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“Let’s make a quick stop and get some food,” I said. “It’ll be a couple of hours before we can get lunch.” Having already turned the wheel for a quick drive-thru run of the local fast food joint, I asked with a snarky smile on my face, “How about McDonald’s?”

“That’s fine,” Jen said and started to file through her purse for some cash. “Just get me a cheeseburger and a Coke. I don’t want anything else.”

“How about we split a two-cheeseburger meal?”

“Sounds good.”

Before I could bring the van to a complete stop, an automated voice announced, “Welcome to McDonald’s! May I interest you in a McCafé latte?”

“No, thanks,” I said swiftly. “I just a need a two-cheeseburger meal with ketchup only and a medium Coke.”

“I’m sorry,” a completely different voice drummed through the less than high fidelity speaker, “but we’re still serving breakfast.” I looked at my watch. It was 10:55 AM. “Lunch doesn’t begin until eleven o’clock,” she mumbled.

Jen and I looked at one another. We don’t do McDonald’s breakfasts. I mean, have you ever looked at the little bag that holds the hash browns after you’ve eaten them? It looks like someone used it to clean up an oil spill. And how about those pancakes. More like yeasty seat cushions doused in maple flavored insect resin. And I’m absolutely convinced that their eggs are really just spray foam insulation—you know, that yellow stuff used to seal cracks in drafty windows or block rodent holes.

“Well,” I said and paused. “Are you serving anything for breakfast that’s cheeseburger-like?”

“Um, no, not unless you want an Egg McMuffin. That’s sort of like a cheeseburger.”

I looked at Jen. She shook her head.

“No, thanks,” I said. “Our windows aren’t that drafty.”


“Nothing,” I said and attempted to dodge a punch in the arm.

“Do you want an Egg McMuffin?” the voice asked again.

“How about a Shamrock Shake?” I asked. “Are you serving those right now?”

“Yes, we’re serving those.”

“A Shamrock Shake is considered a breakfast food?!” I called back to the attendant. “Is this McGramma’s or McDonald’s?”

There was a brief pause.

“Would you like an Egg McMuffin and a Shamrock Shake?”

“No, thanks,” I said for the third time and returned a similar pause. “Do you think the folks in line behind me would get mad if I sat here and waited until eleven o’clock so that I could order a two-cheeseburger meal with ketchup only and a medium Coke, or do you think I should just circle the lot a few times?”

“I think you should circle the lot,” she said.

“But the last time I did that I was in high school and I ended up getting pulled over by a police officer because he thought I was casing the place.”

There was silence.

“I’ll just do some laps,” I said. “But if you see flashing lights, please be ready to testify on my behalf. Let the officers know about our conversation.”

There was silence again.

“I will,” she said. “See you in a few minutes.”

“Will do,” I chimed and pulled forward, eventually making my way to the exit. “Well, that was fun. Let’s just stop along the way,” I said to my bride who was now refusing to make eye contact with me. “Wait, what? You didn’t think I was going to drive around the lot for five minutes, did you?”


The whole scenario reminds me of the Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits. I came to the dram expecting one thing, but in the end, got next to nothing.

There’s a nice rye in the nosing—very crisp and rather promising—but with another inhalation, there’s a trailing pungency that distracts from the rye’s pleasantness.

The palate reveals metal—and now I know the distracting smell from before. It’s something like the old Mason jar full of pennies that your grandpa kept in the roll top desk in his den. A sip also reveals a little bit of sugary vanilla, but the hopeful nectar is nudged away by the same metal you met at the gate.

The finish is longer than you might expect, giving over a riled snap of alcohol and ultimately proving it’s youthful inexperience.

I know a couple of folks who like this stuff, and with that, I was expecting more. But I guess, in the end, when it’s not eleven o’clock, it’s not eleven o’clock—I can either do some laps or just move on.

I think I’ll just move on and pick up something else along the way.