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Vignettes from our recent road trip — Part One: Infiltrating the Zillah McDonald’s

July 20, 2010

We are hungry, and I have a hunger headache. We are in the desert now, and it is very hot. We are looking for a fast food place that has something I can eat, which means a McDonald’s or Wendy’s. We are not in Wendy’s country, so it means McDonald’s. But McDonald’s, normally a community-minded, friendly stop, has not seen the logic of implementing the age-old travel mercy of shaded parking. There is no way we are going to leave Coolidge in the car for five minutes without any shade. We have already passed up McDonald’s in Sunnyside for want of shade. Shade is life here.

Zillah has to be it. We are hungry, tired, and I need free hot water for my tea bag. We are not above guile to resolve these elemental needs.

Coolidge in his CTU (Cat Transport Unit) looks exactly like a gym bag. Appropriately dressed with hats and sunglasses, we enter the Zillah McDonald’s with our gym bag in hand. Vic slithers the gym bag into a bench seat and I sit next to it. Nervous and self-conscious, I compose myself with the thought, Who doesn’t carry a gym bag into the Zillah McDonald’s? I am prepared, if questioned, to represent myself as Agent Laurence, Allied Demand.

Soon we are immersed, Vic in his Angus with cheese, I in my chicken Caesar, hold the Caesar. I have mastered the mug trick on this trip. No one will charge you for hot water if you proffer your own mug.

The gym bag doesn’t make a sound. We understand this to mean we are going to owe him big when we get home. If he pushes for it, we’ll take him to McDonald’s.


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