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Notebook Worthy

SANATOGA  PA – Weekend (Feb. 14-15, 2009) jottings from a reporter’s notebook, in no particular order:

A Premium For Fast Food

Patrons of the McDonald’s Restaurant, 1428 E. High St., Pottstown PA, are being urged to help it break a record next Saturday (Feb. 21, 2009), and some will win a reward for their efforts.

"The free burger's mine. Yours is the one you paid for."

"My burger's free. The paid-for one is yours."

The restaurant last week began advertising its “Super Saturday Challenge,” with inserts placed in every bag that flies out the store’s doors. Between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, the flyer says, McDonald’s crews want to serve more customers from their drive-through windows than ever before, to beat the current record. They don’t report what the current record is, presumably because they want to avoid sharing business secrets with Taco Bell, across the street to the north, or Burger King or Wendy’s, down the street to the east.

Suffice it to say the store wants lots of business. And it’s paying customers to play along.

Every 10th car that orders from the drive-through (sorry, but you folks eating inside don’t count this time) will receive a coupon good for a free extra value meal – a large sandwich, french fries and a drink – redeemable on a future visit.

Assume that it takes three minutes to process each order from start to finish. Assume that the line for orders forms promptly at 8. That means the first lucky meal winner should be in line at about 8:27 a.m.

There But For The Grace Of God …

At first glance, many people say they feel sorry for the guy who stands each weekend at the southwest corner of Ridge Pike and Rupert Road, near the border of Lower Pottsgrove and Limerick (PA) townships. He was out there again most of Sunday (Feb. 15, 2009), holding a placard that described a sale on tableware in the Oneida Silver store at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets.

Don’t pity him; admire him. In this recession, when bread-winners in some Lower Pottsgrove homes are enduring layoffs and losing paychecks, he’s bundled up against the elements, silently earning an hourly wage. A job’s a job, even when it’s cold, wind-blown, exhaust-choking, foot-aching work.

If It’s Broken, It’s Fixable

Sign seen outside the office of a Reading PA chiropractor on Valentine’s Day: “We’re here to help if you fall head over heels, in love or otherwise.”

Give The Public What It Needs

Here’s a more sobering sign, also seen Valentine’s Day while driving through Annville PA, east of Hershey. In a front window, the Batdorf Grille announced its new “Recession Menu,” filled with low-priced eats for the hungry who are also cash-strapped.

Visiting the zoo.

Visiting the zoo.

Sounds Like Stereotyping

At Hershey’s ZooAmerica wildlife park Saturday, a couple walked arm-in-arm past the mountain lion‘s cage. The cage holds two animals, male and female, but only one was outside basking in the bright mid-day sun. The lion was on its back, eyes closed, its paws raised high into the air. The woman passing by turned to her companion, tapped him on the shoulder, and pointed to the furry sunbather. “Must be the male,” she said.

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