CUP O’ JOE

“I mean, why would any retired person be in a hurry unless they need to get to a hospital.”

“Medium hot coffee please.”

My wife and I are addicted to McDonald’s coffee. We generally share a medium size cup each morning. I can’t say that McDonald’s coffee is the best in town, but the price is right. The well-organized crew working Swanson Boulevard McDonald’s drive-thru makes it even better.

I did some research to see where McDonald’s gets their coffee beans. Some company named Gavina is their supplier. I can only assume that Gavina purchased their beans from Juan Valdez at one time. Old-timers should remember Juan. He represented the Columbian Coffee Growers Association and appeared in numerous commercials with his pack mule.

Juan Valdez was actually a fictitious name. The fellow playing this part was Carlos Sanchez. Sadly, Carlos passed away on January 14, 2019 at the age of 83. He was one of those instantly likable characters, always wearing a smile. I give Juan partial credit for getting me hooked on java.

While sitting in the drive-thru line waiting for our Cup O’ Joe, I always make a mental note of things going on around our car. There’s never a dull moment it seems. I have a running bet with my wife on which drive-thru line will be fastest. I generally choose the left and her the right. It’s always a toss-up. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and no one line is consistently faster.

Joleen and I have seen some interesting things during this time. Early one morning, an older fellow in front of us was snoozing. I suppose he hadn’t had his coffee, either that, or the guy was just coming home after a wild night in Laughlin. A light toot on my horn got him moving.

We’ve observed folks order and then keep on driving when it was time to pay. I suppose leaving a wallet or purse at home accounts for most of those wasted trips.

A lifted Ford truck pulling a large boat tried to squeeze through the right hand line. After barely getting past the order board, this driver found that he couldn’t make the turn. He ended up having to back out with help from several other young guys, along with assistance from a McDonald’s maintenance man.

Texting, totally unaware that the car in front has moved forward, sets the pace for most incidents. Never mind that the person behind them has to wait. We’ve watched irate drive-thru customers honk and then yell to get these rude individuals moving.

Some folks have taken five minutes or longer to order just a couple of items. After one woman moved ahead, I saw on the screen that she ordered an Egg McMuffin and Coke. I suppose she needed to know exactly what’s in the breakfast sandwich, along with how many calories and fat grams.

We’ve seen impatient drivers lay on their horn hoping that’ll speed the process up, including a couple of guys smoking their tires on the way out. I suppose those clowns were running a bit late for work. They couldn’t have been retirees like us, could they? I mean, why would any retired person be in a hurry unless they need to get to a hospital.

So far, the biggest order we’ve observed was $139.00. That was a guy in an expensive Mercedes sedan with California plates. Undoubtedly, there have been bigger orders. Perhaps the funniest thing I observed was a burly fellow like me dropping his credit card at the pay window.

Cars were stacked up behind and in front of him. Being so close to the building, the poor man couldn’t open his door to retrieve the card. He had to crawl across the console and exit through his passenger door. There still wasn’t room for him to squeeze between the vehicle and wall. By this time he was sweating profusely. An employee finally handed the fellow a broom and he was able to snag it. I’d bet the McDonald’s workers have witnessed even funnier things.

Birds of all type are generally in the parking lot each morning. I’m sure they come to take in the drive-thru action, plus have a snack on the side. Just as Havasu locals get a kick out of watching out-of-state boaters attempt to back down a launch ramp, I believe those seagulls, blackbirds, and pigeons get a chuckle out of watching caffeine depraved humans nearly lose it each morning.

The small price we pay each morning for a Cup O’ Joe is well worth the money, especially since the entertainment going with it is free. I’m sure the late Juan Valdez would agree!

Juan Valdez (the late Carlos Sanchez)

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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