Yes, I Want the Frakking Cherry…

No, I won’t ask for it. And if you ask me if I want it, I’m going to say ‘no’.

Let’s start at the beginning.

I like milkshakes. I’m older than I used to be (and aren’t we all), so I only get a milkshake every month or so. I am not a connoisseur, so I am happy with the milkshakes from Burger King and McDonalds. Recently, in old peoples terms, both if these chains started adding presentation to the frozen dairy concoction. No longer is it the yummy chilled sludge hidden in an opaque wax coated paper cup, but now a “hand-crafted” delight presented in a clear cup with whipped cream and the titular cherry. (My title, not theirs)

At first, I was a bit skeptical. I’m resistant to change, sometimes. I’m odd that way, I truly enjoy variety, but not surprises. When I ordered a milkshake one day and suddenly it came with whipped cream and a cherry, it took a little effort to accept this was from fast-food. I’m not enough of a foodie to be able to tell if the taste changed when the presentation changed except to notice the whipped cream as it was sucked through the straw.

I adjusted and accepted.

Now, however, there is a new twist to the process of getting a milkshake. Now I am asked “Would you like the cherry?” or “Would you like whipped cream and a cherry?”

I will always answer ‘No’, though inside I’m screaming ‘Yes’. I know I teach my children that no means no, and it does. If someone says no, take them at their word. This is my expectation at McDonalds and Burger King. If I say no, I don’t expect to get the cherry.

So why do I say ‘No’ when I want to say ‘Yes’?

Am I too macho, too manly for a cherry? No, being too macho for cherries is not a thing. When I was in my freshman year of college I was part of the theatre department for the shows that year. After each rehearsal we’d go to Perkins and order coffee or tea. I got Tea. I was also dirt poor at the time so I didn’t usually get any food. I asked for extra lemon with my tea and ate the extra fruit. It turns out this works with ice cream too. Eventually I just skipped the ice cream and just ordered the extra cherries. Maybe I was cute, cuz I’ve never been charismatic, but I’d always get a bowl of cherries (with stems) and a bowl of lemon slices for free when I ordered tea. I didn’t realize how much so at the time, but it was “my thing”.

I know this, because when my birthday came around that October, the theatre group presented me with a gift of a bag of lemons and a large jar of cherries with stems.

So, I’ve not ever considered cherries emasculating. Clearly, I like cherries.

So I ask myself again, why say ‘No’?

It works like this: If they’re asking me, they’re making me feel like I’m requesting additional work on their behalf. Like anyone, sometimes I can be an ass, and in this situation, I probably should be, but I’m not going to want to feel like an ass for asking for the additional effort of whipped cream and/or cherries.

I shouldn’t be asked or have to ask. The menu item is, as advertised, a milkshake with whipped cream and a cherry. If a customer wants something different than as-advertised, the customer should request it. They don’t ask me if I want ketchup on my hamburgers. They shouldn’t ask if I want cherries on my milkshakes.

I should mention, that when ordering for my wife or kids, I will ask for the cherries. It’s not being an ass to request the cherries for other people; it just feels like I’m being selfish when I ask for the additional effort for my own benefit.


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