Three lunches

Driving the bus in training, we stop for fast-food just about every day, and on Thursday it was McDonald's. It wasn't like any McDonald's I've been to, though. Tell me, are all McDonald's doing this now? 

August 27, 2022

When we walked in, there was nobody working the cash registers. Ten customers were standing around in the lobby, and a few employees wandered among them, approaching one customer at a time, saying, "Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order?"

When an employee said that to me, I was confused. What she was wearing didn't look like a uniform, but the device she was holding had golden arches™ on it.

Dazed, I shook my head no, and walked back toward the door to watch how this new system works.

Immediately, though, a different woman approached me and said, "Welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order?"

"No, no," I said, and walked out. No Filet-O-Fish for me.

If this is the new system at McDonald's, I sure don't like it. I want my old-fashioned queue time, to study the menu board, and also, COVID-19 is still a thing, so maybe it's not the greatest idea to send unmasked employees out to mingle with a crowd of customers?

Speaking of fast-food, this might be science. Might not. Certainly it's an uncontrolled experiment.

Most days during my bus driver training, I've packed a lunch, and it's been fairly healthy — a couple of sandwiches, and a banana.

One day, though, I forgot my lunch, so I bought a couple of Whoppers at Burger King — which by the way, was way too expensive. Six months ago, living in Wisconsin, two Whoppers cost $6. Now, two whoppers cost $15, so they'll be my last Whoppers for a long, long time.

The science part, though, came with the next morning's bowel movement. Wiping up, I got some poop on my hands. That happens a lot, because I'm a big fat guy and piloting the TP between my ass cheeks is tricky.

When it happens with a sandwich-based poop, the stink washes right off, but with a Whopper-based poop the stink simply could not be eradicated. Some chemical additive in the list of ingredients, no doubt.

I scrubbed my hands in soap and hot water, then returned to the men's room for a second scrubbing a few minutes later, then used three wet-wipes on my right hand, but it still stunk like poop even as I was driving home, hours later.

For Saturday lunch, I ate sardines in my car, reading a book, and then for some stupid reason I left the book open, face-down on the passenger seat. It's been there ever since, but when I picked it up today to bring it back into the house, the binding had melted and the book was destroyed. Too many hot days. It had become a dozen mini-books, all of them warped.

Now I owe the library thirteen damned dollars.

Paperbacks should have warning labels. "Do not leave book open in a hot car."


Someone asked me a while back, what's the moral of the story? Give me an elevator pitch, he said, for what your website's all about.

I blew him off, because the question seemed stupid, but it's been in the back of my head ever since, and today I think I have it. This website, in one succinct sentence:

Life would be pretty sweet, if it weren't for all the damned people everywhere.

Typing this on Friday evening, my flatmates, Robert and Dean, are in the kitchen watching an exhibition pro football game on Robert's hand-size tablet. "Oh!" I hear them yell in unison, and then they laugh together. Later they groan together, or shout together.

Man, I'd love to share a camaraderie like that with someone, but here's the catch: It would have to be over something that matters. Not frickin' football.

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not…    

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Domination and abuse on the high school debate circuit 

I love articles that delve deeply into some remote subculture, especially subcultures I've never given much thought to. This is terrific coverage, which starts as simply, "Here's how high school debating works," and builds up to, "and here's why that's really screwed up."

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US government to make all research it funds open access on publication 

This is overdue, of course — we the people paid for this information, so we should have access to it — but I'm flabbergasted (and skeptical) that it's (finally) happening. There'll be lawsuits, no doubt, and the Republican-owned Supreme Court will eventually say this can't be allowed, due to capitalism.

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Taking art to the streets: Vendors of Telegraph Avenue

Here's an overview of street vendors on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley. It's of some interest to me but perhaps only to me, because I used to be one of them.

Russ Andavall is mentioned in the article, and his name sounds familiar me. His face has aged and his beard has greyed, but way back in the 1990s I'm certain that he and I had a loud argument one afternoon on Telegraph.

What did we argue about? Oh, I have no idea. I'm old. Can't remember everything, but as Pink Floyd would say, "I certainly was in the right."

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This startup is selling tech to make overseas call center workers sound like white Americans 

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When capitalists take over a nursing home 

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The oldest continuously operated Chinese restaurant in America is not in San Francisco or New York, but in Butte, Montana 

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Some people are pissed off because 'Don't call police' video was shown to high school students 

The video sounds marvelous to me.

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Police Chief fired a mere three months after doing nothing during Uvalde massacre 

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Tesla demands removal of videos showing its cars mowing down child-sized mannequins 

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Nichelle Nichols' ashes headed to space 

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Toilet-related injuries and deaths 

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Coffin births 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
copscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscops copscopscopscops
RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans RepublicansRepublicansRepublicans 

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Mystery links
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The End
Jerry Allison
David Kay
Michael Malone
Nafis Sadik

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. Google/Blogger continues playing "What won't work today?" and the answer is, the "recent comments" box in the sidebar. The code validates, and I've even swapped in different code, which also validates, but no list of recent comments appears.

    I'm gonna not worry about it. Google/Blogger *usually* fixes its software explosions within a few days.

  2. >Life would be pretty sweet, if it weren't for all the damned people everywhere.


    1. Now that I've vented, yeah, dang right I feel better.

  3. Thanks for noting Jerry Allison’s passing. As white southern kids playing Black music Jerry came the closest to recreating the Black sound faithfully. He got screwed over in Holly’s rush to fame and cash but kept on beating those toms like Bo’s drummer. He was talented and by all accounts decent.

    Rock on my brother.


    1. I'll admit to only a very vague awareness of Allison's existence, until reading the obituary. His work improved my life, though, and anyone who does that merits an obit here.

      Rocking on, from my recliner.


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