16 January, 2011

We don't serve your kind here – Day 60

Odo 849

Got visitors in the house this weekend, nine visitors. The place is a mad house. I have been short on sleep and I don't cope well with that. Last night two of them had a domestic and the kids of various ages were all up and jumping around (5-25 year olds). I tried to go to bed early but it was hopeless so I decided to go for a ride and clear my head.

I wheeled out the Zero and rolled silently into the night. There are no good rider's roads within range of either my wakefulness or my battery so I just rolled along next to the river. The moonlight glistened and my spirits rose.

I realised that I was thirsty. Really thirsty. I resolved to stop at the next available purveyor of beverages. Sadly that turned out to be the 24 hour McDonalds. Oh well. I also had a rather acid stomach and I thought something milky might settle it down.

So I stopped next to the Highway Patrol cars that had met up for a midnight picnic and got them to watch the bike while I slipped into the place. I could see the lights on and customers inside but the auto doors refused to respond to my waving distress. I realised I'd missed them and they were closed. However the drivethrough was open. Saved. I walked around there.

HELLO” I chirped brightly to the unseeing eye of the microphone.

I'm sorry we don't serve walkthroughs”. Clearly I was visible to an unseen camera.

Recognising immediately the futility of arguing my case to a 14 year old that was following orders I apologised and retreated.

So, I'm right in front of two Highway Patrol cars... I'm not going to ride in without my helmet. So it's on with the helmet and on with the gloves. I know that I'm not going to be able to carry a drink on the bike (they forgot cup holders) but I figure I'll make do. There's no clutch after all. Nip round to the drivethrough entrance, this time accompanied by my trusty steed.


Welcome to McDonalds, what can I get for you tonight”.

So I'm now acceptable. I place my order for a small chocolate thickshake.

That's a Large then?”

No, a small”

Choc Thickshake Med” appears on the screen.

After convincing them that is all I want I'm instructed to advance to the payment window where I'm greeted warmly by said 14 year old. (who actually looks about 20, I suppose 14 year olds aren't allowed to work the night shift). She informs me my purchase is $3.75 which seems a lot for sugary ice slurry. Of course I can't balance the bike while extracting my wallet from my back pocket and I can't extract notes from said wallet with my gloves on. Nor can I carry on a conversation with my helmet on. So I get off the bike (instantly converting myself back into a pedestrian) and take off my helmet and gloves, retrieve my wallet, pay and accept the change. Again I'm thanked warmly and instructed to go to the next window to pick up my meal. I sense a script being followed. I'm briefly struck with sympathy for the prematurely aged 14 year old but that feeling is overwhelmed by embarrassment as I see the line of cars waiting behind me while I re-don my helmet and gloves in readiness for the 20 foot journey to the next window.

There I'm handed the flimsiest plastic cup I've ever seen. Someone has worked out how to save 0.001 cents per cup by making it thinner. It's clear that I'm not going to be able to “make do” and carry it in my left hand. It's flexing alarmingly under the pressure of my simply holding it while standing still. So I balance it on a fencepost and ride the bike back out from the drivethrough then walk back against the flow to recover my drink.

By this time I could have ridden home and had something there, so I wasn't dying of thirst as I'd feared but it was very welcome all the same.

Bike continues to run faultlessly and has restored my sense of balance which is after all, what motorcycles are for.

1 comment:

  1. Funny! Nice description - I can picture what happened perfectly.
    I wonder if one of those handle-bar pouches would fit on the Zero. No good for the milkshake, but nice for the wallet.