Sunday, August 20, 2006

Are We There Yet?

I've been on vacation. For some reason, every couple of years my husband and I decide it might be a good idea to skip past the seventeen million miles of shoreline available right in our own state, and make the six hour trek to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The funny thing is, we always think it will actually take six hours, too. This rarely happens because 1) we are in the Frequent Peeing Club; and 2) We try to eat in a relatively healthy fashion.

Bizarre traffic occurences aside (who knew that the third week of August is also the timeframe for several motorcycle conventions who also use I-95??), people who eat at McDonald's and Burger King make it to the Outer Banks in six hours. I am one of those people, when I'm not in front of my husband. My husband thinks that McDonald's is the spawn of satan. He gets agitated at the mere suggestion of a bag of french fries from the golden arches. He wants his food to be fast, sure, but he also wants to avoid clogged arteries. Picky.

So we generally stop at a deli, which on the highway, generally means a Subway. In case you haven't noticed, the term 'sandwich artist' can be cross referenced with 'slow' in just about any dictionary in the world. It is simply a matter of ignorance is bliss. If we keep showing up, Subway will keep pretending that it's a good idea to not make any parts of the sandwich until we are standing in front of them, to not fully list the names of the toppings anywhere in the store, and to continue doling out the deer in headlights stare as customer after customer requests the 'little hot red thingies, please', frantically gesturing at toppings because you know everyone in line behind you wants you to hurry the hell up.

There are no such problems at McDonald's. Everything is already made. They assume someone is going to order a hamburger and voila! Keep twelve of them on the grill at any given time. So what if, over the decades, they've become soggy, limp messes of meat and bread? You are back in your car in five minutes. If you even ever got out (hello! Subway! Even Starbucks is warming up to the idea of a drive through, people!).

Yesterday, we made the six hour trip in seven. There was no traffic and we sailed until we decided we were hungry. We had extended family with us and were in two seperate cars, but because my car was full of people related to my husband, people who eat vegetables and such nonsense, I once again had to pretend to be repulsed by the idea of a fast food burger.

(By the way, when I need to pretend that McDonald's and Company repulses me, I always trot out my milkshake stories. That the Frosties at Wendy's have wood pulp in them (I swear this is true). That I once witnessed a McDonald's store manager scoop two dead roaches out of the milkshake mix, then continue to serve it (this is, unfortunately, also true). So I don't do fast food milkshakes, ever, and these are the stories I tell when I am in the presence of a holier than thou eater who believes themself to be of a higher species because they never order fast food. I destroy any desire for the one thing they will always admit to craving: the milkshake. Crushing dreams the world over, MzMannerz is proud to serve).

So no burger for me. Again, with Subway, which this time had a moving line for food, but quite the stagnant one for the bathroom. It took us a good twenty minutes to order food which we planned to eat in the car anyway. This would not have been a problem in McDonald's, where the bathrooms are so disgusting people would rather pee in the woods, and where, as noted above, the damn burger is ready before you even pull into the parking lot.

Anyway. We are back from vacation. It was wonderful, relaxing, and fast food free (not even Subway wants to brave the off season that deep in the Carolina coast). And as we drove home, past all the exit signs for the beaches we rejected, we knew it was worth it.

Even if the Subway in Williamsburg *was* out of the little hot red thingies.


Andrew McAllister said...

You're rights -- sometimes the extra effort IS worth it!
To Love, Honor and Dismay

Anonymous said...

Starbucks has drive-throughs!

kgiff said...

Welcome back!

I'm never ever eating a fast food milkshake again!

I'm also in the I'd rather not eat fast food club, but I do make an exception when traveling.