The Sentence Never Ends

April 23rd, 2004 | Tags:

According to the radio commercials of a large american conglomerate, “the conversation never ends with &”. McDonald’s should license this to make it a part of the Hamburger University curriculum: “The sentence never ends with and”.

I went to a local restaurant the other morning and ordered two breakfast burritos (formerly part of the dollar menu) and two hash browns. Just before getting my food I asked for 5 packets of mild sauce and two packets of ketchup. The worker hands me four packets of mild sauce and then walks away, returning later to ask if I need soemthing else. Before I can answer they realize why five does not equal four and hand me an additional packet of mild sauce, relegating my request to a land of forgotten dreams.

Fed up with this, I asked for two packets of ketchup and some more napkins. (When having hashbrowns I use a total of five napkins…the first four are used to soak the grease off of them.) I had two packets of ketchup dropped in my hand and then the clerk turned away again. Now some may berate me for changing the requested items in the middle, but I firmly believe that my sentences were being stopped with the word and which means it doesn’t really make a difference.

When the clerk returned again I repeated the request for the napkins and it was granted. At least this is better than the usual answer to my request for more napkins: “They’re in the bag.” Yes, I realize there are napkins in the bag, that is why I asked for more, not what I already had.

I contrast this usual experience to the one of this morning: I asked for two packets of ketchup and some more napkins, they were dropped in the bag before being handed to me and the attendant said “Have a Nice Day”. Same McDonald’s. Same time of day. Same approximate order. There was only one major difference. This guy spoke English…and spoke it well. (More on that later.)

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