The Rocky Mountain region of the United States can be a pretty crazy and unruly place. Ever since western expansion became a thing in the 19th Century, people have been escaping the trials and tribulations of their homes in the original states to find a better life for themselves. But what are you left with when all of the crazies find their way to places like Boise, Idaho, for example?
Well, look no further than the following story from Brad, a 15-year-old resident of "The City of Trees," who recently found himself face to face with a certain level of crazy that you won't see anywhere else than the American West.
And like the cowboy tales of yesteryear, this story involves a man, or teenager, standing his ground against a modern-day band of raiders who made the mistake of crossing through his town.
This is the story of Brad, his love of Wendy's, and the sad, pathetic family who tried to get between a boy and his Baconator.
Brad started off his story by stating that he loves Wendy's. Like really, really, really, loves Wendy's.
"If I could have one meal for the rest of my life it would be a Baconator," Brad wrote as he explained his undying love of the fast food chain pioneered by Dave Thomas and his unwillingness to use anything expect the freshest ingredients. "I haven't had Wendy's in months and I'm actually getting some this Tuesday so my life is basically pointless until then."
One day after school, Brad's mom dropped him off at Wendy's for an afternoon meal while she ran next door to go grocery shopping, Brad assumed that it would be a normal transaction - order the Baconator, pay for the monstrosity of a burger, get the burger, eat the burger - but fate, however, had different plans for our modern day teenaged cowboy.
Before Brad could even taste the savory goodness of his burger or allowed the cold soda to wet his gullet, a family made up of some of the most entitled travelers - a mother, father, son, and daughter - crossed his path.
"After waiting for a bit and sitting there my with my Dr. Pepper, I finally got my meal and sat down at a table," Brad recalled. "I started munching on a few fries and that's when it happened."
What, you ask? Remember that family mentioned a few paragraphs back?
Well, they pulled up to the Wendy's, got out of their car like a band of dusty cowboys of ill repute, and made their way into the fast food restaurant. Brad, however, didn't pay much attention to them at first as his eyes were fixed upon the dog the family left behind in their car, panting in the beating, late-afternoon sun.
When the family walked in, both children yelled out that they wanted food, with the son demanding a chicken sandwich. But the mother, who seemed like the rational one at this early stage in our story, told her son that they were only stopping to get some cold drinks and not any of those old-fashioned hamburgers Dave Thomas used to rant and rave about.
"So from what I could understand from their clothes and car, they seemed to be on some kind of road trip," Brad wrote. "They had a bunch of bags in their trunk and they looked super tired. The mother and father go up to the counter and the son and daughter wander around, looking bored."
Like some spaghetti western from the 1960s, Brad sat facing the window, looking at the dog out in the parking lot while the son the daughter from the family walked around the restaurant, like they were looking for trouble.
And were they about to find it.
When Brad waved at the dog, the two children noticed movement and walked on over to their latest victim. But things weren't going to go their way. No, not at all.
The kids were apparently perplexed by Brad's friendly behavior towards their dog, so they walked over to his table to see what it was all about. Before long, however, the children's eyes were fixated with the bag of food - Baconator, large fry, and large Dr. Pepper - and so they did what any cowboy-err, kid would do... They wanted to take it as their own.
What followed was something akin to a Mexican standoff in any number of Clint Eastwood's early roles.
"Can I have your burger," asked the boy. It sounded more like a demand than
"Uhh, sorry, but I've been waiting all day for this," Brad responded. "I actually had a really tough day."
But like the antagonists in those early Eastwood films, the boy didn't leave Brad alone, even though what happens next shows that this young shooter was about to make one grave mistake.
"But we're hungry," the boy's sister cried out. "I want your fries!"
Brad admitted that he was a little freaked out by the children at this point because his mom had yet to return and he couldn't find a clean escape. With his anxiety "starting to kick in," the children's parents came over to Brad's table.
Finally, his nightmare was over, Brad thought. Finally, the kids would shut up and he could enjoy his meal in peace.
