stop it. Oops. Daughter-Only was with me that day as well and was equal parts appalled and impressed.
Today, as you have probably guessed by now, there was also a multi-directional traffic issue in the McDonald's drive thru. As Daughter-Only and I pulled up to the drive-thru, we immediately scoped out the line to assess her chances of getting to the window in time to make it to work before noon. There were four cars in line, including the one at the sign. I inched forward to position myself to get into the line while she was trying to decide whether we should just drive off and skip the cheeseburger.
Just as she decided that we should leave the line, a big red truck came from the other direction and tried to block me from getting into the line. I no longer even wanted to get in the line, but the set up of the lot meant that I needed to get between the red truck and the black car to pull away from the drive-thru line. As I pulled forward to do that, the young man (or as Daughter-Only referred to him, "the teenage redneck") began gesticulating rudely and pulled alongside of us, thereby blocking us from leaving the line.
I rolled down the passenger window, and he started yelling that he had been in line before us (which I knew was not the case) and that we needed to get to the back of the line. And...uh oh...there went that brain chemistry thing again. I calmly stated that I was in the line and things escalated from there.
I can draw diagrams, and provide additional details to interested parties, but the key highlights are that Daughter-Only was a little late for work, but she did get her cheeseburger. For what it's worth, she got her cheeseburger before the boys in the red truck got whatever it was they were so urgently trying to get.
Oh! And the fine upstanding young man at the wheel of the red truck called me a "fucking cunt" to which I calmly replied, "Do you really think that sort of language is going to get you the results you're looking for?" At that point, he realized the futility of his quest and got into line behind us. There was something disturbingly satisfying about watching the disappointment cross the boy's face when he realized his ultimate verbal weapon was utterly ineffective.
As we pulled away from the window a couple minutes later, both the boys in the truck could be heard screaming unimaginative obscenities at us.
As she got out of the car to go to work, I told Daughter-Only, "Well, now I've been called a fucking twat and a fucking cunt in the McDonald's parking lot. I figure if I can just get someone to call me a fucking pussy, I'll have achieved the lady parts insult trifecta!"
U is for Uncivilized*
*At one point during today's verbal scuffle, after he had flung numerous F-words but before he resorted to the C-word, the boy driving the truck said, "I have to be to class at 12:30!" To which I (calmly) said, "Oh? Is it a class in how to be a civilized human being? Because it seems like you could use a little instruction in that."
And So This is Helen
3 days ago