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I sat at the plastic table, slowly appraising my order. A Happy Meal, three large fries, two Big Macs with everything on them, a gigantic Coca-Cola, and seven ‘fresh-baked’ chocolate chip cookies. As I inhaled the scent, I heard the door jingle as a group of high school seniors walked in. I opened the Happy Meal and removed my eight-piece nugget pack; the boys sat down near me and began talking. I heard snatches of their conversation as I munched my way through the crispy, fried chicken.
“No way she’ll finish all that.”
“Why’d she buy so much if she won’t eat it all?”
“Even I think that’s stupid.” This last comment came from a burly, over six-foot, tattooed skinhead.
“Watch me,” I replied. I finished my McNuggets and the mini-fry that came with them.
“Sure,” one of them rolled his eyes.
“If you eat all that before we leave, I’ll give you thirty bucks,” the skinhead offered.
“K,” I nodded. Crunch, crunch, crunch, went the first big fry.
“Here’s your order,” the waitress showed up with eight more Big Macs, two for each of them, I guessed.
“This is a meal, and one that I’m gonna finish!” The skinhead smirked, the comment obviously directed towards me.
“Fine.” I finished the other two fries in record time.
“Throwing out food is cheating, b****,” a boy sneered.
“She ate the fries,” the behind-the-counter girl piped up. “I saw it!”
“Me too,” the waitress backed me up.
“Thanks,” I grinned, and wolfed down my first hamburger.
“Dude!” One of them whispered. “She owned that Mac! That was crazy! Took her, what, four bites?!”
“About,” I interjected as I picked up burger number two.
“No way some girl’s gonna out eat me,” skinhead growled. He finished his first and grabbed two more.
“Bon appetite,” said the waitress, coming over with two more for him.
“These cookies are great!” I complimented the counter girl, and she smiled.
“You finished them already!” Boy number three exclaimed, staring at the smudge of chocolate on my face.
“Yup!” I smiled.
“Still, you can’t finish that soda,” another scoffed, but I heard a bit of nervousness in his voice.
“I’m gonna win,” skinhead said, finishing his second Big Mac.
“I’ll finish my Coke; after all, that’s the best part!’ I took the lid off and started chugging, to the excitement of the other customers.
“Chug, chug, chug!” They chanted as I finished, wiped a sleeve across my mouth, and let loose a gigantic burp. The staff was clapping as I walked over to the trash to toss the garbage left over.
“Thanks for the meal,” I winked as I sat down. The doubter hadn’t even finished his third burger and was staring dumbfounded. “I want my thirty bucks now.”
“Pay up, dude!” Another urged him. After some grumbling, I got my money.
“By the way, Angela,” the waitress called as I was leaving. “Why’d you only order half of your usual today? You ate slower than normal, too.”
“I wasn’t that hungry,” I replied as I closed the door, amused at the shocked expressions I’d left behind me. “If they were only seniors,” I mused to myself, “maybe high school won’t be so bad next year.