PLEASE, please, can we go to McDonald's," begged six-year-olds Eilidh and Taylor.
We've been good all week."
"Okay," I agreed, "a promise is a promise."
All three of us climbed into my car and I took them off for their well-earned treat.
Suddenly they yelled in unison, "Nana Bell, you've driven past McDonald's."
They were in a panic as they pointed to the huge yellow sign now behind us.
"Don't worry," I reassured them, "we're going to another McDonald's".
"What's wrong with that one?" asked a puzzled sounding Eilidh. "My mum takes us to that one."
"Oh. I prefer the other one as it's not so busy," I lied.
However, the real reasons were not for the ears of two six-year olds. Oh no.
A couple of weeks earlier on a sunny Saturday morning my pal Christine and I decided to go to our local drive thru for breakfast.
"I'm looking forward to this," Christine muttered as we joined the queue of cars.
Soon we pulled up and studied the menu board.
"I'll have a Bacon and Egg McMuffin," I decided.
"So will I," chimed in Christine.
"No, wait, I've changed my mind, I'll have a Sausage and Egg McMuffin." I said.
"So will I," parrots Christine.
"Or how about the ....," I mused.
This went on and on until finally we had arrived at the pay window.
"What was your order?" asked the girl.
Blankly Christine and I looked at each other and realised we were so busy talking about what we were going to eat that we had actually forgotten to order it.
"Em. It was .. it was ..." Christine now had a vacant look as she struggled to answer the girl in the window before turning to me and saying. "Janice what did we order?"
Sheepishly I was forced to admit: "I don't think we got round to ordering."
Politely the girl told us: "Well you'll have to drive round again and re-join the queue."
Embarrassed and hungry, we drove around the one way system again and re-joined the queue to place our order.
The following Friday night it was late and, after a few drinks, Mae and I, having had no success in flagging down a taxi home, decided we were hungry. Mae had the munchies and was hell bent on a McDonald's Happy Meal.
"I'm starving," she announced, "and I'm not going home until I get a Happy Meal."
However, on arrival at the same local McDonald's we discovered the restaurant was closed and only the drive-thru was open.
Unperturbed, Mae waved to the line of queuing vehicles and gestured an apology ahead of what she was about to do.
I, having resigned myself to the situation, parked myself on a nearby wall and watched as Mae marched up to the window to place our order.
"Two Happy Meals with Sprite," smiled Mae, content in the knowledge that her starvation pangs were about to disappear. She continued with her order: "And ..."
But before she could finish the girl in the window interrupted.
"Sorry, I can't take your order."
"Why not?" asked a displeased Mae.
"You need to be in a car," came the curt reply.
"What do you mean I need to be in a car?" Mae asked. "I just want a Happy Meal."
"That's why it's called a drive-thru," the girl replied adamantly, adding: "Because you need to DRIVE through and you are not in a car."
"Can't you just pretend I'm in a car?" pleaded Mae as I shook my head in disbelief.
"No chance," the girl smirked. "I can't serve you unless you are in a car."
Meanwhile, I was still patiently sitting nearby watching the antics of Mae and the cars now queued behind her in the line tooting and flashing their lights.
But Mae, whose Happy Meal was sounding less happy by the minute stubbornly turned to the first car in the queue.
"Do you mind if I sit in your car to order a Happy Meal," she pleaded with the driver. "I'll get back out again as soon as I've paid."
The frosty stare from the female passenger said it all and Mae quickly moved to the next vehicle.
Three vehicles later and poking her head into the driver's window again she asked: "I don't want to hijack your car but is there any chance I could ..."
Then, much to my astonishment, the man agreed to her request.
Mae beckoned me over. "Janice, quick jump in."
The driver who was called Tommy and his wife Jill said hello before Tommy stopped at the window to place our order.
We could see from the tormented scowl on her face that the girl behind the counter was fuming at the fact that Mae, despite having no vehicle, was back on course to get her Happy Meal.
Served and happy we departed the car with our food.
"Thanks a million," said Mae. "That was really kind of you."
And on noticing there were a few children's toys on the floor. "Here you go," she said handing over our Happy Meal toys to Jill. "Give these to your kids."
"Em thanks," said Jill reluctantly accepting Mae's offering.
As my thoughts drifted back from my McDonald's humiliation, Eilidh and Taylor spotted the new yellow McDonalds sign and began chanting "We want a Happy Meal. We want a Happy Meal."