My extreme shyness makes every day at Mcdonalds an incredible adventure where quick thinking and Macgyver-like resourcefulness lead to a daring last-second plan to vomit on whoever perpetuated this vicious cycle of social anxiety by making eye contact with me. Unfortunately, shyness isn't covered under the company of health insurance, which means the adventure is actually more like a Dean Koontz thriller where the main character is trapped in a nightmarish medical system that may want to throw them down an elevator shaft. Roughly half of our customers need to be told where the soda dispenser is. When I'm giving them directions it's like I'm Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple telling contestants the location of the treasure except my voice is a horrible drone that makes adults cringe and little kids punch me in the face.
To give you an idea of how the ordering process works, let's pretend you're a customer. You enter the store where you're greeted by a cardboard cutout of Grim Shady, the pimp-talking white rapper cousin of Grimace who was recently introduced as part of Mcdonalds' hip new image. I see you approaching the counter and swing into action like the seasoned Pitfall player swings on a vine over a mysterious shrinking and expanding pool of water. If I look unusually happy that's because I've got dry mouth from taking effexor and my lips are stuck to my teeth in the shape of a smile. You yell out your order over the sound of 311's cover of "Love Song", which the Mcdonalds radio station blasts 24 hours a day. Never mind the fact that I look like I'm in a trance; that's just because the song is so bad that I'm experiencing a transcendent high similar to that achieved by African tribesmen who practice self-mutilation. You don't ask for a receipt but the computer prints one out anyway. Every day my manager, Lauren, puts a picture of a tree on the bulletin board, indicating that we've wasted enough paper to kill one rainforest.
Mcdonalds closes at 11:00. After we lock the doors, Lauren and I race around the store on the carts used to take meat to the freezer. I spent my last three paychecks on ground effects and subwoofers for my cart. My cart isn't magic, but yours had better be if you plan on beating me.
Our store has undergone several changes since the dead began walking the earth. Our parking lot has a shiny new electric fence to protect customers from zombie attacks. We also keep two zombies in the basement to experiment on. We've found that by heavily sedating them we can make the zombies docile enough for little kids to have their pictures taken with them. Our ultimate goal is to teach them how to take orders at the front counter while talking to customers in hip urban contemporary slang.
I think I'm in love with the girl on the front page of the Mcdonalds website. She knows she's eating fattening french fries that will speed up the cellular time bomb merrily ticking away the remaining years of her life, yet she's completely blasé about it. You might even say she revels in it. There's something about this picture that makes me feel all cheap and sexy while loving every minute of it. I consider myself something of a male slut, even though I just recently learned how to talk to girls without vomiting up a stream of highly acidic gastric fluids.
Mcdonalds is a strong supporter of stem cell research. Specifically research to turn stem cells into an edible paste that can be used on breakfast sandwiches. "I can't believe we're getting picketed by pro-life activists." Lauren says. "Anyone who's seen It's Alive knows that all babies are evil flesh-eating monsters."
Lauren often asks me why I let my co-worker, Billy, make fun of me. "Don't worry, I have a plan." I tell her. "It hinges on the assumption that once he realizes I have no way of defending myself from his abuse he'll just pity me like everyone else."
Last week I was working at the front counter when Squaresoft producer Hironobu Sakaguchi walked into the store. "I'll have the grilled alien chestburster combo meal." he said.
"Okay, would you like any sauce?" I said. "We have barbecue, honey mustard, or royal jelly from the alien queen."
"Barbecue will be fine."
"Hey, you know how you told interviewers that Final Fantasy VII contained the meaning of life? I'm just wondering, is that part of the game hidden because I never found it. Also is the fun part of the game hidden because I never found that either."
The next thing I remember I was laying on the floor with Hironobu Sakaguchi standing over me saying "Looks like he had an allergic reaction ...to my fist!"
"Am I the only person who's totally creeped out by Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" video?" Lauren said. "It gives me nightmares of Mark Knopfler shooting lightning bolts at me from his guitar while I'm being molested by giant cubes."
"I'm more afraid of the characters in Final Fantasy IX." I said. "They all look like evil dolls."
"Hey, the only reason everyone hates FFIX is because they don't have the mental faculties to comprehend the game's deep and meaningful message." Hironobu Sakaguchi said. "People are stupid."
"Tell me about it." Lauren said. "Whenever I use my robot suit to save people from burning buildings they always ask me the same question: "Who are you?" I'm like "I'm a girl in a robot suit. Duh."
My next customer was a fat man holding a baby. "Hello sir, may I sell you some data crystals?" I said.
"I'll have the crispy boglin sandwich. Hold the mayo." the man said.
I grabbed the baby and threw it into the frialator.
"What did you do that for?"
"I'm sorry sir, but your baby had a headcrab on his head. It would've eventually burrowed its way into the frontal lobe of his brain, causing him to descend into a zombie-like state. I just saved your baby from a horrible fate far worse than death."
"That's preposterous. I want to speak to your manager."
Lauren walked up to the counter and spoke.
"I'm his manager, sir, and I'm going to kill you. I'm going to shoot you with my flame thrower, causing the billions of fat cells in your large doughy body to spontaneously ignite in a luminous energy expenditure so bright that it will be visible from outer space."
The next customer was none other than Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons. "I really like your updates." I said. "It's awesome how your writing style is edgy yet familiar like the child scrawl font used on Korn album covers."
"Then you'll love my next update." Zack said. "I'm copying and pasting articles 1 through 6 of the federal tax law but throwing in a few references to semi-obscure horror movies so it'll be secretly ironic."
As you can see, my job couldn't possibly get any more exciting unless I was a crime fighting fetus whose umbilical cord had the same mystical properties as wonder woman's lasso of truth. I'll see you in two weeks with an update where I fantasize about how awesome my life would be if I owned a pair of Tidus pants.
Chapter Nine From Outer Space
Zack "Geist Idioter" Parsons here to herald the arrival of an almost uniformly unanticipated chapter of "Untitled Document". Things are really starting to get frisky!
The tape jumped again and the view was from farther away, at least several blocks. What was left of the Conservator squads, bloodied and battered, were now sheltering behind the burned shell of a UPS truck. From their vantage point the assault landing craft was still visible. The camera focused on it for several seconds and then, soundlessly, a bubble of fire punched out of the craft's hunched back. An instant later several more bursts of fire followed, and the ship bucked into the air and then smashed back down, its landing struts sheering off completely. The camera reverberated from an overlapping series of explosive booms accompanied by a strange whistling noise that grew in frequency and intensity.
Good day. We are Hester and Karl, and we are something rare. We are a couple ... of Stock Photo Lifestylists! Lifestylers? We lead a Stock Photo Lifestyle.
I want my bed to look like the health department is checking for bedbugs. I want to feel like it’s on an episode of Maury getting scanned for semen.
It's still okay to like Ben Stiller, guys.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.