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Advertisement When fast food isn't fast, there may be consequences
by Dan Brawner Columnist · June 22nd, 2017

We're all accustomed to the convenience of fast food. We are willing to stand in line at McDonald's or KFC for a couple of minutes while a smiling employee in a goofy uniform, earning minimum wage, stuffs our order into a paper bag and hands us our change. But what happens when fast food is not fast enough?

Last Saturday, in a McDonald's in Des Moines, a woman got tired of waiting for her McChicken sandwich and started a brawl. According to reports: Valerie Shepherd, 21, evidently thought her order was taking too long and began yelling at the clerk. And, of course, the entire episode was captured on video and broadcast over the Internet.

"Give me my meal or give me my money!" demanded Shepherd. Then, without waiting for a reply, she shouted, "You can't make my (bad word) McChicken, then give me my money!"

Well, this is Iowa after all. So the nice folks behind the counter quickly assembled her order and politely handed it to her, upon which she hurled it back in the manager's face. Shepherd threw a couple of punches at the manager, which failed to connect, then jumped up over the counter to take the fight right into the middle of McDonald's territory. Even in Iowa, nice has its limits and the overworked manager had had enough. The video, shot through the drive-up window, did not catch all the details. From the looks of it, though, Shepherd never got her McChicken sandwich, but she did get a couple of good whoppers up side the head.

The police report said that as many as nine people were involved in the fracas. There was a lot of foul language, fists and feet flying, some helpful bystander suggesting, "Pull her hair!" The viral video of the event was reportedly taken by Amanda Gravely, 34, of Ankeny, waiting in her car (patiently) for her own order, along with her husband and their young children. The kids appeared unfazed by the violence. As the women were punching and screaming, one of the children is heard calmly asking, "Can I have tomato?"

The following Tuesday, Shepherd was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and assault, along with her companion, Jesse James Downs. (Note to self: If you're trying to make a clean getaway, don't bring along anybody named "Jesse James".)

Last week, in Waco, Texas, a woman actually called 911 because she did not get her Chicken McNuggets fast enough. Even after her order arrived, she remained in the drive-through, refusing to move in spite of the cars lining up behind her. At the same time the McNuggets lady was calling 911 about her tardy order, a McDonald's employee was calling 911 to have her removed. When the police arrived, the irate customer explained that she wouldn't move because she felt she should now get her order for free.

It turns out there is no law that says if you have to wait for your McNuggets, they're free. Although in Texas, a frivolous 911 call can get you a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. The police eventually let the impatient customer go free. But, by then, her McNuggets were probably cold.
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