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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.

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Animals
Why Tiny 'Hedgehog Highways' Are Popping Up Around London
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Hedgehogs as pets have gained popularity in recent years, but in many parts of the world, they're still wild animals. That includes London, where close to a million of the creatures roam streets, parks, and gardens, seeking out wood and vegetation to take refuge in. Now, Atlas Obscura reports that animal activists are transforming the city into a more hospitable environment for hedgehogs.

Barnes Hedgehogs, a group founded by Michel Birkenwald in the London neighborhood of Barnes four years ago, is responsible for drilling tiny "hedgehog highways" through walls around London. The passages are just wide enough for the animals to climb through, making it easier for them to travel from one green space to the next.

London's wild hedgehog population has seen a sharp decline in recent decades. Though it's hard to pin down accurate numbers for the elusive animals, surveys have shown that the British population has dwindled by tens of millions since the 1950s. This is due to factors like human development and habitat destruction by farmers who aren't fond of the unattractive shrubs, hedges, and dead wood that hedgehogs use as their homes.

When such environments are left to grow, they can still be hard for hedgehogs to access. Carving hedgehog highways through the stone partitions and wooden fences bordering parks and gardens is one way Barnes Hedgehogs is making life in the big city a little easier for its most prickly residents.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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