WEEKENDER Column: Goodnight Irene

“Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I’ll see you in my dreams”

Recorded by Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter in 1932

We lost: 9 BIG trees. Some decades old. Where will the mooching deer get pears and apples now? Siding, shingles and ceilings from the leaks. Power and cable and internet for two days. A refrigerator full of food, ice cream now puddles.

We didn’t lose: Cars. Buildings. Our lives. Gratitude.

I personally lost 9 hours of my life at McDonalds, glomming on to the free WiFi and slurping refills on my beverages while trying to do my online work. Trying being the operative word.

The distractions? First and foremost the fact that the Shavertown McDonalds was just about by itself as food provider in the area. The parking lot was jammed. Drive-up lane overflowing. Was it noisy? You bet. Compounded by the fact that nearly every table was taken by Moms, stuffing their brats uneaten Happy Meals in their faces while the progeny bounced and ricocheted about, at times even leaping from tabletop to tabletop. The Happy Meal toy right now is something called “Ben 10 Ultimate Alien.” They are hard hard plastic that makes a sound like billiard balls when they collide with, well anything. Tables, walls, each other. Me. And they did all of that. Often.

Next to me a fellow “Techno-surf” set up. Nice enough guy but every 90 seconds he coughed for 30 seconds like he was bringing up a lung. He did this for the three hours he was there.

No stereotyping meant here, but nine hours facing the entrance allows me to make the following observation. Not very many McDonald’s customers are in danger of a low body mass index. Some are so large they blot out the sun. Objects not fastened down are attracted to them.

One such planet-sized guy perched next to me. Stink? Have you seen the movie “The Fog”? The stench following this guy was palpable, a smell like road-kill dead deer two weeks gone in August.

A word about McDonalds. Everything is meant to get you in and out fast. Even the seats are purposely designed to be uncomfortable to urge you on your way. After nine hours even my well-padded posterior was aching. What this also meant was swift turnover of new, toy flinging brats and Moms to ignore them.

Goodnight Irene. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.


Rant D’Jour

He had been barking all night. I have trouble sleeping sometimes and this was one of those nights. It was…More


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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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