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10 Terrible Overreactions to Messed Up Fast Food Orders

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It’s happened to all of us. You ordered a Big Mac at the McDonald’s drive-thru, but when you got home and opened the bag, you discovered a Filet-O-Fish in its place. When this conundrum arises, most people choose between three options: toss the offending food, eat the offending food, or return to the esteemed establishment from whence the food came and kindly ask for a replacement.

Those are all perfectly acceptable responses. These 10 reactions are not.

1. Fire shots

In February, a Grand Rapids woman placed an order at a McDonald’s drive-thru. It was wrong, allegedly missing bacon. Understanding just how upsetting missing bacon can be, the workers apologized and promised that her next order would be on the house, so the woman returned at 3 a.m. for her free meal. It was also incorrect. Rather than ordering again and running the risk that it, too, would be wrong, Shaneka Torres pulled out a gun and shot through the closed car window and the drive-thru window. Luckily, no one was injured.

2. Call 911

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When her local Subway put the wrong kind of sauce on her sandwich and refused to make her a new one, Bevalente Hall was determined to right the wrong. She dialed 911 and reported the malicious use of marinara—pizza sauce was her preference—and demanded the presence of an officer immediately. The officer that arrived promptly arrested Hall for misuse of the 911 system, jailed her for three minutes, and released her on a $2000 bond.

You can hear the call here

3. Call 911 three times.

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In 2009, Latreasa Goodman walked into a McDonald’s in Fort Pierce, Florida, and ordered chicken nuggets. After she paid for said nuggets, Goodman was told that the restaurant had actually just run out. She asked for her money back, but employees denied her, trying to sell her a McDouble instead. Goodman called 911. The first dispatcher suggested that Goodman talk to a manager, but promised to send someone. After she called back a third time, an officer finally arrived and charged Goodman with misuse of 911. McDonald’s corporate offices said that a refund should have been issued and said they were sending her a gift card.

4. Throw the food ... then call 911.

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Breakfast enthusiasts Michael and Nova Smith ordered early-morning value meals at McDonald’s in Mesa, Arizona. When they received their bags, the Smiths noticed that something was terribly, terribly awry: Their hashbrowns were missing. Not just one of the hashbrowns. Both of the hashbrowns. Enraged at this injustice, Nova threw the meals at the cashiers while Michael dialed 911. “I was barely able to hold myself back,” Michael said. “If not for the 911 call operator holding me back, I probably would have went berserk.” Because employees were hit with food, the couple was charged with assault.

5. Get in a SWAT Team shootout.

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In 2011, a Taco Bell in San Antonio ended the promotion they were having on the Beefy Crunch Burrito, which raised the price from 99 cents to $1.49. Frequent customer Ricardo Jones discovered the price increase after ordering seven of the Beefy Crunch Burritos, and became so enraged at the higher bill that he shot at the drive-thru window cashier, then pulled out another handgun and an assault rifle and put them on the roof of his car. He didn’t use them at Taco Bell, though. Jones was found at a hotel two miles away where he engaged in a four-hour shootout with the SWAT team. He was finally forced out of his room with tear gas and arrested.

6. Ram the car in front of you in the drive-thru.

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Timothy Braddee, Jr., had such an Arby’s craving in 2010 that he couldn’t wait for the slowpoke in front of him in line. After placing his order, Braddee began flashing his high beams at the car in front of him, then rammed the vehicle with his SUV. The customer moved aside, then immediately contacted the manager. Braddee, now at the coveted food-dispensing window, was told that he couldn’t harass customers. He responded by pointing a loaded rifle at the manager, then driving away, presumably without the food that he so desperately wanted. Police later found Braddee passed out at his home with a blood alcohol level of .191.

