We learned this week of restaurateurs’ arms and legs being put in mortal danger from teeth that were indisputably sharper than the humans who were supposedly in control. The critter-hurling incident alone was a reminder of why some consumers need the step-by-step instructions printed on tubes of toothpaste.
Here are the week’s arguments for education reform.
Management nightmare of the week: ‘Caiman through the drive-thru window’
Anyone who’s worked in the business for awhile knows the drive-thru often tempts customers to behave in ways they never would have dreamed if they were ordering at a counter. The Einstein who pulled up to a Wendy’s in Florida wouldn’t have had a shot at the week’s dopiest-prankster title if he’d tried to pull off his stunt inside the restaurant. People have a tendency of noticing a three-foot-long alligator tucked under a fellow patron’s arm.
Twenty-three-year-old Joshua James had the reptile in his truck when he rolled up to the drive-thru last fall. After he was handed the drink portion of his order, James hurled the alligator through the window like a watermelon.
Pause and consider that scenario: A busy kitchen, several staffers likely zipping around the drive-thru station, customers at the front counter, and an alligator, presumably snapping and scurrying around, lands right in the middle of it.
James’ mother said her sugarplum was merely intending to play a practical joke on a friend who works in the restaurant. Instead, James was arrested this week, and his crime became the hot topic of countless water cooler and online conversations. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, having an alligator in his possession and transporting the beast without the required permits. The alligator was released on its own recognizance.
Customer nightmare of the week: ‘I bite. Really.’
Restaurateurs have seen many a mom and dad bare their teeth because the staff tried to prevent children from ruining the dining experiences of other customers. But a parent visiting a Cheeburger Cheeburger in Easton, Pa., went to new extremes.
When her daughter misbehaved, the woman brought the girl into the bathroom, as security cameras clearly show. When the girl emerged, she was sporting a human bite mark.
The mother, Denise Shelhammer, figuratively shrugged and explained, “I bite all of my kids,” according to a local news report.
For her actions, Shelhammer was fined $25 and placed on six months of probation.
Employee nightmare of the week: ‘Please rob us’
The drive-thru was also the setting for a nightmarish exchange where the employee of a Burger King in Washington, Pa., blatantly tried to bite the hand that fed her. Instead of providing some suggestive selling, the staffer offered some crime suggestions.
Alayna Weishner-Rush, 23, asked a couple she was serving to rob the place with her help. Then the three would split the proceeds.
Instead of complying, the couple drove off and contacted authorities, resulting in this week’s arrest of Weishner-Rush.
Her reasons for choosing that particular couple as would-be accomplices remain unclear. So there’s no confirmation that the conversation unfolded along the lines of, “…Would you like any Dutch Apple Pie with that order? And how about ripping us off?”