The Glaurie Ride: A Trip to McDonalds with Patton

By Charlie Ascher

Loyal fans, I write to you from Jersey Mike’s sub shop in the beautiful Newark International Airport to report that something ‘glaurieous’ emerged from the pit of despair that was exam week. Like a phoenix, the car column rises out of the darkness of exams and into the glaurie of the light. If you haven’t picked up on the hints as subtle as an Atwater pickup line, the non-award-winning car column, Broke College Students in Cars Getting McDonalds, is making its one article return featuring one of Middlebury’s newest faculty members, President Laurie Patton.  The Glaurie Ride happened, and it was glaurieous (ok, I promise I’ll stop now).

I grew bold after successfully taking President Liebowitz to the greasy temple of McDonalds last year to complete his farewell tour. After spending the entire summer calculating the conversion of the Liebowitz-o-Meter car rating system to the Patton-o-Meter, I wasn’t about to just not test out the new metric. In case you were wondering, the conversion is precisely two Pattons to every Liebowitz, so that the Patton meter is a rating out of ten.

The Car: 2014 Dark Blue Subaru Outback
Car Name: Renée
The Owner: Middlebury College (Renée’s actually a college car)

Styling: She wore a long denim skirt and a cardigan, totally outclassing us slovenly students. In terms of the car …  The closest thing to camouflage that you can drive on a Vermont road, the Outback is ubiquitous. Only a “peace,” “eat more kale,” or “coexist” sticker on the back would make it look more Vermont. Compared to the previous generation, which looked like a slightly overweight and confused angry frog, the newest model slims down and focuses up, now looking exactly like an angry frog.
Patton-o-Meter: 8/10 Lauries.

Interior: Comfortable. Spacious. Practical. These are all words that describe the interior of the Subaru Outback. The Bosnian Back Seat Tester (BBST) had to be replaced for this drive as he had failed his duty and gone abroad to Uruguay. Luckily, after much searching, I found a replacement. Laura Harris, arguably Laurie Patton’s biggest fan, filled in as the Vermont Back Seat Tester (VBST). The VBST enjoyed vast amounts of space while having a spiritual moment in the back seat. I’m pretty sure Laura was speaking in tongues for a couple hours after the drive.
Patton-o-Meter: 8/10 Lauries.

Handling and Performance: I did not have the clearance to drive President Patton, so she drove us. Patton has already gotten the hang of whipping around Middlebury like a pro. One thing: she didn’t fully stop at the stop sign by the biomass plant. Better watch out for pub safe, Patton; they gave me a $50 ticket for doing that!
Patton-o-Meter: 7/10 Lauries.

Drive-through-ability: The Subaru wants to be a mass market American car: of course this thing kills the drive through! It’s got huge cup-holders and armrests to fit all of your greasy dreams. The window is at close to ideal drive-through height.
Patton-o-Meter: 10/10 Lauries.

The Drive: A truly transformative and yet intimidating experience. I would highly recommend going to McDonalds with President Patton to anyone. In case you’re wondering, she goes to McDonalds to “be alone,” so it might be tough to interrupt her deep-fried me time. On our drive we talked about fries, the origins of sexual, racial and religious violence, and China. I made the mistake of telling President Patton that my history thesis was about Bangladesh, which she has studied extensively … whoops. Needless to say, she knew far more about my topic than I did.

In terms of our order, we went for two cups of water (because we’re healthy and sustainable Middlebury students), a small and medium fry and an iced tea. President Patton pulled a wildcard and ordered a broccoli soup, becoming the first person to order soup from the Middlebury McDonalds ever. I didn’t even know McDonalds had soup. President Patton is probably the smartest person I’ve had an extended conversation with. Now that she’s driven to McDs with some random students, she is officially a part of the Middlebury community. Congratulations, President Patton, you’re going to make a great president.
Patton-o-Meter: 10/10 Lauries.

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