Tales from the Secret Sauce

As told by a big jar of Secret Sauce hamburger dressing.

Good evening. What, you say? Did I hear a voice? Look towards the back wall, near Manager Kilofwaski's office. I'm the giant plastic tub of Secret Sauce. That's right, Fry Boy, I'm talking to you. Cackle, cackle. I know you hear me. Don't pretend you don't hear this jar of Secret Sauce talking. I know your game. I've seen you Fry Boys come and go. Who do you think been here longer?

Don't make a scene, be cool. Mr. Kilofwaski just installed cameras back here. Be cool. Continue making that burger. Slather on some more Secret Sauce. Don't be shy. Cackle, cackle.

What's that? What's my secret? You think just because I'm called Secret Sauce that I have a secret. You can see my ingredients on my front label. I'm not hiding any secrets. OK, I can talk. Don't tell anyone and I won't tell anyone you steal napkins. I know, I know everything, things that will knock the pickle chips right out of your snack wrap. Like this tale of horror.

Meet Joe, an ordinary Joe with ordinary tastes and the same order every day: double bacon chicken, French fries, Diet Coke. But not this lunch hour. This time he gets the wrong order, an order from the dark side, an order known as...


"Yes, can I help you?" asked the young man behind the counter.

Joe said, "I'll have the double bacon chicken sandwich, small fries, and a large Diet Coke."

"Bra, you hella eat the same thing."

"Yes," said Joe. "That is my usual."

Joe would have preferred more graceful acknowledgment from the staff, but he was at the McDonald's by his office.

"That'll be six dollars and sixty six cents."

"Whatever." Joe paid the amount.

"Here's your receipt. You're order 22. Now, go."

If you add the numerical values of the letters in the word "go," thought Joe, it totals 22. That's eerie.

Minutes later, Joe's order was up. He grabbed the bag of hot food and soda in one hand and removed a straw wrapper with another. Straw in drink, Joe took a sip.

There was no ice in his Diet Coke, like someone had requested "no ice" when ordering. But Joe said nothing of the sort.

He entered the office elevator. The voyage to the 8th floor was traditionally Joe's moment to smell his lunch and reflect. But an unfamiliar odor emerged.

"Gross," said an old bike messenger. "Your burger gonna make me puke."

"It's not a burger, I'm a vegetarian," Joe said. "It's my usual. Double bacon chicken, small fries."

"Smells like burger," the messenger said.

"And onion rings," said that little douchebag in Accounting nobody likes.

Joe hurried out and walked to his cubicle. He dumped the contents of his fast food bag and gasped. On his desk were onion rings and a mushroom chipotle cheeseburger.

"This isn't my order!" yelled Joe. He picked the paper receipt and read it.

It read:

How did this mix-up occur? Joe would never order red meat. But with mushrooms and chipotle peppers? Why did that sound so familiar...and tasty? As for onion rings, Joe loved them as a kid but had matured into a fry guy. Holding one in his hand, Joe remembered how much he loved them, as much as soda with no ice.

Joe paced within his cubicle. Order 23 wasn't his, yet, deep inside, was what he really wanted.

With only twelve minutes left for lunch, he piled the food back into the bag and headed back to McDonald's.

"Welcome to McDonald's," said the same kid behind the counter. "How may I help you?"

"This order, this Order 23," said Joe, waving the greasy receipt. "Who ordered this?"

"Mush 'potle, rings, no ice?" he said. "I know who ordered this."

"Who? Who!"

"Order 23 is yours. You ordered it."

"That's impossible. I had the double bacon chicken, small fries, large Diet."

"No," the kid said. "That was Joe's order. You're actually the late Ronald Reagan."

That explains everything from his life, Joe thought. The acting career, the arguments with director Freddy De Cordova, the marriages to Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis, tearing down the wall, getting Alzheimer's, forgetting everything from his life, dying.

"Oh, OK. In that case, I'll have the usual."

The kid handed him a bag, a bag that reeked of a...Filet O' Fish. Whoa, trick ending.

Cackle, cackle. So lay the fate of our 40th president. Then everyone at McDonald's died from E. coli. Why? Because McDonald's refused to purchase product placement in this bit. Otherwise, I would have half-apologized for whoring myself, like they do on 30 Rock. That's right, I know a TV reference other than Tales From the Crypt. Cackle. Now, shoo, Fry Boy, smoke break's over.

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