Monday, February 04, 2013

Extra Value Meal

I’m sure most people are familiar with ‘extra value’ meals offered by fast food restaurants.  The thing you may not know is I’m the one who developed the original idea.  It happened in the late 70’s when I was spending a lot time working in the Evergreen area.  The Town of Evergreen is located approximately 35 miles from where we live today.

Not to long ago, Char and I went to Evergreen to meet some friends for lunch.  Neither of us had been up there for about fifteen years so we were both a little shocked by all the changes. Since we arrived early I decided to revisited the place where and I came up with the extra value meal idea and the spot that changed my life.

Years ago when Char agreed to go out with me, I thought our first date should be something special so I decided to take her on a picnic.  Having been in the Evergreen area earlier in the week I spent a lot of time looking for the ‘perfect’ spot.  Our picnic was going to be at Dedisse park.

We left town with some paper plates and a blanket.  The plan was to stop and buy something to eat along the way.  I knew that a short distance outside the park was a fast food chicken place.  Walking inside the restaurant I suddenly realized I knew very little about Char, including whether she liked chicken or not.  She assured me she did.  Back then we didn’t have to decide between original, grilled, extra crunchy or spicy.  You just needed to know if you wanted the small, medium, or large bucket.  Knowing she liked chicken but unsure of how much she ate I decided to go with the large bucket which consisted of 22 pieces of chicken, a large order of mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, and about eight biscuits.

We went to the park and then followed the road back to the perfect site.  Trust me it looked a lot different a few years ago (okay, decades ago).  We walked into this clearing, spread out our blanket and proceeded to have a picnic.  Char ate one piece of chicken, a couple bites of potatoes and gravy, and maybe a biscuit.  I ate about the same.  After Char completed her gourmet meal she leaned back and wanted to continue to talk.  I wanted to . . . well, never mind what I wanted.  We sat there and talked for quite some time before heading back to town.

Months later Char and I were married.  The ‘extra value’ to that large bucket of chicken was I ended up with a wonderful wife and two great kids.  You don’t even find that kind of treasure in a Happy Meal.


Blogger Mountain Mama said...

What a sweet story. That is a beautiful spot for a picnic. Do you have snakes there?

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ralph, I just stumbled on to your blog looking at some pics of De Smet, SD. Already sent my sister one of your Sunday funnies. She's in AZ, and I'm in NJ, sharing a giggle in the wee hours of the night is a little reminiscent of being kids and cracking jokes in our bedroom. Thanks for sharing.


2:06 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Two kids? Glad to see you got past the talking stage.

9:23 PM  
Blogger possum said...

What? You sayin' that was not a Happy Meal??????
Sounds like one to me!

7:44 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Awww,... ~~ Ralph, this is too good. Aren't you glad you thought of chicken !!!

I was going through the comments left on my blog while we were on holiday. Yours came up for January 3rd, with the right answer too. We were in New Zealand at that time. Sorry I'm so late here.
BTW, I'm curious as to what color that picnic blanket was?

9:17 PM  

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