Archive for category In The News

Happy Birthday Chuck Norris

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010

chuck norrisCarlos Ray “Chuck” Norris was born March 10, 1940. An American martial artist and actor, he served in the United States Air Force and has founded Chun Kuk Do martial arts. The roundhouse kick is Chuck Norris’ trademark move and was a six-time undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate Champion.

Chuck Norris has appeared in a number of action films, one of his more famous ones is Way of the Dragon, also starring Bruce Lee and the Missing in Action and Delta Force series. He also played the starring role in Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 to 2001 on television. As a result of his “tough guy” image, Chuck Norris facts began in 2005, an Internet phenomenon referencing various implausible feats of strength to Norris.

In celebration of his birthday, I’d like to share some of my favorite Chuck Norris facts:

“Chuck Norris did not turn 70 today, 70 turned Chuck Norris.”

“Thousands of years ago Chuck Norris came across a grizzly bear. The bear became so terrified that it fled north into the arctic and all of its descendants now have white hair.”

“Contrary to Al Gore’s findings, there is no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was simply cold, so he turned the sun up.”

“When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.”

“Paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper, but Chuck Norris beats all 3 at the same time.”

“Chuck Norris keeps his friends close and his enemies closer. Close enough to drop them with one round house kick to the face.”

Happy 70th Birthday Chuck!

Related Posts:
Join Chuck Norris and NRA in Defending the Second Amendment

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RIP Corey Ian Haim dead at 38

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 10 March, 2010

Corey HaimCanadian actor, Corey Haim was pronounced dead at 2:15 AM on March 10, 2010. Hopefully I’m not breaking this news to you for the first time, like I did to my wife a few hours after it happened. She thought I was kidding.

Best known for his 1980s Hollywood career as a teen idol, Corey appeared in a number of films such as Lucas, Murphy’s Romance, The Lost Boys, License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream.

By far, my favorite Corey Haim movie was The Lost Boys (and Lost Boys: The Tribe, even though he only cameo’d during the credits in the sequel).

In The Lost Boys, Haim played Sam Emerson, whose family recently moved to Santa Carla, California, a coastal town plagued by gang activity and unexplained disappearances. Which ends up being vampires.

During the course of the movie, Sam meets The Frog brothers, Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan, who are self-proclaimed vampire hunters. They give Sam a vampire comic book to instruct him on how to defend against and kill vampires. Eventually Sam believes the brothers, and the rest of the movie continues with the guys trying to kill off the vampire gang and save the Emersons. We probably all know how it ends.

For the most part, I think more people would know how to handle a vampire or zombie attack, rather than defending themselves against a human assailant.

Sure some of the tactics differ depending on the actual vampire movie, but the traditional standbys are pretty well known and accepted. For sake of argument, lets just use crosses, holy water, garlic, wooden stakes and sunlight.

I would wager a bet that just about anybody could have come up with this standard list, and would know how to use each item on a traditional Hollywood vampire. Let’s face it, even if you don’t like vampire horror movies, you have seen or heard enough about them to know this without thinking very hard.

Zombie self defense in traditional horror movies is slightly more involved, but I’d also bet that once you heard the methods, it is something you would remember. Killing a make believe zombie is memorable because it is unusual and uncommon. Seeing a zombie movie and learning the techniques is one of those “I’ll never actually need to use this, but for some reason this is burned into my mind because it is interesting.”

Think of all the other stupid meaningless trivia stored in your bin of useless knowledge. You will never forget why the chicken crossed the road. You will always remember what came first, the chicken or the egg. Ok, well maybe not that one.

But what about some simple tips about defending yourself or loved ones from a human being with criminal intent? Rapist, murderer, run of the mill thug wishing to do you harm?

To be honest, even if you can recall Tips 1-8 out of the list of top 10 self defense tactics, you may not be in any better shape than if you splashed the thug with holy water or crushed garlic (although garlic juice to the eye wouldn’t be pleasant.)

Not even the Hollywood vampires will follow a standard script, just like certain vampires in certain movies will act differently when exposed to certain tactics. Just ask Corey and the Frog brothers.

