My National Guard unit the 139th ROC traveled from Frankfurt, Germany to Taszar, Hungry via bus in August, 1997. In Austria, in the middle of the night, we stopped at a McDonald’s to eat a very late supper. I had eaten at McDonald’s in Germany and Holland prior to this, so it was not a shock to find one here.
In spite of this, it was a surreal scene. The mountain air was chilly and it was foggy. Everyone that worked at McDonald’s was wearing Mexican sombreros and what appeared to be bits and pieces of Mexican peasant clothing from a sitcom. There were posters and signs showing tacos, burritos and more of the stuff you’d expect to find at Taco Bell.
I did not have much time to enjoy the sights and sounds of an Austrian McDonald’s that was stuck in an episode of the Outer Limits.
Sitting behind me in the bus was a fake ranger. He told us that he had been a ranger and we all looked up to him because of this. During our bus ride he kept having nightmares and would wake up screaming and kicking, not exactly what you’d expect from a ranger. Later on we found out that he was a poser – but that’s another story. When he would jerk awake he would kick me in the back and got me good a few times.
I told him to stay awake so he would stop kicking me, and it quickly devolved into a stupid “did not-did too” type of argument popular among four-year-olds.
Out of the darkness came a voice that told me to “stop whining.”
In the Back to the Future movies, Marty McFly would go ballistic if you called him chicken. At that time, my psycho button was to be accused of whining.
I went zero to psycho in two seconds and yelled, “F*** You!”
All noise in the bus died. I then heard the chem sergeant say, “You need to add “sir” to that.”
No guts, no glory. I then yelled, “F*** You, SIR!”
At McDonald’s everyone else ran into the store to sample the Austrian tacos and hamburgers. I stood at attention by the bus while my captain tried to chew me out for dropping the F-bomb on him. The short version of his rant: I was not allowed to drop an F-bomb on an officer and if I did it again, I would get written up, blah-blah-blah.
My mind kept wandering because the food smells. All I could think was, “could you hurry up? I’m hungry!” Instead I nodded my head and said, “Yes sir,” as if I was paying attention to him.
That night I got a Quarter Pounder combo and also got away with “murder.”