When I was in college, I worked for a summer and into one school year at a Jack in the Box in downtown San Jose, CA. In those days, the early-to-mid 1970s, San Jose was a rough town (as were most American cities, as evidenced by Shaft, The French Connection, Superfly, Taxi Driver, and other documentary films of the day). Because I was over 18, I got to work the graveyard shift.
One night, during the post-2 AM bar rush, a man ordered a burger and some onion rings. When I brought his order to the counter, he accused me of having stolen one of his onion rings and eaten it. Then, as now, I did not eat onion rings (or anything else onion-related, when at all possible). I knew I was innocent, but the customer was angry and upset. I took the bag back to the warmer, put a couple more onion rings into it, and returned it to him. He snatched it from my hand and went to sit down.
The next person to approach the counter was another man, of about the same age—mid-30s—as the last. This one had his hands in the pockets of his leather coat. He leaned close to me and said, “I don’t know if you could tell, but that guy’s carrying.”
It took a few seconds for the meaning of his words to sink in. By then, he was continuing. “But don’t worry. So am I. If he’d tried anything, I’d have taken him out.”
Because that—being involved in a gunfight over an onion ring I didn’t steal—was exactly how I wanted to spend my shift that night.
Which is why I paid attention to this story when I saw the headline: “Jayme John Leon Sent Into ‘McFury’ After Finding Onions on His McDonald’s Hamburger.” This case is the opposite of mine, of course—this guy didn’t want onions, but he got them anyway. And he didn’t draw a gun, but he flipped out just the same.
Coincidentally, just last night I had to send a burger back to the kitchen because it came with onions on it (among other unwanted condiments). I didn’t threaten anyone with bodily harm. But restaurants of all stripes should pay attention. When we say, “Hold the onions,” we mean, “Hold the mother₣#©&in’ onions, mØţиe®ѫҩҫӂӚӷ!”