Sunday, May 15, 2011


Sausage McMuffin. That's what happens when you're walking home at 5.52AM in the drizzle from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend's house party, and the joint was full of young Latin people dancing to Latin house shouting "Hey, Macarena!" but I'm not sure if the song was actually a version of "Macarena" but I'm sure they know better than me, and the pound of coleslaw I'm munching from the 24-hour grocery store ain't filling me up near enough, and my night has become morning and the only thing open is McDonald's so I'm gonna get, what else, of course, Sausage McMuffin. I pay the teen my $1.46 and saunter to the side, awaiting my salty fat treat. I glance at the donation box in front of the cash register -- to help kids who need help -- and six pennies are scattered outside the box, their target missed. Now listen: I donate. I donate to earthquakes and tsunamis, public radio and polar bears, cancer and buskers. I give. And here are six rogue copper pieces absent from a child's happiness. I could have dropped those pennies into the box, I should have. I thought about it. But it's 5.52AM and I have a tub of half-eaten coleslaw and I'm too busy contemplating when the teen cashier's (Andrew's) voice will break. So I stand. In comes a gang of douchebags, ostensibly from the after-hours joint up the block. Five 'bags and a girl, rocking dress shoes and Christian Audigier, ordering McThis and McThat, one guy gets apple juice. ...It's all good, so did I, minus the apple juice. One of the dudes, without announcement nor show, casually, as if by habit of kindness, picks up the pennies and donates six times.

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