Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? Part II

Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? Part II
I first discovered that my mind was disassociating from the rest of my body about a decade ago while traveling with my dad and son. The two of them and I (in body only), were on our way to Columbus on I 70, well into the state of Ohio. My mind however was well behind, still on the PA Turnpike, somewhere around Somerset, I’m guessing.

I had no idea that I had lost my mind until we stopped at a McDonald’s restaurant along the way. The breakfast crowd was at its peak and you could see that the workers looked a little frazzled and anxious. With no deadline to make in Columbus, I was my usual impatient, in a hurry, let’s get moving, self. But….

Always being polite, and remembering my manners, I allowed room for my son to stand in line a step ahead of me. Soon the girl behind the counter asked, “And what will you have this morning?”

As he paused to read the menu, he answered with, “Let me see, what do I want?” These are not the words that an impatient, but mannerly father wants to hear – especially when there are other hungry customers waiting in line and the girl behind the counter obviously wanted to get through the breakfast rush quickly.

I looked at Dave and said, “Hurry up and order, there are people waiting behind you.” His tacit answer to his dad was to continue silently searching the menu behind the counter. So, I chimed in a little louder with, “Come on buddy, give the girl your order – There are a lot of customers behind you.”

There was still no movement or communication on my son’s part. Out of nowhere, the employee then sucker-punched me with (in an intolerant tone), “Sir, what will you have?”

Now, you have to understand. I was not prepared for this question. I had been devoting all my neurons to my son’s lack of response, lack of manners, and lack of consideration for this girl working behind the counter. And I still hadn’t realized that my mind was no longer with me. So…

To buy some time to gather my thoughts and to find my lost mind, I calmly answered, “I’ll have a small coffee with cream and sugar.”

Now that order brought full attention to me from my son, who knew perfectly well, that I DID NOT DRINK COFFEE at the time.

And after she touched one key for the coffee order, I realized that I had bought only about .06 milliseconds of time. Then…

David glared at me and said, “Come on Dad, give the lady your order, you’re holding up a long line. Like you always tell me, have your order ready.”

As much as I tried to find and search the menu, and to locate my mind, I knew I was failing fast – like being unplugged from a respirator.

I managed a repetitive, “ah, a, ah, a,” but not much else. The girl started to smile, and my son was continuing his onslaught.

“Come on, give the girl your order, Dad – Come on – You know better than that – You should have had your order ready before you got in here.”

David’s comments turned the employee’s smile into a huge grin, but it did little to help me in my lost state of mind. So…

Holding my forefinger and thumb up on both hands, I brought them together to make a circular shape. Then I uttered what was soon to become one of the all-time favorite sayings in our household.

“I’ll have one of those round things, about this big. They are shaped like this. And you eat them for breakfast and they have egg on them.” (Not bad for a guy holding both bachelor and master’s degrees, huh?)

“Oh, you mean a McMuffin?” the girl asked. And I nodded apologetically. In the midst of his uncontrollable hysteria, my son further exclaimed, “Good job Dad! Good job! – Now that’s the way to give her your order. Wait till Mom and the girls here this one.”

Of course the whole scenario was engraved in my son’s mind from that moment on. Funny thing about kids – They can remember their dad being humiliated in public, but they have a tough time remembering last night’s homework. I take satisfaction though, knowing his time will come too, some day.

My profound words in that McDonald’s that day provided me with the first of many hints that my mind was leaving me.

There is further documentation, proof and more examples coming too. I’ll fill you in on them in my next story. That is as soon as I remember where my son lives because I need to locate him. I just now remembered that I had wanted to strangle him 20 years ago.

Oh, remind me too, to suggest to McDonald’s to open a new waiting area in their restaurants. The sign should read, “Those with Lost Minds, Enter Here.”

When it comes time to place your order in this line, the employee will only have to say, “Allow us to order a ‘surprise meal’ for you.”

If you’re over 50, I bet you would enter THAT line.

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA