The war on cops, fast food division

A funny thing happened the other day at a McDonald’s in Topeka, Kansas.

It seems a Topeka cop ordered a Dr. Pepper at the drive-through, but when he started to drink it, he discovered that someone, presumably a McDonald’s employee, had put mustard in the soft drink!

But wait!  About two weeks ago, a similar “prank” was played on a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper – at the same McDonald’s!

One could say these were harmless practical jokes and that nobody was harmed.  The person who did this, and perhaps his or her fellow employees, probably thought it was oh, so clever and pretty darn funny.  But one could also say the acts were indicative of the utter lack of respect for our law enforcement community that is unfortunately so prevalent – even fashionable! just now.  And (similar to the way psychopaths start out with abusing small creatures before becoming serial killers) when that lack of respect morphs into outright hostility and is taken to the extreme, we have ambush killings of our law enforcement officers.

(At least this McDonald’s worker didn’t “pull a Jesse Jackson” on the cop.  The “civil rights leader” has admitted that when he worked in a hotel, he would sometimes spit on white people’s food.)

When I was a kid in NYC, almost everything cops ate or drank while on duty was “on the arm.”  And, in fact, a friend of my dad’s, an NYPD homicide detective, would take his son and me and another kid to the movies and never pay for anything.  Sometimes he’d “flash the tin,” but a lot of times he’d just “flash the steel.”  We’d get on the bus, and he’d say to the driver, “Nice day, isn’t it?” while opening his jacket and showing his revolver, and the driver would wave us on.  It was the same thing with the ticket-taker at the theater and at the snack bar.  Cops in uniform never paid for so much as a cup of coffee, and the restaurateurs were pretty happy with the arrangement.  It wasn’t so much graft or bribery as a way of showing appreciation.  And it didn’t hurt to have cops coming around; their presence certainly was a deterrent to armed robbers.

Those days are pretty much gone now, and cops generally pay for their food and drink just like anybody else.  In the mid-’70s, when I helped run a little 24-hour breakfast and burger joint in Seattle, the cops wouldn’t let me buy ’em a cup of coffee!  But, just like anybody else, they expect to get what they order and what they pay for, without some jerk adulterating their grub with who-knows-what.

The owners of that particular McDonald’s franchise in Topeka, Dobski and Associates of Lawrence, Kansas, have now announced that the matter “has been handled internally” and the employee in question has been fired (although additional legal action may still be brought; the Topeka P.D. has opened a criminal investigation into the matter).

Personally, I think that now former employee got off way too easy.  I think his or her photo should be circulated so that he or she can never again find work in the food service industry.

Furthermore, with his or her photo out there for everyone to see, when that person tries to order food or drink at an establishment that does respect law enforcement, he or she can be emphatically told, No soup for you!  In fact, I’d like to see that carried out by all manner of businesses the prankster might choose to patronize, so he or she could be told, “No soup for you!”; “No groceries for you!”; “No gasoline for you!” etc., etc.  Let him experience that kind of “disrespect,” except that, in this case, he’ll actually deserve it.  Let him order an oil change and have the mechanic say, “Gee, I don’t know.  I might not be able to stop myself from putting some condiments in your crankcase!”

By the way, the announcement of the particular employee being fired came at about the same time that McDonald’s workers (and other fast food workers) were marching to demand a $15-per-hour minimum wage for the work they do.

To which I say, “Fifteen dollars an hour so you can put mustard in cops’ drinks?  As they say ‘across the pond,’ ‘not bloody likely!’

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