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6:12 a.m. - 2004-03-23

OLD MCDONALD HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. E-I-E-I-O

I think I may have mentioned this before, but Andrew LOVES Old McDonald.

If we're in the car, I'm singing the song for him as he comes up with more and more animals on the farm.

I now have designated sounds for ladybugs, butterflies, fish and rabbits because, by God, these are animals and in Andrew's eyes, they have to say SOMETHING if they're paying rent on Old McDonald's farm.

For instance, a butterfly says "flit, flit" here and "flit, flit" there.

The others make noises that I can't translate to the written word.

I mean ... I could type "Ahwooah" I guess, but you have to hear it to understand it, y'know?

So anyway, Andrew also loves the Baby Einstein tape series.

So when Baby Einstein came out with Baby McDonald last week featuring things on a farm and farm animals ... it was a match made in Andrew Heaven.

I bought the DVD last Tuesday.

We've now watched it approximately 3,000 times.

Andrew is now three years old which means he's an expert at everything in his eyes.

He knows how to put the DVD in the DVD player.

And if he's not watching the DVD, he's walking around with the actual DVD in his hands.

Now.

I'm kinda anal about CDs and DVDs.

I want ZERO fingerprints on them.

Andrew hasn't figured that out yet about his old man.

So last night, he's running around with his grimy little hands all over the DVD singing "Old McDonald".

He then decides to throw the DVD like a frisbee.

I can't really describe my panic as he does this. While in my head I KNOW it's not the end of the world if the DVD gets fingerprints and dust on it, I'm still kinda freaking out about it.

So I scoop the DVD off the floor and inspect it for fingerprints while Andrew screams bloody murder.

It's covered in fingerprints and carpet fuzz.

So while Andrew is shrilling his displeasure over Daddy actually having the nerve to touch HIS DVD I'm trying to explain to him in calm tones that he needs to handle the DVD by the edges and the hole in the middle and that's it.

Naturally, Andrew isn't listening to a word I say because he's too busy screaming "MY DVD! MY DVD! MY DVD!"

And I think, though I'm not exactly certain, that was the point where I snapped.

"Andrew!" I barked. "There are certain ways that you handle a DVD! Your method is driving Daddy crazy and will eventually render your DVD useless. Now hold it by the edges or you won't get to hold it at all."

I handed it back to him and he grabbed it the same way he'd been holding it all night, with his hands all over the disc and ran to his room, slamming his door behind him.

I've got 15 more years of this shit until he's sent off to college.

God help me.


Speaking of McDonald's (Go Segue King! Go Segue King!), Sunday morning when we were leaving Georgia, we passed a McDonalds.

Andrew cannot pass the Golden Arches without bringing it to everyone's attention in the car that there is, in fact, a McDonalds restaurant in the vicinity.

"MCDONALDS! MCDONALDS!" he starts screaming from the back seat as if a shark has swallowed his leg.

Susie says "Let's stop. I could use an Egg McMuffin."

So I pull over.

The drive thru line is stretched around the building so we decide that Susie will run inside, get some grub and come back out and we'll get on the road.

One Egg McMuffin, two chicken biscuits and two orange juices.

That's our order.

That's it.

So Andrew and I are left in the car while she goes inside.

Five minutes pass.

Ten minutes pass.

Fifteen minutes pass.

Twenty minutes pass.

Granted, my wife is notoriously slow at everything. If I were to ever be sentenced to death for a crime, I'd want to be hung and have my wife sent for the rope because she'd never come back.

At twenty minutes, she comes out to the van empty handed.

"It's comical in there," she laughs. "They have no idea what they're doing."

"Let's go," I said. "We can stop somewhere else."

"I've already paid," she said. "Plus, I've bonded with the other customers."

Now Susie's all "ha-ha, isn't this a scream?" about the situation.

While I've been sitting out in the car with a screaming kid who wants his chicken biscuit and can't understand why it's taking so long to get one.

So she goes back inside, chuckling to herself, leaving me and El Scream-o in the car.

At the 35 minute mark, I had had enough of the screeching from the back seat and I was ready to go inside and give these idiots a piece of my mind.

I got out, got Andrew out of his car seat and marched inside.

There were about 40 customers all standing around chatting with each other.

It was a goddamned social hour in there.

The management of the restaurant had decided that they were not going to be taking any more orders until they were all caught up with the orders already taken.

When I looked back over the heat lamps and hot apple pie holders, I saw a bunch of lazy morons who weren't even TRYING to speed things up. They were just going at a leisurely pace as if it were 3:00 on a Tuesday afternoon with one customer in the building.

I took Andrew into the playground area and was livid.

Susie came into the playground area and I went back out to the counter to glare at the employees, as if this would get things done faster.

At the 45 minute mark, our three biscuits were finally handed to me.

"Sorry for the wait, sir," the manager said.

"That took 45 minutes," I snapped. "That goes beyond an apology."

(I really wish I had planned what I was going to say because that retort was about as ineffective as saying "Don't worry about it".)

I grab Susie and Andrew and said we're on our way.

Susie asks if I got the orange juices.

D'oh!!

I go back to the counter and try to get the manager's attention.

However, I had just been pretty snide to the woman in front of 40 customers. So it wasn't like she was falling all over herself to acknowledge my presence.

I stood there and decided I was going to count to ten and then make a statement if I wasn't acknowledged.

The manager walked away at 3.

There was no need to count to ten.

I went around the counter, opened the door and went back behind the counter.

I grabbed two of the largest cups I could find.

I inspected the orange juice machine to try and determine how the thing worked.

I found an arrow pointing down and pushed it.

Juice started flowing into the cup.

The drive thru lazy asshole woman said "Sir, you can't come back here."

I just kept pouring orange juice silently.

The manager came from the kitchen area to stare at me as I filled the cups up.

I then walked from behind the counter and out their precious little door that protects them.

While I was almost expecting a round of applause from the customers who would marvel at my "sticking it to the man", I was instead greeted with zero eye contact and a silent hush.

Apparently, I was now regarded as the psycho orange juice guy who nobody wanted to cross.

I stopped at the self-serve drink fountain thing, grabbed two lids and two straws and left the building.

And made a silent promise to myself to teach Andrew how to say "Burger King" from now on.

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