Traveling Twilight Zone

All I wanted was a blasted cup of coffee. How hard could that be? I was driving the Ninja, following the Trashmobile down the I75 SUV Speedway through the Yooperland. The plan was to hit the McDonald’s drive-thru in St. Ignace for coffee and whatever. “Medium black coffee and a hash brown,” I said into the intercom. “That’ll be $2.36 [or whatever] at the first window.” So far, so good. I gave the guy my money. Alas, when I got to the second window, there was no coffee! That’s right, NO COFFEE!! They had given the GG the last cup of coffee. Did I want decaf? No I did not want decaf!!! The GG was driving off ahead of me. I didn’t want to wait for them to make a new pot of coffee. I totally panicked. I grabbed the hash brown and told the girl to forget the coffee. I didn’t even ask for my money back. I was practically in tears at that point. Why? I do not know. It was totally stupid. I was on the ledge and I couldn’t talk myself down. I caught up with the GG, who had stopped to double-check the snowbilly trailer before we crossed the bridge. He said something completely reasonable: “Go back and get your coffee.” I was beyond reason by then. Crying and totally pissed off. “Do you want *my* coffee?” he asked. NO I do not want your frickin’ coffee! I think I was angry because he was just ahead of me in line and HE GOT COFFEE… … …

Tell me how a damn MCDONALD’S can be out of COFFEE at EIGHT AM!!!

I remained coffee-less and we crossed the bridge and after a while I calmed down a bit. I still wanted some coffee. Not decaf. Coffee. The next convenient McDonald’s is in Indian River so we ended up getting off there. I wasn’t going to take any chances with the drive-thru this time. No way. I went inside. And found myself in ANOTHER twilight zone! I could not for the life of me figure out the ordering procedure. How do you order coffee at McDonald’s? You get in line, give your order to the kid behind the counter, pay, and get your coffee. Roight? Roight. Except. Not. People were standing there with these little slips of paper and somebody was calling out numbers, like at the deli or someplace. But where did I get a number? I asked another customer. He had a little slip of paper. He looked at me as if I were from Zephron III. FINALLY, I figured out that you ordered your coffee and paid for it and your RECEIPT was your number. Then you had to stand there and wait until they called your number. How long can it take to pour a blasted cup of coffee? I tried desperately to quell my rising panic by picking away at the crossword puzzle on my phone. What did I ever do without an iPhone? Stood around looking like somebody from Zephron III, I guess.

Finally I had my coffee and we were back on the road. But there was yet another episode of twilight zone to come. At the rest area between Saginaw and Bay City. One of the women’s bathrooms was closed for “cleaning”. The other had a blasted line. In part because TWO STALLS were WITHOUT TOILET PAPER! It wasn’t a terribly long line and I wasn’t anywhere near dire straits but c’mon, people. To top things off, there was A MAN in the women’s bathroom! Yes, A MAN! Although I did a double-take, this didn’t actually freak me out too much. He was in there helping a woman (his wife?) in a wheelchair. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do when you are traveling with a disabled person of the opposite gender and that person can’t handle the bathroom by herself. The state can’t even supply enough toilet paper for all the stalls, let alone adequate bathroom facilities for disabled people. I felt empathy for him. He probably HATED being in the women’s bathroom. Still it added to the general strangeness of my encounters with what are usually routine no-brainer situations.

Back to work tomorrow. Hi ho! What the heck do I do for a living again?

3 Responses to “Traveling Twilight Zone”

  1. Marquis Says:

    At least no one had to die. Last Sunday someone plowed off six-mile. Anne didn’t get coffee until after the bridge either.

  2. Margaret Says:

    Coffee is VERY important. I know how upset I would be to not get some when I wanted it. 🙂

  3. Pooh Says:

    We hope that no one did die in that accident! But as Mark said, Brimley Gas station was out of power and Rudyard BP wasn’t even open. We decided to stop in Mackinac City, since it seemed a straighter shot than St. Ignace. We went past the Shell station that’s right off the highway and went down the main tourist drag. Practically vacant that early on a Sunday morning. We found a bakery just off Tourist Row, with a line, but great coffee and blueberry scones. Recommend it highly.