Ophelia smiles confidently. She has overcome her fear of fan club meetings and is quite proud of her self. Considering what happened at the last meeting, she has a right to be. Not only that, but she has discovered the perfect place for the meeting; McDonald's.
Why McDonald's? Because of the instant popularity it will grant her. She has thought this over for months;by offering a free meal to each of her supporters she will become the best loved blogger on the world wide web, a must for her self-confidence.
Elsewhere, the CEO of McDonald's sits at his desk, frowning darkly. The stocks of McDonald's corporation have gone down, way down. The CEO is unsure what is causing the drop. At this rate, by 2017, McDonald's will go out of business unless something amazing happens. He decides to fly his private jet down to a nearby location to see if he can discover the problem.
Back to Ophelia, who is at her local McDonald's giving a speech to her fans: "Welcome to the third meeting of The Reluctant Dragon Fan Club!" Ophelia begins tremulously. "I'm fairly certain you all know my name. It's nice to um, er, be able to see the faces of the people who support my blog. To show all of you just how much I appreciate the support of my gentle readers, I am going to treat every one of you to a free meal! So, uh, order up!"
A cheer rises from the fans crowding into McDonald's. They clap, but then start shoving each other for a place in line. For a few minutes, McDonald's rings with shouts as people wrestle for spots in line to get their free meals. The manager begins to panic, shouting, "Order! Order!" Ophelia begins to be frantic also, afraid that this third meeting will turn out like the last one. Just then, to add to the pandemonium, the CEO chooses exactly that opportune moment to show up. "Manager!" he begins, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself. It is unqualified people like you who are ruining the reputation of McDonald's corporation. I'm going to see that you are repla-"
But before he can finish his sentence, the CEO is swept away by a wave of hungry Reluctant Dragon fans. Desperate to save himself from being trampled, the CEO grabs onto a post and shimmies up to a safe height.
Ah! Relief!A donut-munching, coffee-slurping policeman barges in to save the day, takes one look at the chaos and grabs the manager by the scruff of the neck. "What kindaofa business are you trying run here! Lookatthe mess you made for me to clean up!"he growls, "Everybody line up! You, stop! CUTTHATOUT!"
With a surprising speed, the policeman has everyone in place. Ophelia frowns, realizing that the line wraps around the inside of the building, and several people are standing just out the door. "There are a lot of people here, and this is going to take a toll on my pocketbook. Well, at least that's everybody."
The CEO, finally sliding down from his perch at the top of the post has noticed the large amount of people, and suddenly hits upon a brilliant market strategy to rescue McDonald's. He knows that if people receive a free meal, chances are that they will become addicted to McDonald's greasy, "delicious" food, and thus, become consistent customers. In the past, attempting this particular strategy has caused companies to go bankrupt if they lose too much money on the free meal, but the CEO plans on taking advantage of poor unsuspecting Ophelia, and her money. He quickly exits the building to spread the word to passersby that "for a limited time only, McDonald's is offering people a first free meal!"
For the next twenty minutes, Ophelia chats with her readers, signing autographs and enjoying herself. Then, looking up, she notices something very peculiar; the line has not gotten smaller, even though most of the fans have already been served. Now, the line wraps two times around the McDonald's building. Ophelia racks her brain to think where they could be coming from. She realizes that word must have gotten out that there were free meals at McDonald's! For a few moments, she stands, dumbfounded, but then she tries to spring into action, attempting to shove her way towards the front of the line to stop the purchases made on her account. But her fans stop her! They shove pieces of paper at her, crying, "I want your autograph!"
Ophelia's dream has come true; she is the most popular blogger ever, yet that dream no longer matters, she must get to that cashier! For the next half hour she persists in struggling, swimming upstream in the current of people. Then, finally, she makes it! Ophelia pants wearily to the cashier, "Don't give anybody anymore free food. I'll pay my tab now."
"Yes ma'am. Your total is $12,459.72. Thank you for shopping at McDonald's Have a nice day," The clerk rants in a monotone.
Ophelia gasps. "$12,459? No, that can't be true!"
"It isn't true, ma'am. You owe McDonald's $12,459.72."
Ophelia slumps down and lays her head on the counter. "Put... put, put it on my tab. Here's $459 right here." Slowly she walks out of the store, the noise and crowd seeming far away. "$12, 459.72. $12,459.72." She mutters over and over again. An employee announces on a megaphone, "McDonald's is now no longer giving away free food. Thank you for eating at McDonald's."
To settle her enormous debt to McDonald's, Ophelia drops out of high school and gets a job at the local McDonald's as a lowly fry cook. McDonald's stocks go up in value and the CEO lives happily ever after.
To be continued...