Self defense is much more than memorizing a set list of moves. You need to train your mind and body to enter a dynamic state of awareness and a dynamic course of action. No two attacks or scenarios will ever be the same.

Without getting into a ton of details in this post (more to follow), truly your best line of self defense is recognizing a potential threat well in advance, and avoiding the situation altogether, before it even happens. When possible.

In the cases when this is not possible, and a situation wasn’t noticed until the last minute, or no forewarning was given, you need to employ a dynamic course of action.

Dynamic means ever changing, depending on any new environmental variable that is introduced. Go with the flow, but know who, what, where, when and how. This is not following a set script. This is having a well defined bag of tricks, if you will. Depending on what happens, you need to be able to employ a custom solution, and if some variable changed mid stream, you need to be able to quickly adapt to that change, and dynamically change to a new appropriate course of action.

Think of something you are really good at, such as your job or even your favorite hobby. How many times at work do you effortlessly “put out fires”? Big or small, things of all sorts go wrong or unexpectedly at work, and with out batting an eye, or with only minimal effort, you solve the problem and carry on with your day. These actions are normal occurrences, or things that you have trained to handle over and over again. Or you have enough working knowledge and experience that you can dynamically adapt to any given situation and take care of it.

Let’s categorize three types of home handyman. The professional, the handy-around-the-house husband, and the totally clueless.

The totally clueless person may call a professional electrician to come change a burnt out light bulb. The handy-around-the-house husband may be handy enough to install a ceiling fan in place of a ceiling light fixture. The professional electrician would be able to convert a fuse box to a circuit breaker box and rewire the home if necessary. Of course there are also several other in-betweens. It all depends on how comfortable that person is with what needs to be done, and how dynamic the actions of the person are if something else happens.

What happens if the husband successfully installs the ceiling fan, and then 1/2 the house’s power goes out? Can he fix it or does he call the electrician? Break out the Time-Life Home Improvement book and see what happens.

On the street, you can’t break out a manual, and calling a professional is not always practical. Hopefully you have enough self defense know how to get by. Depending on the situation, you may need to come out swinging. You might need to play along and wait for an opening to attack or flee. You may be able to just hand over your wallet and end it.

But you have to have the bag of tricks down and be ready to adapt to the situation, without going all deer in the headlights. You don’t necessarily need to be a 10th degree Grand Master martial artist either. Have a plan, have some options, be handy-around-the-street. Practice in your head, practice in person.

I’ll follow up over the next few weeks with some ways to turn some traditional self defense tips into a dynamic self defense mindset. It’s not that hard, doesn’t require taking a lifetime of devotion to gain martial arts mastery, but it can help you think like a professional martial artist and take charge of your personal protection.corey haim

Self Defense – Defending one’s Self. – Go with the flow, adapt, overcome.

Be Safe, Be Prepared. Rest In Peace Corey.

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Freddy Krueger robs convenience store with machete?

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 9 March, 2010

Is nothing sacred?

Apparently a 280-pound man robbed a convenience store in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn Sunday night, dressed in a Freddy Krueger mask and armed with a machete and a bowie knife.

Even the clerk was puzzled. The Foodies Food Store clerk actually said, ” ‘You’re joking, right?’ and Krueger says, ‘No, I’m serious,’ ” reported the police.

The clerk was able to look through the eye holes to determine the robber was a white male, probably between 37 and 43 years old, standing approximately 5’10″.

To further go against Krueger’s “Nightmare on Elm Street” trademark wardrobe, the man was wearing a blue hoodie sweatshirt and khaki pants, not a striped sweater.

He made off with an undisclosed amount of money from the register and fled on foot.

So for the sake of arguement, lets get the facts straight:

Freddy Kreuger: red and dark green striped sweater, brown fedora
Signature weapon: metal-clawed brown leather glove

Jason Voorhees: hockey mask
Signature weapon: machete

Not a hockey mask with finger knives, not a Freddy mask with a machete.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Get your Horror Movie Facts straight.

