A couple recent moments I witnessed standing inside fast food restaurants:
1.) I was in a McDonald's near Hartsfield waiting for my sweet sweet McGriddle order, when a large black man in a button down shirt and slacks came in. He strolled right up to another line. The manager, a no-nonsense black lady with intense eyes and a voice that could clearly get scary when she needed it to, was giving the usual orders to her crew to keep things running. She sees the guy and a small, appreciative smile appears on her face. He smiles back. They talk for a second and then he asks, "Where you from?" but he asks gently, like he knows the answer and it's a sad one. She smiles proudly, resolutely, and says, "New Orleans." He tells her he thought he recognized the accent. "Why you out here?" he asks. He knows the answer to this one too. "Katrina," she says, like she's saying the name of the bitch that evicted everyone out of her neighborhood. They nod and look at each other, murmuring Mm-hmmms, and then he opens his arms to her and they embrace. He was back out the door shortly after that, and she was still smiling to herself until I left.
2.) A couple of days ago, I was at our Kennesaw Wendy's on my half-hour lunch break. I was standing in line, this time waiting to order a sweet sweet Big Bacon Classic meal, when I heard some people entering the little glassed-in airlock-room all fast food restaurants have. As soon as I looked, I saw two men. One wore sunglasses and was talking on his cell phone. The other was wearing a baseball hat. An instant after I first saw him, the guy in the hat slammed face-first into the first plexi-glass panel. The actual door was two panels downs. I saw his nose mash up against the glass and his hat lift up high on his head. I looked away, smiling. And when I looked back, they were both laughing. He'd seen me see him. When he comes in I assure him I didn't see anything. Later, while I'm waiting for the counter crew to populate my tray with Wendy's goodness, he's in line and tells me about another time he walked full-steam into an immovable object, this time a sliding glass door. Apparently it hurt. His nose and forehead were sore, he said, for days after. I listened and smiled good-naturedly, but all the while I was thinking, "I'm not sure I'd be repeating this stuff to people if I were him. People might think I was stupid." Seemed like a nice guy though.