High School Clock Watching

By Mike Johnson

High school is all about clock-watching.

It’s regimented. Monotonous. But due to the herd, you can float through entire semesters invisible.

So you find comfort in misery.

Wear comfortable clothes. Stuff candy in pockets. Carry a doodling pen. Pretty much the way many cubicle-dwellers go through careers.

As a 17-year-old, my goal wasn’t careers. It was making it until 2:30. The bell sounded & we’d explode toward the bus.

In the best real estate purchase ever, McDonald’s was across the street.

I was the runner. I had 8 minutes before the bus left. No problem, I’d done this dozens of times. I collected friends' orders & dashed 100 yards to McD's.

These were the days of small menus, strong work ethic & speedy service. I grabbed the food & leapt out the door just in time to watch the impossible.

A train was rolling along the tracks between me & my bus.

I stood there helpless, holding four bags of food, on the wrong side of that train, as the clock ran out.

In slide-show fashion, between each boxcar, clicked a snapshot of my friends guffawing from the rear window, as my bus pulled away.

I was 3 miles from home.

At least I wouldn’t starve. And thanks to their laughing, there’d be no refunds.


Access another great McDonald's story here: The Genius at McDonald's


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