Peace, however, was not on the menu this day...
The kids' father walked up and told the two little villains in the making that they needed to leave the "blue haired" kid alone and pick out their sodas so they could get back on the road. But almost immediately after the man's mouth closed, the son yelled out, "But we want his food."
Their mother asked the children if they asked Brad for his food and when she found out that they did and that Brad had declined their request, she walked up to young teenager and asked, "How hungry are you?"
Brad was shocked by this remark. In fact, he was more shocked by the mom's actions than he was by the children just moments earlier.
Trying to respond, Brad said, "Well, ma'am, I-"
But before he could finish his sentence and repeat the same response he gave the children, the father walked up and said, "There's no way he's that hungry."
The father then tried to grab Brad's food to give to his own children, but Brad wasn't having it and pulled back to thwart the attempt.
"What the..." the man yelled out. "My kid wants your food."
Trying to deescalate the situation, Brad told the family that his mom bought him the food and that he was starving after a long day of school.
But then the mom tried to grab the fries from Brad's bag, which only made this situation worse.
"We want it!" cried the demented son.
"Give our kids your food, you spoiled brat!!! They haven't eaten for days," yelled the mother as she made another attempt to grab the food.
Brad, however, could see through the mother's failed attempt to gain a little sympathy when he noticed boxes of food in the family's vehicle on the other side of the window.
About that time, a Wendy's employee walked up. Finally, someone who could handle this mess of a situation and bring justice back to the once tranquil lobby of Dave Thomas's signature eatery.
It was like Wendy herself stepped in to save the day when the employe stormed in and told the family to quit harassing Brad.
But the calm was soon broken up by a storm of obscenities and profanity as the family jumped back on the attack. It all started with the father yelling, "THIS BRAT STOLE OUR MEAL AND WON'T GIVE IT BACK!"
And that wasn't the worst of the onslaught. It only got worse when the mom and dad noticed an LGBTQ pin on Brad's shirt.
"THIS FAIRY PROBABLY STEALS FOOD ALL THE TIME!" the mother yelled. "HE SHOULD BE ARRESTED!"
But the all star Wendy's employee, who took on the sheriff role in our western narrative, was quick to point out that that was far from the case and that the family should watch it before they make matters worse.
"I took your family's order, you only ordered three sodas and a water cup," she quipped. "Please leave him alone or we'll have to kick you out."
And like a well rehearsed act, the kids both started crying in unison, which Brad said were either alligator tears or out of fright from their parents' barrage of verbal jabs, but he suspected that it was the former opposed to the latter.
As soon as the kids started crying, the mom yelled out, "HEY FAIRY, YOU MADE MY FREAKING KIDS CRY!! NOW WE DESERVE THAT FOOD!"
The father doubled down on this and started to threaten Brad when he said, "GIVE IT OR I'LL FREAKING BEAT YOU!"
With threats of violence - both verbal and now physical - Brad couldn't take much more of the transient family who brought his day to a state of indescribable panic. A panic he had never felt before. But the fear and anxiety of the situation would be short-lived as another Wendy's employee jumped out of the back of the kitchen, grabbed the family, and forcibly removed them from the restaurant as they screamed and swore their way to the parking lot.
And that wasn't the end of it. Brad was also able to take great pleasure in the fact that the family didn't even get their cold drinks they had paid for before all of this started.
After the family was shunned from the Wendy's and forced to leave town, Brad's mom returned to take her son home, Baconator and all.
And with that, our modern day western comes to its end. It was a traumatic experience for the young Brad, who thought his day would be like any other when he walked into that Wendy's in Boise, Idaho, just wanting to get another Baconator, order of fries, and cold drink. He had no idea that his day would soon turn from nondescript to anything but in only a matter of a few minutes.
It seems like the days of cowboys aren't behind us, especially for those of us who ever have the displeasure of crossing paths with the roving bands of mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters whose only goal in life is to chastise, rob, and abuse unassuming teenagers in a Wendy's lobby.