So, recently, I learned something. A deep, heartfelt life lesson, full of hard-earned wisdom and emotion. A tale of extraordinary circumstances.

Going to McDonald's with my dad is a bad idea.

We were on our way back from an Ohio flea market one weekend, a usual occurance. I was hungry, also a usual occurance, and asked if we could stop at a McDonald's on the way home. This is where the trouble began.

We pulled up to this tiny, right-next-to-the-highway McDonald's, which was basically deserted. We walk in, and there are, like, two other people in line. My dad ordered his food to go, getting something sizeable and loaded up with bacon and an accompying coke the size of my head. They gave him the food, and he goes to sit down and wait for me to order mine. I walk up to the girl working there, and you can just sense the air of inexperience about her. A bad omen.

I ordered 5 McDoubles with only ketchup, so I could bring home some extras to my brother. I spend my down time chatting up the two girls working there, laughing, joking, etc. The average teenage experience. Finally, my highly-anticipated order arrived. I bolted to the van after a quick wave goodbye to the patrons of McDonald's (who, as I've mentioned, weren't that numerous). The passenger side door of our van hasn't worked since the dark ages, so I crawl in through the driver's side, and begin eagerly clawing at my bag of delicious food. I was hungry.

However, as my dad gets in and shuts the door, I notice that every single sandwich I ordered was wrong. With a heavy sigh, I informed my father of this sad turn of events. His reply was scintillating in its wit and eloquence: "Damn it, Josh, hurry up, I wanna get outta here!" He then proceeded to exit the van as to allow me to exit as well, via the driver's side door.

On the way out of the van, I accidentally bumped his child-sized soft drink, which, in turn, fell between the seats and exploded, emptying all over the floor. Some more sophiticated and eloquent swearing ensued, followed with instructions to get him another "damn coke."

Yessir. Damn coke. Coming right up.

I went back inside the McDonald's and let them know that my sandwhiches were incorrect. The girl who had taken my order got really flustered and ran into the back, going to get me the correct food. The other girl working there then proceeded to talk about the first girl behind her back, about how much she sucks at "McDonald's-ing." I know neither of these people. The girl came back with my order a few uncomfortable minutes later.

I grabbed my corrected sandwiches, along with the ones that were messed up, and turned to leave. I had ten sandwiches at that point.

When I got to the van and opened the door, my dad was staring at me expectantly. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten his "damn coke." I handed him my sandwiches and hurried back inside.

At this point, I have to guess that the workers of McDonald's thought I was stalking them. That was my third visit in inside of a ten-minute time period. Despite my misgivings, I told them that I needed another bucket of soda. A few minutes later, I was ready to walk out, but the manager stopped me. She apologized for my order getting messed up and proceeded to give me a bag of free sandwiches-made just the way I like them.

I had somewhere around fifteen sandwiches at that point. I wanted somewhere around two of them.

Anyway, I headed back to the van, handed my dad his colossal drink and my superfluous sandwiches and climbed in. He got in after me, handed me back my sandwiches, and set his coke down on the console. Then, he started to back out of his parking space.

The van jerked as he was backing it up. The coke, sitting precariously on the console, fell between the seats and exploded, emptying all over the floor in the exact same spot.

There was at least half a gallon of coke on the floor at this point.

My dad's cry of fury and woe could be heard for miles; it was the howl of a broken man. He drove off, furious, exclaiming to the winds that he didn't want a "damn coke" anyway.

This new, cokeless attitude lasted for about five miles.

Determined to best the coke and win his delicious prize, my dad pulled into a convenience store/gas station/hovel combo. He came back from his excursion holding a 20oz bottle of coke aloft like an olympic gold medal, smug smile glued to his face. He climbed in, set his coke on the console again, and started backing up the van. His prize, like all cokes before it, fell between the seats. However, it was tightly screwed shut, and my father crowed over his triumph. He had bested the coke.

Another five miles down the road, he decides to open his coke. It fizzed all over him.