ERIE, PA—Eleventh-hour lunch-rush negotiations came to a successful conclusion Monday when, following a 30-second period of deliberation, area resident Don Turnbee opted to accept the McDonald's corporation's suggestion that he have fries with that.

Consumer Don Turnbee considers his side-order options.

Though the fries were not part of Turnbee's initial purchase proposal to the fast-food giant, the addition of the processed, potato-based food item to his mid-day meal was a concession he felt would best serve his short-term side-order selection needs.

"I wasn't gonna get fries at first," Turnbee said. "But then I wound up getting them."

After carefully reviewing his food-choice options based on such factors as cost, availability and deliciousness, Turnbee arrived at the decision that a meal of Chicken McNuggets, an apple-pie wedge and a chocolate shake would best fulfill his mealtime requirements. "At that point, fries were not part of the agenda," said Irwin Horne, Turnbee's lawyer. "However, the counterperson/cashier's friendly smile, courteous demeanor and low-pressure 'soft sell' technique of politely asking if Mr. Turnbee would like fries with that made the fry purchase seem like a viable compromise to my client."

Public-relations professionals employed by the McDonald's corporation agreed. "To us, this represents a real 'win-win' situation," McDonald's vice-president of media relations Nathan Kravitz said. "By actively suggesting that Turnbee have fries with that, the McDonald's corporation was able to successfully maximize its profit potential on the deal. In turn, Mr. Turnbee reaped the undeniable benefits of the hot, salty fries in question, enabling him to better enjoy his meal."

Turnbee was similarly satisfied by the outcome of the negotiation. "I ate at McDonald's," Turnbee told co-worker Ned Flaherty upon returning from his lunch break. "It was good, I guess."

Added Turnbee: "Where'd you eat, Ned?"

Reports indicate that while consuming the fries Turnbee also enjoyed the color-coordinated, muted-pastel interior design of the Erie-area McDonald's restaurant, as well as an informative pamphlet detailing the company's socially responsible rainforest policy.

Turnbee's decision to opt for the fries is seen by experts as evidence that the economy is strong enough to support future Turnbee-backed fry purchases.

"I believe within the next few months we will see a strong upsurge in fry purchases by Turnbee," Harvard University professor of economics H. Franklin Reuthven said. "After nearly a full year of downsizing his meals, cutting back on items such as fries and onion rings, and opting for smalls instead of mediums, Turnbee finally appears ready to increase side-order consumption and may possibly even Super-Size."

McDonald's employee Brian Krinsky, the counterperson who negotiated the Turnbee food order, downplayed his role in the successful consumer transaction.

"After he was done ordering, I was like, 'Any fries with that?'" the 14-year-old Erie native told reporters. "We have to ask everybody that. They make us do it. My friend Brad says it's orders from the regional manager. Same reason I gotta wear this gay name tag."

As a reward for his faithful adherence to corporate policy, Krinsky will receive greater mopping and stocking responsibilities in the future. In addition, according to sources close to the assistant weekend manager, a five-cent raise "may be on the way."

Turnbee is expected to continue to patronize the popular fast-food chain. When asked about the likelihood of his choosing to have fries with that in the future, Turnbee said, "I could go either way on the fries. But I guess I'll probably get them."