28 August 2007

impermeability and whatnot

Yesterday I made an unpleasant discovery: McDonald's napkins are dreadfully nonabsorbent. So nonabsorbent, in fact, that I've decided they don't qualify as napkins. Loose-leaf paper, perhaps, or disposable coasters, but napkins? I think not.

Here's the skinny: We started out on a shopping trip that went splendidly, especially considering that the kids I brought along were mine. That went so well, I thought, why not stop off for lunch?

Truth be told, lunch was rather uneventful too, right up to the point where my daughter spilled her chocolate milk. Well, it's not so much that she spilled it as it is that she just stopped holding it. In mid-air. So the plastic carton plummeted at a rate of 9.8 m/s squared (don't say I never learned anything in physics), and exploded across the floor, the vinyl seats, and our unsuspecting legs. It was quite impressive.

I did what all good mothers do and Dealt With It Myself. First step: toss a chunk of napkins loose-leaf paper/disposable coasters on the puddle. Now, if we were to recreate this experiment in my house with my napkins, at this point the puddle would visibly shrink as it got sucked up into the napkin pile.

But at McDonald's, this is what happened: nothing. By the time I came back with the second heap of faux napkins, the puddle had not only failed to contract, it was actually expanding its chocolate tentacles across the floor. Upon inspection of the first "napkin" pile, I found that only the bottom napkin was wet, and half-wet at that. This was Not Good.

So what could've been a 30 second wipe-up morphed into ten minutes of me squatting under the table as I coaxed up one milliliter of milk at a time with individual napkins until (hallelujah) a trusty McD's employee happened along with a mop. I really liked that guy.

All of this to issue my napkin report: the Great Golden Arches does not have any bonafide napkins, so if you're headed that way with a toddler (or the spill-prone friend that we all have), bring your own.

That, or make friends with the guy with the mop.


Tonya said...


are you published anywhere other than here?

You need to be. You are brillant and your talent for expression...well...it leaves me speechless!

You are one smart cookie!


amelia said...

I don't think I know a single person who could have made such an enjoyable story out of this scenario. You're a delight my friend...thanks for the morning giggle!


PS ~ Their "napkins" don't absorb sweat either...I've grabbed one from my glove box after a run and would have been able to wipe more with a Kleenex.

Morgan said...

I appreciate your sharing the results of the experiment; duly noted and logged away for our next trip (which may be today). My daughter also likes to drink chocolate milk, drop things mid air, and I've personally never taken the time to locate the mop dude. I see now what an oversight this has been on my part.

Although this exact scene hasn't taken place with us (yet), your information is timely and quite valuable. Thanks!

Melissa said...

We haven't had luck with fast food napkins in general. Hmmm... I wonder if we could conduct some kind of napkin testing. Of course, this would involve eating out on a fairly regular basis... if you need any volunteers... :D

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

How you make a post about napkins fascinating is beyond my comprehension. Seriously.

kris said...

A cautionary tale, thanks for the lesson.
Good thing I don't know anyone who is 'spill-prone!

Unknown said...

i love the mop guy.

thanks for the delightful read. =)

Tayasmama said...

Ohhhh man. You crack me up girl, that could NOT have been funnier :) I discovered this phenomena when I was a teenager, oh the hours we spent goofing around and spilling pop in
McD's late night. Good times good times.

Thanks for the laughs :)


Anonymous said...

I have experienced this phenomenon. It is one I do not wish to repeat. It involved a large sprite being spilled on me after a LONG road-trip with sweaty whiny children.

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Hahaha!!! You are so right and I love that you actually thought to blog about something as mundane as napkins.

Swede at Heart said...

I have experienced this phenomenon. It is one I do not wish to repeat. It involved a large sprite being spilled on me after a LONG road-trip with sweaty whiny children.