25 May 2005

almost fingertip

since i just briefly mentioned it at the end of a long and rambling post, i thought i would devote an entire entry to the rubber glove fingertip i found in my 360 Gourmet Burritos grilled vegetable burrito on monday evening while waiting for my plane at the Oakland Airport. given the recent spate of real and faked fast food hamburger fingertip sightings, this would have been comical if it wasn't totally disgusting. the glove fingertip, which, when were it belongs, would have sheathed the top half of a finger down to the first knuckle, was yellowed, having probably marinated in the vat of grilled vegetables for some time. it was covered with little raised dots, the better to hold spoonfulls of beans, rice and veggies presumably.

my first thought, when my teeth first closed around said glove, was that a very oddly textured piece of chicken or beef had slipped into my vegetarian burrito. i considered chewing through the entire experience but quickly realized that no amount of mastication would break down whatever was in my mouth. so, with a pretty big sense of impending dread, i reached in and went about rummaging through the chewed remains of the bite. i missed my mark at first, pulling out some sort of grilled eggplant material. thinking that maybe the eggplant was the offending bit, i took a tentative bite and found, to my disdain, that the questionable material still remained. so i went in again and this time got my target. at first it looked like a chicken skin which is gross, but within the realm of reason. it was only after i'd wiped it off in my napkin and taken a closer look that i realized that no, what i had found in my burrito was not meant for human consumption.

i immediately called a. to ask her what i should do. after being firmly instructed to get my money back, i got off the phone. the two people sitting on either side of me, both of whom had heard the conversation, were both staring at me in horror and requested to see the glove tip. they seconded (and thirded, i suppose) the suggestion to return the food.

so i took the remaining 1/4 of my burrito (i'd eaten almost all of it before i got to the glove) back to 360 Gourmet Burritos. the cashier received the burrito and glove tip rather calmly, as if this kind of thing happened all the time. the burrito makers, however, seemed more interested, though perhaps they were curious to see if the glove tip looked familiar (though you'd think you'd notice if you accidentally cut off a finger of a glove that you're wearing!). they all huddled around the garbage can, peering in and mumbling to each other for a good 30 seconds before going back to work. and i got my money back (though only for the burrito, not the soda). i declined their offer of another replacement burrito. eh. i think not.

so, i have had the very real American Experience of finding something "off" in my fast food. i was worried that they'd think i was faking it, since planting something "off" in your food and trying to sue the restaurant is also a very real American Experience, but this was an honest to goodness nasty "what the hell is in there??" moment. i'm just lucky that it wasn't a human fingertip. or a rat tail. or whatever else it is people find in their big macs. but i think it's probably turned me off fast food for a while.


Blogger cindym said...

lord. as if you needed another reason not to eat fast food!

i once found glass in my meatballs. i grew hysterical and refused to eat any more food at the restaurant, and ended up stalking out to the car and waiting for my parents to finish their meal. they weren't sufficiently horrified for my taste.

i also found a black MarksALot marker cap in my salad at Olive Garden once. The waiter didn't give much of a shit.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Deepfry said...

oh, i remember the marker story!! i can't believe you found glass in your meatball and your parents finished their meals! they close restaurants down for stuff like that. it's awful!

2:15 PM  
Blogger jammies said...

this reminds me. when i worked at starbucks there was much debate over the validity of a rumored tale of a cockroach in someone's latte. the story went that a customer drank her whole delicious, perfectly-brewed latte only to find a dead cockroach at the bottom of the cup. she was furious and it seems likely she sued. my fellow starbucks 'partners' often mused over the logistics of her claim.

the cups are stored upside down and stacked together. how would the cockroach have gotten in? if it fell in when the cup was righted, wouldn't the barista have seen it when s/he poured in the perfectly-brewed shots? then they put a lid (also from a stack) on top, so how could have the cockroach have crawled in? the whole thing seemed nearly impossible.

but really, who knows if the story was true anyway? not me. (or is it not i?)

p.s. cockroach or no, we had GIANT rats in the basement of the Starbucks where I worked, and they weren't afraid of people. i was one of the only people not afraid of them. they were bigger than my little cat.

p.s. i like your use of mastication in this post.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous the pragmatic chef™ said...

It was probably a finger cot, a yellowish colored roll-on bandage designed to cover a cut, not part of a severed glove, but it's still lame you found one in your food.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Deepfry said...

nope, it was definitely a severed glove. the end of it was all ragged and unevenly cut off. it didn't have that nice condom-like roll around the edge.

11:27 AM  

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