Other Posts of Interest:
Two teen girls arrested in accidental pepper spray discharge
Serial Killers, Self Defense and Halloween

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Kim Kardashian’s Air Marshall Buddy

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 17 February, 2010

I spent 6 years in the military, and the media always bothered me. I wasn’t personally involved in any major military conflicts, but there were several instances when watching the news and I was like “WTF are they doing”?

You get Joe Reporter from CNN, on assignment in Iraq/Afghanistan/insert your favorite military hot spot, standing with the camera rolling, reporting live on what the next moves the US military is going to make. Sure, all of us in the US watching have no idea exactly where they are, but I bet all of those native to that country can easily recognize the landmarks and buildings in the background. Unless the news channel also displays the exact location in text under the reporter’s name.

Nothing like letting the enemy know what is going on right before it happens in the name of journalism.

Trust me, I don’t need to know before it happens. I’d rather have them successfully complete the mission, then you can report on it afterward, without jeopardizing soldier’s lives. Come on now.

This next Kim Kardashian story is probably nothing. I am betting the supposed Air Marshall that was on the plane sitting next to her was probably some loser trying to impress Kim Kardashian. “Hi Kim, Did you know I am an Air Marshall? *wink*wink*

So if you were Kim Kardashian, what would you do? Politely smile and ignore this obvious attempt to flirt with you? Or would you whip out your cell phone and Tweet this information on Twitter?

“I’m on the airplane…love wifi! I am sitting next to an Air Marshall! Jim the air marshall makes me feel safe!” tweets Kimmy to her 3 million some odd followers.

So after her followers started to berate her lapse of good judgment on outing what she thought was an undercover airline official, and possibly endangering the flight, she started to justify herself with a series of tweets, one saying she is probably the only (idiot) tweeting on the flight so no one will know.

I doubt the 10-second rule would have done Kim Kardashian any good. You know, where you wait 10 seconds before opening your mouth (or tweeting) something dumb? I’m betting it still would not have occurred to her to maybe refrain from spilling that tidbit of info.

You have to imagine that this so-called air marshall was not truly an air marshall, so no one was actually in danger on this LA to NY flight. I mean what else do you say to try to impress someone on a flight? A real air marshall should be able to maintain his composure and think up a better pick up line. “Um, nice shoes Kim, wanna…?”

Be Safe, Be Prepared, If you want to keep a secret, don’t tell the media or Kim Kardashian.

Related Posts:
Keeping up with Kardashian Self Defense
Vanessa Hudgens, TASER self-defense advocate?

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Observe and Report in Seattle Bus Station

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

If you like Seth Rogen movies and haven’t seen “Observe and Report”, it’s pretty good. Much better than “Paul Blart, Mall Cop” in my opinion. Both movies poke fun at the rent-a-cop stereotype.

However, the following rent-a-cop story from Seattle is no laughing matter.

Surveillance video captured a brutal assault on a 15-year-old girl by a group of 10 teenagers in an underground Seattle Metro bus tunnel. Apparently the altercation started street level, and eventually made it’s way into the Westlake Station.

The victim was being harassed by the group of 8 guys and 2 girls in a department store, and they followed her into the bus station where the verbal assault turned viciously physical.

The victim is pushed off of the platform, into the bus lanes, and then gets mercilessly beat down, at least 10 punches to the face and head, kicked and stomped in the head a 1/2 dozen times, and then as the victim lies motionless on the ground, she gets stomped in the head again for good measure.

When they were finished, the gang of hoodlums took off with the girls purse, cell phone and iPod.

How can such a travesty occur at 7PM at night? Weren’t there any bystanders that could have come to her aid? Weren’t there any security guards on duty?

Of course there was. A bus full of people watched the events unfold from the safety of the bus. Worse yet, at least three contract security guards, in uniform (bright yellow jackets, big bold SECURITY written across the back) stood by and Observed, and called in a Report by radio, but offered no form of assistance what-so-ever.

“All of the passengers, we were all up against the side looking, like, who is going to do something? Do something, do something!” said a witness that was sitting in the parked bus next to the attack. “Why on earth are there three security guards standing there watching it? And actually allowing her to come back and kick her in the head again!”

