All the Times I Have Embarrassed Myself in a Fast Food Restaurant

Author: Jack Riedy

Hello. My name is Jack. I am a 21-year-old person recovering from an accident. That was foreshadowing. Thank you for reading this piece. Can you guess how many of these stories take place in a McDonald’s? Three of these stories do that. That was also foreshadowing.

I tried to walk through a Florida McDonald’s drive-thru with my friend Kyle. We were in town for his older sister’s wedding. The doors to the McDonald’s across the street from our hotel were closed, but we could see employees working. They ignored our waves and told us over the speakers that we needed a vehicle to order food.

The most interesting man I’ve ever met, and this includes author Lemony Snicket, was ahead of me in line at a Five Guys. This was when I was in a wheelchair, and I noticed he had a prosthetic leg. He was old, with an age-appropriate companion, but he was decked out in gold jewelry. I noticed the keys to the Rolls-Royce that sat next to my spot in handicapped parking. Apropos of nothing, he told me how he fought in Korea and then became an engineer. He paid for his food with two-dollar bills and gold coins.

I was in the wheelchair paying for my food at a train station McDonald’s. I handed over a ten, and the cashier held the bill up to the light. Did she think I was counterfeiting to save $4.73 on ill-gotten McDoubles? And even if that was my master plan, did she think I was going to just Keyser Soze my way out of there?

I was in a McDonald’s at 2 AM with Kyle. I saw a stunning woman in the corner booth. Puzzled that we would be in the same place, I point her out, perhaps too loudly, to my friend. After dropping a tray of food at their table, her male companion comes over to me. He turns out to be my dad’s former boss. He went through a similar car accident and wanted to tell me how happy he was to see me up using a cane. I have no idea if he heard me talking about his wife. When I mention him the next day, every member of my family asks about how his wife looked.

Jack Riedy is a writer, comedian, and cheeseburger expert from Palatine, IL. Engage with him @jackriedy before Twitter implodes.