FALLING DOWN is the 1993 Michael Douglas film about a laid-off tech worker who, frustrated by his life, goes on an armed rampage across LA. Called DEFENS from his personalized license plate, he’s tracked across the city by Robert Duvall’s character to a one on one confrontation at the Santa Monica pier.
In one significant scene, DEFENS stops at the local Whammy Burger and orders breakfast. Alas, it’s three minutes past breakfast time. He must order lunch.
He doesn’t want lunch. He wants breakfast.
His pleas about the customer always being right and three minutes, c’mon, fall on deaf ears until he pulls out a stolen TEC 9 and puts a few rounds in the ceiling.
This morning after some shopping I felt the need for comfort food. I pulled into the drive through at McDonalds. It was three minutes to 11.
Ordered a Big Mac.
I’m sorry, a disembodied voice said over the speaker. I can’t take a lunch order until 11. I know it’s silly, but you can’t have lunch for three minutes.
I’m trapped in the drive through. What am I supposed to do?
Can you back out?
There are two cars behind me and three in front of me. I’m trapped in the drive through and unarmed.
You’ll just have to pull through.
By the time I reach the window, I say, it will be 11. Can I order at the window?
Or I could just sit here for three minutes. I think but don't say.
I’m going to say yes. I’m at the first window.
Well now. Not Independence Day but a little common sense coping is almost as big a surprise.
When I reached the first window, it was 11:02.
The young lady within seemed harried, taking orders through two speakers and one window. She apologized for making me wait. I told her, no problem, and that I appreciated her accommodating me.
In Dublin, we got in trouble at the Guinness brewery for not following the designated tour order, skipping one floor then wandering back to see what we missed. The young lady there was astonished at us but adamant we needed to move along. Mostly because she couldn’t drop the con that we had paid $46 for a free beer.
It was almost enough to put me off the black stuff.
Back in America, Guinness is $4 and a person can be surprised by kindness and creative thinking in unexpected places.