Even when the beating is over, and the guards could safely do something, you see on the video that none of the guard even bend down to check on the girl to see if she is breathing or needs any help.

“Really? You’ve got three male security guards and there’s a young girl getting kicked in the head, lying on the ground, motionless? And they couldn’t do anything? Doesn’t seem like security,” says the witness.

The guards from Olympic Security Services are not trained police officers or even Metro Transit employees. Apparently this is quite the cushy job, just hang around in the tunnel and talk on the radio. Not like they have to secure anything.

“If you’re not there to help out in these circumstances, then why are you there?” says the witness. Good question.

According to their outdated contract, the guards are under “observe and report” orders and are not supposed to get involved.

“You look at what’s happening to the victim and you say something got to be changed, that’s just not going to be acceptable. We’ve had that ‘observe and report’ for years in our contract and this incident clearly shows that we need to change that.” says Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond.

The opinion of most of the people who’ve seen the surveillance video commented that common decency should have prevailed in this incident, not contractual language.

Authorities were able to track down a number of the assailants and make a couple of arrests. They also report that the girl will be OK.

So what can we do differently here?

First off, if the $10 an hour rent-a-cop security detail isn’t getting trained or paid enough to actually do a damned thing, get them the hell out of there. Use the combined saved salary and stick a real cop or two in there.

Or you can train the security guard to do his job, pay him a real wage and give him some pepper spray, telescopic steel baton and a TASER device. I still can’t believe they just stood there, trained or not.

What ever happened to people like that good Samaritan in San Diego? How can a bus full of people just sit there with their faces pressed up against the windows watching?

How old is old enough to carry self-defense items?

It wouldn’t be the best idea to further arm the teenage hoodlums that attacked the 15-year-old girl. But what about the victim? Well, it would depend on the individual. If you feel your child is mature enough to handle carrying a key chain pepper spray, you never know when it would come in handy. Typically personal alarms are suggested for younger teens, but in this case, I doubt an alarm would have drawn any additional attention.

By definition, self-defense, means just that. The art of defending yourself. Obviously you can’t always rely on others to come to your aid, even in a crowded bus station, with security guards standing around eating doughnuts.

When seconds count, the real cops are minutes way at best.

Be Safe, Be Prepared to Defend Yourself.

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Tonya Harding’s Latest Whack at Nancy Kerrigan

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

It appears Tonya Harding is trying to steal the spotlight from Nancy Kerrigan again. Not that Nancy was trying to garner any media attention this time…

I’ve never really been a fan of Tonya Harding. But now she is trying to offer her condolences to her former ice skating rival whose father just passed away. It just reeks of a media publicity stunt.

The statement from a Tonya Harding representative: “Tonya feels very sad for Nancy and her family and extends her deepest sympathy and condolences to them. Tonya’s beloved dad, Al Harding, passed away this April, so she understands the grief Nancy and her family are feeling at this time.”

Seriously, she still has a rep? To me, her statement sounds more like “Nancy Kerrigan’s dad just died and it is all over the news? Hey, MY dad died last April and it was hardly covered by the media… What about ME? Who is sorry for ME?”

We all feel sorry for you Tonya, trust me…

The notorious feud between Hardin and Kerrigan climaxed in 1994 when a hit man, allegedly hired by Harding’s ex-husband, took a lead pipe similar to a telescopic steel baton to Kerrigan’s knee before a U.S. championship. “Why, Why??”

Of course Harding denied involvement in the plot and expressed disgust towards the attack. Which didn’t help her mediocre career anyways, she was always in the shadow of the stellar Kerrigan. So again, Kerrigan is in the news and Harding is trying to grab some of the spotlight she doesn’t deserve off of Nancy’s coat tails…

So she’s “reaching out” to her former arch-rival to express her deepest sympathy after the tragic death Daniel Kerrigan? I’m not buying it.

Nancy’s brother, Mark Kerrigan, allegedly assaulted his 70-year-old father moments before he died at the family’s home in Massachusetts.

