I was sent on a four-hour delivery run this morning, which was good because it was a beautiful day for a drive. I drove across/under the bridge-tunnel that spans the eastern end of the James River and marveled at the huge cargo ships and military vessels in the distance- even from afar, an aircraft carrier is an impressive boat. I wish I could have taken pictures, but the whole journey was via interstate and I was on a schedule.
Driven by a combination of ravenous hunger and desperate self-loathing, I stopped at a highway McDonald's in an attempt to poison myself. When I got to the counter,I was greeted by a surprisingly cheerful and polite young lass who happily took my order and sounded a tone of sincere regret when she told me no, they do not have lemonade. I was glad to settle for an orange-colored sugar drink. I was so stunned to be given good service that I probably would have accepted a glass of Guyana Punch...wow, they really care at McD's, I thought, dreamily.
Then I saw the sign hanging in the back of the McKitchen.
It was a hand-made and visually disturbing banner with the phrase "lock-down" painted on it in large, bright letters, with the hyphen in the phrase represented by a length of chain clutched in the hands of a sardonically grinning Ronald McDonald. Beneath the cruel clown was the command that all hands must be "on deck " during "lock-down" hours. Not only was Ronald a cruel taskmaster, he was also mixing metaphors. I don't think I could work for Ronald.
I tried to get a decent picture of the sign with my cell phone, but the light and angle worked against me:
Smiley Girl saw me taking pictures and came over to ask me if I "needed anything." She kept flicking her eyes at my chest and it dawned on me that I was wearing a cryptic-looking Federal ID around my neck. I took it off, pocketed it and told her, no, I was fine, but I wanted to get a picture of that sign because it was really freaking me out.
She smiled, weakly this time, and her expression indicated that she had her own opinion of the sign but wasn't allowed to share it with the customers. She obligingly stepped out of my way while I tried in vain to get a focused shot.
"I'm going to make one for my office", I explained. She looked at me in dismay.
"Just kidding", I reassured her.
It felt good.