Downtown McDonald's Perpetually A Hairsbreadth From Complete Anarchy

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Vol 37 Issue 38

Tom Clancy Treated Like He's Some Kind Of Terrorism Expert

WASHINGTON, DC— Tom Clancy, bestselling author of such military thrillers as The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games, is being treated like an actual terrorism expert, having offered his opinion on Larry King Live and countless other TV shows since Sept. 11. "The Al Qaeda network is known to have operatives in at least 30 countries, including the U.S. and Great Britain," said Clancy, a former insurance broker and avid wearer of naval-warship baseball caps, during a recent Nightline. "By the way, Ted, Stephen Ambrose's The Wild Blue is a terrific read." Later that evening, Clancy appeared in a Crossfire panel on biological warfare with former CIA director John Deutch and Secretary Of State Colin Powell.

Mom Uses Full Name To Refer To Bisquick Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie™

HICKORY, NC— Inviting her family to dig in to dinner Monday, Donna Furness, 41, referred to the meal by its full, trademarked name. "Who's ready for some Bisquick Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie™?" asked Furness while serving her loved ones the hamburger pie, made from a recipe on the side of a Bisquick box. "Just be sure to save room for dessert: We're having Smuckers Quick 'N' Nutty Jam Gems™."

Area Man Switches To Backup Lie

AURORA, CO— At the last possible moment, area resident Gordon Kanner aborted his planned avenue of untruth, turning instead to a backup lie to explain his failure to show up at his girlfriend's sister's birthday party. "That was the closest call in my entire two years with Jessica," a relieved Kanner told reporters after the near-bust. "I was going to feed her some bullshit about how I couldn't make it to her sister's thing because I had to work. But just as I was about to, she mentions seeing my car at the Safeway. Fortunately, I was able to think fast and switch to my sick-mother lie."

Michael Jordan Not Exactly Sure What Product He Just Filmed Commercial For

LOS ANGELES— Minutes after completing a commercial shoot Monday, NBA legend Michael Jordan reported being unable to recall what product he endorsed. "I'm pretty sure it had something to do with phones," Jordan said. "But it wasn't MCI. It was, like, fiber-optic stuff or videoconferencing. Anyway, I talked about how you can score a slam dunk with the company and mentioned the name twice." On Friday, Jordan is slated to film a 30-second spot for Dove Bars or maybe hot dogs.

Now More Than Ever, Humanity Needs My Back To The Future Fan Fiction

We, as a nation, have suffered. Wounded and confused, we wonder whether life will ever be the same again. But for all our pain, we can heal, if each one of us pitches in. We all have a part to play, whether donating blood, contributing to relief charities, or writing high-quality fan fiction to help a grieving nation forget its troubles for just a little while.

What's Up, Dick?

Vice-President Cheney has spent much of the past several weeks hidden from public view in a secret location, prompting rumors about his status. What do you think?

Nation's Grandmas Halt Production Of Afghan Blankets

WASHINGTON, DC— In a show of support for the U.S., the nation's grandmas announced plans Monday to stop knitting afghan blankets. "We must do our part to stand behind our country," said spokesgrandma Nettie Bennett, 87. "Even if it means my new grandson will have to sleep with a store-bought comforter, I will not make something named after a place that lets terrorists run around all willy-nilly."
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Downtown McDonald's Perpetually A Hairsbreadth From Complete Anarchy

OAKLAND, CA—McDonald's franchise #4793, located on the corner of 12th and Franklin in downtown Oakland, perpetually teeters on the brink of anarchy, store patrons reported Monday.

Teeming hordes charge the front registers as the restaurant threatens to collapse into lawlessness.

"I stopped in there this afternoon, and there's garbage all over the floor, half-dressed kids are running around throwing things, and everyone is screaming at each other," said Meredith Smith, 26. "I half-expected the National Guard to flood in."

Smith is not the only one puzzled by the restaurant's near-anarchic state.

"There's always about 15 people in the kitchen, and it still takes 20 minutes just to get your order taken," said Bill Zumbo, 33. "You just stand there and wonder, 'What is going on here? What is happening?'"

During a recent visit, despite long lines at all four registers, Zumbo spotted crew members joking around with friends, sharing cigarettes in the drive-thru area, and throwing random objects on the grill to see how well they burn. As garbage overflowed from the trash receptacles and a wide puddle of fetid, gray-brown water saturated the east-entrance floor mat, the only visible clean-up-crew member was napping in a booth.

"I sometimes go there for lunch during work, and, at first, I was kind of amused by it," Zumbo said. "It was funny how the cashier would yell back to the cook and say, 'Shut up, bitch, and get me some fries!' But then I began to question my safety. In that place, anything could happen."

Fearing everything from food poisoning to death by gunshot, Zumbo said he now walks an extra eight blocks to the McDonald's on Fairview Avenue.

With its graffiti-covered tables and restrooms unfit for human waste, the 12th and Franklin McDonald's evokes the lawlessness of the most far-flung underdeveloped banana republic. Surly single mothers toting caterwauling babies are among the restaurant's most prevalent patrons. The remaining booths are filled with an endless parade of lice-ridden vagrants, morbidly obese bachelors, and borderline illiterates with french-fry-stained pants.

The restaurant's food provides further evidence of its descent into chaos.

"When the burgers are fully cooked—which they rarely are—the orders are always screwed up," Danielle Costa, 36, said. "I've gotten orders with a bun and no burger, two burgers and no bun, a Filet-O-Fish crammed into an apple-pie box—you name it. And the only visible cook is bobbing his head up and down listening to music on his headphones. I can't believe there hasn't been some sort of fast-food coup d'etat at that place by now."

Various McDonald's district supervisors have attempted to stabilize store #4793, but all have met with failure.

"It's all about location," said McDonald's District 7 franchise owner Vanessa Ceres. "No matter how well-planned your corporate structure may be, if the customers in that area want to turn your store into a dump, there's not much you can do about it."

According to University of California-Berkeley sociology professor Richard Weber, the 12th and Franklin McDonald's will likely be overthrown and plunged into full-blown anarchy one day.

"It's only a matter of time before the employees topple the Ronald McDonald statue in the lobby and declare mob rule," Weber said. "And when that day comes, God help anyone who happens to be in the downtown area looking for a place to grab a quick bite."

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