Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Foreign Language Fail.

Today, Mom and I stopped for lunch at our local McDonald’s. In our cosmopolitan city, there are now no less than four convenient McDonald’s locations, but the best by far is the original Commerce Ave. Mickey D’s. It might not be as clean as the others, or have a PlayPlace, or be new and fancy with that one-sideways-yellow-slash logo, but the fries are hot and crispy and the sweet tea is almost syrupy in its icy cold sweetness. Maybe it’s just me – I also exclusively patronize our original Wendy’s, even though at times they should probably be shut down and their staff looks greasier than the fries. I swear it tastes better. Just don’t look at the health department rating.

As we walked in the door, there was a Korean man at the counter trying to place his order. He had absolutely no English, so the cashier was using the time-tested method of yelling at him in hopes that he understood. “You want THREE DOUBLES? THREE?” The man ordered, paid, and the line moved on. Just after Mom and I placed our order, he received his. It was wrong. Way wrong.

No one seemed to be sure of what he wanted, but every person in line had an opinion on it. I suppose that’s the spirit of hospitality we have here in LaGrange, because he had plenty of people attempting translation. “He wants a NUMBER three, not THREE DOUBLES!!!”

Finally, the man took his extendable measuring tape out of his belt loop, stretched it out a remarkable distance that would have NEVER been able to stay straight had I been holding it, leaned waaaaaaay over the counter and started tapping the photo of the Number Eleven Value Meal. That’s a Filet-o-Fish meal, for those of you who are curious.

The cashier kept asking, “You wanna eleven? ELEVEN?” as he kept banging on the sign. He would tap chicken nuggets and say “NO” and then tap the Filet-O-Fish and make what looked like a sandwich with his little hands, and say “THREE.”

Because I have a full understanding, not of Korean, but of fast food ordering hand language, I can interpret this to mean that what he really wanted was three filet-o-fish sandwiches without the fries, just the sandwich.

Just as Mom and I received our food and headed towards the booths, the cashier threw her hands in the air and gave up.

She rolled her eyes and said, in a tone of complete and utter exhaustion, “LAW. And you KNOW I don’t know no Spanish.”

Only in the LG.