7. Impersonate a cop.

In March, Austin Schoor got excessively angry when he received the wrong order at a Palm Beach, Florida, Burger King. His reaction was so extreme that managers threatened to call the police—which is when Schoor said, “Call the police. I’m an officer.” The manager called his bluff, which is when the real police got involved. Schoor amended his story, saying that he actually had been a member of the West Palm Beach Fire Rescue, not the police. Police called the West Palm Beach Fire Rescue, who said that Schoor had not worked for them in more than a year. He was arrested and released on $1000 bail.

8. Get hot under the collar over hot sauce.

Apparently no one told Jeremy Combs that getting hot sauce packets at Taco Bell is as easy as asking for them. When Combs noticed his drive-thru order was missing the spicy condiment, he pulled a 12-gauge shotgun on the cashier at the window. He didn’t fire, and was arrested at his aunt’s house two hours later, still intoxicated.

9. Refuse to leave the drive-thru.

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Last summer, Kimberly Womack pulled up to a McDonald’s with an infallible ruse to collect free breakfast. Though it was 6:30am, she requested two Big Macs. When the cashier responded that they didn’t make breakfast Big Macs, Womack demanded two free Egg McMuffins instead. The manager refused, but Womack stood her ground at the drive-thru for more than 10 minutes. Deputies eventually approached her car; she informed them that her rights were being violated. Upon her arrest, she was probably surprised to learn that “free Egg McMuffins” is not right up there with freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

10. Threaten to assume your ultimate form.

Melodi Dushane knows what it’s like to crave the wrong menu at the wrong hour. When she was refused chicken nuggets during breakfast hours at an East Toledo, Ohio, McDonald’s, Dushane got out of her car and hissed at the drive-thru attendant, then reached through the window and punched her in the face. She eventually shattered the window, but only after spewing forth all sorts of unlikely threats. Here’s the video. There’s some salty language. Goes great with fries.

Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
A Chinese Museum Is Offering Cash to Whoever Can Decipher These 3000-Year-Old Inscriptions

During the 19th century, farmers in China’s Henan Province began discovering oracle bones—engraved ox scapulae and tortoise shells used by Shang Dynasty leaders for record-keeping and divination purposes—while plowing their fields. More bones were excavated in subsequent years, and their inscriptions were revealed to be the earliest known form of systematic writing in East Asia. But over the decades, scholars still haven’t come close to cracking half of the mysterious script’s roughly 5000 characters—which is why one Chinese museum is asking member of the public for help, in exchange for a generous cash reward.

As Atlas Obscura reports, the National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, Henan Province has offered to pay citizen researchers about $15,000 for each unknown character translated, and $7500 if they provide a disputed character’s definitive meaning. Submissions must be supported with evidence, and reviewed by at least two language specialists.

The museum began farming out their oracle bone translation efforts in Fall 2016. The costly ongoing project has hit a stalemate, and scholars hope that the public’s collective smarts—combined with new advances in technology, including cloud computing and big data—will yield new information and save them research money.

As of today, more than 200,000 oracle bones have been discovered—around 50,000 of which bear text—so scholars still have a lot to learn about the Shang Dynasty. Many of the ancient script's characters are difficult to verify, as they represent places and people from long ago. However, decoding even just one character could lead to a substantial breakthrough, experts say: "If we interpret a noun or a verb, it can bring many scripts on oracle bones to life, and we can understand ancient history better,” Chinese history professor Zhu Yanmin told the South China Morning Post.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

6 Eponyms Named After the Wrong Person
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Salmonella species growing on agar.

Having something named after you is the ultimate accomplishment for any inventor, mathematician, scientist, or researcher. Unfortunately, the credit for an invention or discovery does not always go to the correct person—senior colleagues sometimes snatch the glory, fakers pull the wool over people's eyes, or the fickle general public just latches onto the wrong name.


