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Byrd: The worst Wednesday

Klark Byrd

Is it possible to have a day refunded to you? If only it were so, I'd return Wednesday to the store because that day was nothing but a dud.

The morning started not unlike any other, with the exception that I had scheduled an appointment with a local dealership to have some maintenance done on the car I had just gotten back from a collision repair shop. After leaving my sedan in the care of the dealership (which will remain nameless), I was given a shuttle ride home.

My wife left for work and the morning played out in usual fashion with a children's show acting as background noise while I played in the living room with my 1-year-old son.

By 11:30 I was starting to wonder if the dealership was finished with my car. Sixteen short minutes later, the service center called to tell me that my car had been involved in a collision. As one of the dealership's employees was driving my car back from its wheel alignment, another customer in a pickup backed up into it. My rear passenger door was smashed.

I was shuttled to the scene where I met with a Dickinson police officer who told me he had all the information he needed because he had found my registration and insurance card in my car's glove box. I was so furious at the time about the damage done to my car that a few hours passed before I realized that nobody asked me if the police could search my vehicle. Because I have nothing to hide and because I failed to address my concern at the time, I let that potential rights violation slide (but just this once).

At the scene, the dealership showed me the damage to my door. I had no more than wrapped up the claims process with my insurance company after the front end was smashed by a driver who failed to yield the right-of-way than here I was again on the phone to open another claim.

The dealership wasn't finished with the scheduled maintenance, so I was shuttled back home. It took the rest of the business day to finish with my car, and I received a call at nearly 5 p.m. to say it was ready. I requested another shuttle ride.

Lucky for me, the damaged door came at no additional cost. I paid for the maintenance and drove away.

Now in a hurry to get to work but hungry for dinner, I stopped by McDonald's for a bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken. I finally arrived at the newspaper and absent-mindedly went about eating my salad while my computer started up.

It was only after I finished my meal that I noticed the restaurant's "use by" tag was stamped with a time three hours earlier than the time the salad was served. Just three hours past the expiration time? Not a big deal.

But that expiration tag wasn't the first one on the salad. Underneath of it was another tag timed for 24 hours earlier. My salad was served 27 hours past its original "use by" time.

I called McDonald's and asked a manager if the food was considered good 27 hours after it was supposed to be waste. She told me the salad maker looks through the lettuce to make sure it's good before stamping food with another expiration time. If that's the case, then what good are the expiration tags?

I understand there are people everywhere with problems that would make this past Wednesday seem like a cake walk, but sometimes it's just good therapy to get these things off my chest.

If the cosmos has taught me anything, it's that the universe is as it should be, smashed car door and all.

Klark Byrd is the news editor for The Dickinson Press. Email him at or tweet him at klarkbyrd.