I went to McDonald's for breakfast the other day. I know, I know, but fat and salt are so damn tasty. Anyhow, I collected my food from the counter and walked into the dining area. There was a guy kneeling on the floor with hands clasped in prayer. Well, I assume he was praying, rather than rehearsing for a role as a fluffer. I didn't ask, and he didn't open his mouth, so probably not the fluffer scenario. It's common to see people pray over their meals in restaurants, but this seemed a bit extravagant. Especially for fast food.

I thought that was bad enough, but the dining area in this McDonald's is long and narrow. His coffee was sitting on his table by the wall, but he was kneeling in the walkway between the wall tables and the window tables, facing the window. More precisely, he was facing the table of two women sitting by the window, a mere four feet away from his fervently clasped hands. So I thought he might be worshipping these two women. Or more likely seriously creeping them out. They didn't seem to mind, but I thought they were just being polite. I'm thinking, "No way they sat down at that table while this guy was genuflecting." Which means he was working on his coffee when they happened to sit down, or he sat down after they did. Either way, there were lots of empty tables, and this was awkwardly close quarters.

I had to walk between Praying Man and The Shrine of the Two Innocents to get to my table. He stood up and went back to his coffee, and I thought that was the end of it, but apparently he had a lot of praying to do, because he got back down on his knees between each sip of coffee. Maybe he was Mormon, and that's the only way he could drink coffee, repenting after each sinful swallow. Religious dietary codes can be very strict. Or maybe there was something in the coffee. I risked drinking mine anyway. Whatever else might be in it probably didn't neutralize the caffeine.

I wasn't paying attention, so I didn't see him or the two ladies leave. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I am forced to conclude that they all ascended directly to heaven. Now when I have breakfast there, I'll probably have to contend with ever-growing throngs of the faithful visiting the site of this miracle. And I didn't even think to dig the guy's coffee cup outta the trash to sell as a relic. I'm afraid I'm just not enough of a hustler to make it in the religion biz.

Views: 3

Tags: genuflexion, mcdonald's, prayer, relic, restaurant

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Comment by Jason Spicer on December 18, 2009 at 4:16pm
Yeah, I'm sure the two women were being polite, and probably thought the guy was just overdoing it a bit. I like the "get a church" comment, but the way the guy was going at it, "get a room" might have been more appropriate. Or maybe, "If you love your god so much, why don't you marry him?"
Comment by Jason Spicer on November 25, 2009 at 12:04am
Grundgetta, a fluffer is an off-screen (usually) assistant who helps male porn stars get in character. Kind of a method acting technique, as I understand it. Sadly, it appears to be yet another line of work threatened by new technology, in this case Viagra.

Jeff FV, I guess the Tattoobers don't realize how insulting that is to their god's intelligence. On the other hand, if they commit a truly unforgivable sin, they've got an easy out.

And Vicki, that blessing is a marvel of efficiency, but I'm of the firm conviction that grace should be said after a meal, in case of choking or food poisoning. No sense thanking the Big Dude if he's got it in for you.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on November 24, 2009 at 11:17pm
Pray tell... what is a "fluffer"?
Comment by Jason Spicer on November 24, 2009 at 6:09pm
Great story, Dave. Especially the clueless salesman. Any chance he wasn't so clueless and was really just getting in a little dig? Cuz that would have been great. And yeah, the five-times-a-day praying has to be a drag on productivity. Though I understand they take a lot of beer breaks in Germany. At least that makes sense.

I feel kinda bad for making fun of Praying Man at the McShrine. Mental illness isn't that funny, and this guy had a much worse case of Christianity than most victims do. In fact, when I see people praying over their meals in public, they usually seem to do it with a hint of embarrassment or false bravado, like they know deep down that it's just silly. Obviously, this guy was less in touch with reality.
Comment by Sentient Biped on November 24, 2009 at 2:05pm
How very weird. How very, very weird.
Comment by Dave Rogers on November 24, 2009 at 9:12am
Everyone sing: (To the tune of "You deserve a break today".)

God demands your faith today,
So get on your knees and pray,
at McDonald's!


The strangest prayer thing I ever saw happened at a company I used to work for back in the mid '90's. We were hosting about a half dozen Egyptians for a design review for two days. Every couple of hours we had to stop the meeting so all but one could break out their prayer rug, point it towards the corner of the conference room and do the whole 9 yards towards Mecca. (The general was a Christian which was strange in itself.) I'd retreat to my office (since I didn't want to laugh my ass off in front of them) and hear chants for about a half hour. My boss and I wondered how the hell does anything get done over there?

The funniest thing happened at lunch on the second day. We were at an Italian restaurant and our big, jovial, clueless salesman joked, "Oh go ahead and have the tiramisu, there's only a little liquor in it. I know Allah, I'll talk to him." They only politely/nervously laughed. I just rolled my eyes at my boss, although I wanted to fall off my chair laughing.

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