"Can you 'put' in three creams,please."
There is a bright flickering of light.
The girl says,"We've been having problems with that bulb all morning,"she gives Sam the biggest,brightest smile that he has seen in quite some time."
No wonder,"Sam thinks,"People love McDonald's so much.Their employees smile so much."
With the same grin,if not even wider and giddier,the girl says,"That will be $3.69 Mr.Everly."Sam pays her with a five,and she gives him back his change.Quickly,almost too quickly(before he can even finish putting the dollar bill back into his wallet),she is happily holding up the tray with his Breakfast Mac meal.Raising to her tippy toes,smiling ear to ear,she bursts out ,"Have a great day."
"Thank you,"Sam replies with his own generous smile,"You too."Sam turns away,then stops.He thinks to himself,"How did she know I was Mr.Everly?".He turns to look at her.Startled,as if she is surprised to find that he has turned back to look at her,she freezes.She smiles,rolls her fingers in an embarrassed wave,then shrieks her shoulders,and grasps her hands together.All while still smiling.
Sam's eyes flick left,his eyebrow arches right.He hunches his own shoulders,as if dismissing the whole idea;then finds a place to sit down.He pops the lid off of his coffee,unboxes his sandwich,and with his elbows firmly set on the table,Sam takes a manly size bite.Hmmmmm...heaven.
Chopping away mindlessly,still holding his sandwich up with his resting elbows,Sam suddenly feels as if someone is watching him.
And everyone is.Quite contently.Leaning forward off their seats contently.Sam takes a chew.Stops.Looks around at everyone looking around 'at' him.Takes a couple more chews.Watches.Swollows.
The pressure of their combined stares is unnerving.Still chewing,Sam gives a nervous grin and a thumbs up.
Thunderous applause.People start walking towards him.A little girl says to her someone,"I knew he'd do it."
"Hello,Mr Everly.My name is George Campbell,"says an elderly gentleman wearing a new John Deere Hat,and offering Sam his weathered old hand,"This is my wife,Tillie.We think you are so funny."
"I'm Hillary,this is my daughter,Amy."
Hey,what's up dog?No,don't get up."
"Blah,Ba baa Blah Blah blah,"The rush is frightening to Sam.Even the girl behind the counter is coming over:complete with paper and pen in hand.This is too much.He goes to stand and bumps the table.His coffee goes over and the hot fluid rushes over the table top and on to Sam's lap/crotch.
It burns.But he is crowded in.He can't move.He doesn't want to scream.So,Sam rolls his fingers on the table,grimaces,crosses his legs and fidgets in his seat as the people-jaws dropped-silently watch as the to the last drop spills into his lap.
A pretty,thirty something profession woman holds out a single solitary McDonald's napkin.
A single voice from the back of the crowd-perhaps a fourteen year old boy-breaks the hold on the crowd,"This is soo awesome,"Sam hears some electronic beeping,"I can't wait to put this on 'You Tube'."
Suddenly,like a flock of birds startled,the crowd starts yammering back to life.There is laughing;concern for his wetness.Someone hands him a towel.To Sam,this is all confusing.
"Please,people,"says someone whom Sam can only assume be the manager,"Mr.Every is a paying customer.Please let him eat in peace,"he lifts up Sam's coffee cup and pours Sam another cup of coffee.He whispers in Sam's ear,"Sir,do you want me to get rid of this crowd,or do you want to sign autographs...or something else of your choosing?"
Sam looks at the manager's Badge.It says,'Manager:Paul Whelby'.He looks in Paul's eyes.There is an honest conviction to do the right thing in them.The right thing.Hell.What would be the right thing here?
"Paul,"Sam says loudly,"Since I'm already on my second cup of your excellent McDonald's coffee,would you mind if I signed some autographs?Here,whose got a pen?"