Friday, May 24, 2013

Freedom Fries

We were getting breakfast at McDonalds, the line up for the drive through windows was tightly packed and long. In the restaurant, it was equally busy, but it became evident that we'd walked in on a real community of people. It seemed that everyone knew everyone and that everyone was glad to see everyone there. Four men with intellectual disabilities were part of the mix. Two sat together, two others were in line up. All we simply another part of the group being treated with the same kind of laughing, joshing, camaraderie that filled the place. My appearance didn't cause even a ripple in the social waters of the place. I'm guessing that once the first stone of difference had been tossed in, all others lost their ability to cause waves.

One of the men had a very loud voice when he ordered his breakfast. He loudly ordered, "Pie and fries." He was asked what kind of pie, and he said, "I don't care, just give me the bigger one!" People laughed, he got served, the line moved on.

Pie and fries.


Freedom is felt in so many ways.

I'll bet that for most of his life he would have had people paid a lot of money to sift through his decisions, people who would have weighed out every choice, people who would have given the final word on if his decision was valid, if his choice appropriate.

People that, right now ... at the echo of 'pies and fries' are slumped over their desks crying.

Pies and fries.

We wanted people with disabilities to live in and be part of the community ... CHECK!!

We wanted people with disabilities to live independently feeling confident in their own skin ... CHECK!!

We fought for people with disabilities to have the right to make choices ... CHECK!!

I know that there will be those who will now Google the nutritional analysis of 'pies and fries' in order to be able to count calories ...

Could you maybe wait for a minute for him to count his blessings.


Freedom Fries ... Freedom pies!


Anonymous said...

What a great experience!!! I work as a 1:1 Support Worker in the community with an individual affected by an Intellectual Disability. I tranport her to her various work sites and once she has finished her work for the day, we head for a tea or anything she "choses" to have at the end of her day. I stand behind her as she places her order. If she happens to need my support, I am there for her. On too many occassions, I am met with the gaze of the counter attendent looking at me for the order... The individual I work with has the ability to communicate what she wants/needs - however, sometimes this does require patience and time. This doesn't always mix well with the
"FAST FOOD MOVEMENT" ;)Oh well! haha

Have a great weekend, Dave! :)

Colleen said...

I love it Dave! People have been so controlled with food. Freedom for some surely is pies and fries! Colleen

Tamara said...

Rofl ... Working on health and nutrition classes so my kid won't order fries and pies ... at least not every day ... Well, he hates fries, so it will probably be sundaes for breakfast for him. Let freedom ring!

n. said...

I love a good fries and milkshake. and thankfully i'm passing as NT so nobody tells me not to, except when they decide to remind me how fat I am.
anyway good for independent dude there.

Moose said...

Freedom is also someone not playing food police over your shoulder. "Pie and fries" may not be the most nutritious thing on the planet, but who cares? Sometimes we all have to eat what makes us happy, even if it's 100% taste and 0% nutrition.

I would make a guess --admittedly a very big assumption-- that these four gentlemen were regulars there (based on that everyone laughed) and that perhaps they have been comfortable with the counter-people and the way things work at that store. That in itself is a type of freedom, the freedom to be a regular somewhere and have it be part of your regular life. It is a freedom many of us take for granted, too.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the "burrito test" that one can apply to any congregate care setting: Can the resident make and eat a microwave burrito at midnight if they so desire? It's a rare instance that the answer is yes.

Princeton Posse said...

Dave, I love the line "first stone of difference had been tossed in, all others lost their ability to cause waves". Great visual, good analogy. Thank-you

wendy said...