I’m sitting in my rented Honda, in the parking lot of the Harrisville, Pa. Burger King, and I felt compelled to write this.
I pulled up because I’m hungry, it’s 10:11 pm and very little is open. I don’t like Burger King. It’s gross. But, again, I’m needing food.
Anyhow, I enter. The woman at the register looks at me. The skin around her mouth is coasted with zits, in the way a BK hamburger bun is coated with seeds. Not merely teenage zits. Deep, dark, red zits. The kind you don’t really wanna see when you’re about to order food. I’m not making fun, just setting the scene. Acne sucks. I’ve been there.
I order a salad. “Salad bar’s closed,” she says.
OK, I order a grilled chicken sandwich. I ask her where we are.
“Harrisville,” she says.
“Famous for?” I ask.
She shrugs. A guy standing by the soda dispenser chimes in. “Hicks,” he says with a slight drawl. I look at him. He’s an employee who just got off break. After he speaks, he uses an index finger to pick his nose. “Your chicken will be ready in a moment,” he says. “It takes a minute.”
I use the time to go to the bathroom. One urinal is broken. The sink is brown, with a bunch of long hairs dangling over the drain. The manager walks in. He weighs no less than 400 pounds, and grunts when he moves. Again, I’m not making fun. Just the scene. He enters the toilet stall, and I rush out. Don’t need to hear.
I grab my food and exit.
“Have fun,” the nose picker says.
I return to the car. I start driving. Begrudgingly, I unwrap the sandwich and take a bite. The bun is soaking wet, and I spit it back into the paper.