In 1885, while investigating common livestock diseases at the Bureau of Animal Industry in Washington, D.C., pathologist Theobald Smith first isolated the salmonella bacteria in pigs suffering from hog cholera. Smith’s research finally identified the bacteria responsible for one of the most common causes of food poisoning in humans. Unfortunately, Smith’s limelight-grabbing supervisor, Daniel E. Salmon, insisted on taking sole credit for the discovery. As a result, the bacteria was named after him. Don’t feel too sorry for Theobald Smith, though: He soon emerged from Salmon’s shadow, going on to make the important discovery that ticks could be a vector in the spread of disease, among other achievements.


An etching of Amerigo Vespucci
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Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1451–1512) claimed to have made numerous voyages to the New World, the first in 1497, before Columbus. Textual evidence suggests Vespucci did take part in a number of expeditions across the Atlantic, but generally does not support the idea that he set eyes on the New World before Columbus. Nevertheless, Vespucci’s accounts of his voyages—which today read as far-fetched—were hugely popular and translated into many languages. As a result, when German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller was drawing his map of the Novus Mundi (or New World) in 1507 he marked it with the name "America" in Vespucci’s honor. He later regretted the choice, omitting the name from future maps, but it was too late, and the name stuck.


A black and white image of young women wearing bloomers
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Dress reform became a big issue in mid-19th century America, when women were restricted by long, heavy skirts that dragged in the mud and made any sort of physical activity difficult. Women’s rights activist Elizabeth Smith Miller was inspired by traditional Turkish dress to begin wearing loose trousers gathered at the ankle underneath a shorter skirt. Miller’s new outfit immediately caused a splash, with some decrying it as scandalous and others inspired to adopt the garb.

Amelia Jenks Bloomer was editor of the women’s temperance journal The Lily, and she took to copying Miller’s style of dress. She was so impressed with the new freedom it gave her that she began promoting the “reform dress” in her magazine, printing patterns so others might make their own. Bloomer sported the dress when she spoke at events and soon the press began to associate the outfit with her, dubbing it “Bloomer’s costume.” The name stuck.


Execution machines had been known prior to the French Revolution, but they were refined after Paris physician and politician Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin suggested they might be a more humane form of execution than the usual methods (hanging, burning alive, etc.). The first guillotine was actually designed by Dr. Antoine Louis, Secretary of the Academy of Surgery, and was known as a louisette. The quick and efficient machine was quickly adopted as the main method of execution in revolutionary France, and as the bodies piled up the public began to refer to it as la guillotine, for the man who first suggested its use. Guillotin was very distressed at the association, and when he died in 1814 his family asked the French government to change the name of the hated machine. The government refused and so the family changed their name instead to escape the dreadful association.


Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel
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The Bechdel Test is a tool to highlight gender inequality in film, television, and fiction. The idea is that in order to pass the test, the movie, show, or book in question must include at least one scene in which two women have a conversation that isn’t about a man. The test was popularized by the cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985 in her comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” and has since become known by her name. However, Bechdel asserts that the idea originated with her friend Lisa Wallace (and was also inspired by the writer Virginia Woolf), and she would prefer for it to be known as the Bechdel-Wallace test.


Influential sociologist Robert K. Merton suggested the idea of the “Matthew Effect” in a 1968 paper noting that senior colleagues who are already famous tend to get the credit for their junior colleagues’ discoveries. (Merton named his phenomenon [PDF] after the parable of talents in the Gospel of Matthew, in which wise servants invest money their master has given them.)

Merton was a well-respected academic, and when he was due to retire in 1979, a book of essays celebrating his work was proposed. One person who contributed an essay was University of Chicago professor of statistics Stephen Stigler, who had corresponded with Merton about his ideas. Stigler decided to pen an essay that celebrated and proved Merton’s theory. As a result, he took Merton’s idea and created Stigler’s Law of Eponymy, which states that “No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer”—the joke being that Stigler himself was taking Merton’s own theory and naming it after himself. To further prove the rule, the “new” law has been adopted by the academic community, and a number of papers and articles have since been written on "Stigler’s Law."


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