It was a mild night, late April or early May 2000. I was living in Sandusky, OH working for Cedar Point. My friend and co-worker, Steve, and I were hanging out when I had a strange craving for a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Shaker which was one of McDonald's latest stabs at "Healthy food" at that time... And Steve, he was just getting a little stir crazy so we headed to the nearest McDonald's, only about a block or two away... But we still drove.
I pulled up to the speaker at the Drive-Thru to place my order: "I'd like a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Shaker"
"Sorry, we're all out of Caesar salad dressing, would you like one of our other Salad shakers?"
"No thank you."
From there Steve and I drove over to the other area McDonald's about three miles away.
As we pulled up we noticed the lights were out... It was closed.
So we hopped on the highway and drove to Huron, the nearest town which was actually closer than the OTHER McDonald's that also happened to be in Sandusky. At this point Steve was getting really into it. He thought it was hilarious that we were traipsing all over God's green Earth for "a fucking cup of lettuce."
We pulled into the drive-thru at the Huron, OH McDonald's... and guess what-- No lettuce! I ended up ordering something else instead. Despite Steve's protestations that we get on the Ohio Turnpike and stop at the nearest rest-stop McDonald's. He didn't want the adventure to end. Incidentally, I really didn't either. But my stomach at that point was just plain hungry and it wasn't being quite as picky as it had been when we first set out on our little food-run.
There were occasions later on that summer where Steve would regale our friends with his version of the tale of the Quest for the Fucking Cup of Lettuce, and in all fairness for his flair for the dramatic-- he told the tale far better than I just did-- each time it seemed to get more and more grandiose than each previous telling.
Over the course of the summer he ended up getting a transfer to a different department, but we still kept in touch and hung out. He had a way of telling about his day at work to make even the most droll and boring events sound epic. So I often looked forward to hanging out with him.
The next year, I'd moved into my own apartment off-site (the previous year I'd lived in employee housing). Steve and I still hung out rather often initially but eventually our schedules were such that we barely saw each other. One night I was watching a movie with my then-girlfriend. I heard a knock on my door and answered and there was Steve. He'd never met my girlfriend so I introduced the two of them. The three of us talked for awhile then Steve took his leave. After he left my girlfriend looked at me and said, "I feel like I need a nap after talking to him."
About a year or so ago I heard from Steve's ex-girlfriend (whom one of my other exes and I had introduced him to). She mentioned that she'd recently started talking to Steve again. They were just friends, she'd actually been married and divorced (to someone else) and she mentioned that Steve had been asking after me. So I emailed him and we swapped some emails for awhile but, unfortunately we once again fell out of touch.