What to do when placing an order at the McDonald’s drive-through goes horribly wrong.

I needed something salty. Nothing good comes from that. We learned that in Jurassic Park:

Dennis Nedry: [setting his plan in motion] Anybody want a soda or something?

[John, Ray and Bob turn to him]

Dennis Nedry: ‘Cause I’m, ah, I’m going up to the machine and I thought maybe I would get something… since I had something sweet and i thought i would get something salty ah…

[no one says anything]

Dennis Nedry: Oh, ah… I finished debugging the phones,ah, you know, I was gonna, so I did, ah, ah I debugged the phones. I thought maybe I should tell ya that the system’s gonna be compiling for, ah, 18 to 20 minutes some of the minor systems, they might go on or off but it’s ah, nothing to worry about, just a simple thing.

[after still no one answers, he puts one hand on his watch and another on the mouse. He moves the pointer to a "start" button and just as he clicks it he also clicks his watch. A 60-second countdown timer starts ticking down in-sync to the one on his watch]

“Nome,” I said. “Let’s just run through the drive-through at McDonald’s. I just wanna get a small fries or something. I need salt.”

She nodded in agreement.

“I could go for something, too,” she said, and soon we were pulling into the McDonald’s on Main.

The drive-through area curves behind the building. A high embankment is immediately behind that on which the many trains that cut through the heart of Bismarck travel. It was a bright, clear day. Naomi rolled down her window. We tried to understand the confusing menu (is this a coffee shop or a burger joint?).

“Hi,” she said. “Do you have chicken nuggets in a 5-pack?”

“I’m sorry. We have them in 4, 6, or 12.”

“I’ll take the 5,” I whispered loudly to Naomi.

“We’ll have a 5-piece chicken nuggets, a small fries, and a plain cheese –”

At that moment, a banshee climbed into my ear and began shredding my brain.

At that moment, my heart momentarily considered stopping for all eternity.

At that moment, my eyes bulged forth and nearly did not re-settle in their proper location.

At that moment, my ears split open like a California fault line.

At that moment, the expansion and contraction of my skull was measurable.

At that moment, a train came roaring down the tracks on the embankment just behind the car, blaring its whistle non-stop.


“CHEESEBURGER!” Naomi hollered.


This must get frustrating for them, I thought, since the trains are constant through town.

Best salty meal ever.

It’s the small things in life.



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