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Opening Arguments

All the rage

Here's a new malady for you -- cheeseburger rage:

DECEMBER 19--A Pennsylvania man has been charged with assault and disorderly conduct for his alleged rampage last month at McDonald’s, a meltdown reportedly triggered when his drive-thru order contained a hamburger with an unwanted piece of cheese.

According to cops, Varone became irate on November 30 after he “found his sandwich had cheese on it which was not what he ordered.” After he was provided a second hamburger--which also had cheese--Varone parked his vehicle and entered the McDonald’s.

Inside the restaurant, Varone allegedly began yelling at workers (one of whom he called a “fucking bitch”) and demanded a refund. After getting his money back, Varone knocked over a trash can and “picked up a children’s high chair, hoisted it above his head and threw it towards another dining table” in the crowded restaurant.

As Varone departed the eatery, McDonald’s manager Kathy Vazquez followed him out to the parking lot in an attempt to copy down his license plate number. When Varone realized he was being tailed, he allegedly grabbed Vazquez, placed her in a headlock, and grabbed a cordless phone from her hand and smashed it on the ground.

I've always been a little puzzled by rage, although I admit I've been tempted to give in to it myself a time or two at fast-food restaurants. Usually, the rager seems to be someone who has let a lot of frustrations build up to the spillover point -- the thing that sets him off isn't really what he's mad about, it's just the catalyst. Sometimes, though, you're around someone long enough to know his rage isn't a rare occurrence -- he's just an a-hole. I once had a co-worker who blew up two or three times a day, and mostly over the little stuff that brings out an "oh, well, life is like that" shrug from most people. If his coffee cup wasn't where he thought he'd put it, he'd let go with a five-minute shouting barrage of expletives. You see somebody like that and wonder, "Geez, what's he gonna have left when somebody runs over his dog?"