Mark Kerrigan, 45, was arrested and has since pleaded not guilty to the assault.

At least this time Tonya’s publicity stunt didn’t involve a 3rd party with a weapon.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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FIFA 2009 Soccer Video Game Rage

Posted by Rob on Monday, 25 January, 2010

This story comes out of Rome, Italy and its a doozy.

“Mario is obsessed. He’s forever playing on his PlayStation, and we bought him FIFA 2009 because we didn’t want him playing violent games,” says the mother of a 16-year-old, who bought the soccer game for her son a few days earlier for his birthday.

No Grand Theft Auto, no Assassin’s Creed II, no Modern Warfare… how about a sports game? the next best thing that actually going outside and getting some exercise.

I suppose FIFA Soccer 2009 makes sense, unless the game lets you headbutt other players like what happened to Italian defender Marco Materazzi. Remember him? He was the guy Zinedine Zidane headbutted in the 2006 World Cup finals. That was a tad violent.

So apparently Mario’s soccer tactics were not up to his father’s standards. The father-son argument broke out when the dad offered some tips to improve the son’s game play. Well, Mario wasn’t having it so the father flipped off the TV is response to what must have been some inappropriate behavior and backtalk.

Now even more angry, first his dad talks smack about his l33t skillz, then dad has the nerve to punish him by turning off the TV… Mario storms into the kitchen. Too cool off you might wonder?

Not quite. Mario grabs a 15-inch kitchen knife and goes Assassin Creed on his father, stabbing him in the neck and throat. Mario then returned to the kitchen, weapon in hand and proceeds to wash off the knife in the sink, and places it in the drainboard. While his mother watched her son clean up, she was unaware how the knife got dirty until her husband staggered into the kitchen, holding his neck.

“I saw Mario come back into the room, he seemed calm, he went to the sink and I noticed him washing a knife,” the mother reported to the local newspaper. “Then my husband came into the room with a hand round his neck, dripping blood.”

The 16-year-old then shut himself in his bedroom. Police reported he did not resist arrest when they arrived on the scene. The father is recovering in the hospital.

So much for calming the boy with a national pastime sports game. I’m betting the Sony PlayStation is about find its way to the garbage bin. Perhaps Mario needs to read a good old-fashioned paperback book.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Boston Defenders 1, Colorado Burglars 0

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 7 January, 2010

I love stories like the first one here.

Earlier this week a knife-wielding thug attempted to steal the purse of a South Boston woman just before noon at the intersection of Dorchester and Telegraph Street.

“Give me your purse,” the suspect said.

How about some pepper spray instead? The woman whipped out a canister of OC pepper spray and lets the thug have it in the face.

He dropped his knife and took off purse-less, but the woman was able to ID the guy and he now has a warrant out for arrest.

This next story, I’m not quite sure what to think.

So, this loser in Colorado breaks into the home of his buddy’s ex-wife…

Unfortunately for the suspect, the woman was in the house baby-sitting the burglar’s children. Even with the bandana on his face, the kids recognize dear old dad… Talk about awkward!

Local Authorities arrested him on suspicion of second-degree burglary and other charges. Suspicion of? Are you kidding, his children caught him.

Kinda like those old Scooby Doo episodes when the bad guy gets foiled and says “I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those dang meddling kids…”

Not that we are keeping track, but score 1 for the pepper spray savvy woman is Boston, 0 for the scumbag burglar in Colorado.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Latest Fast-Food Fad: Hamburger Rage?

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 6 January, 2010

As if calling in an emergency 911 for running out fast food, or punching out the drive-through window for McNuggets wasn’t bad enough, now we have an episode of Hamburger Rage. Again at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Apparently this time, a customer not lovin’ the preparation of her sandwich demanded a refund.

Now this part still confuses me. In these past couple McDonald’s Rage incidents, the upset customer requested a refund and was refused. Since when can you not get a refund at a fast food restaurant? Isn’t the customer always right? Satisfaction Guaranteed? I mean it is a $3 burger, give or take.

I suppose if the customer already wolfs down the meal and then demands the cash back, that’s not cool. But if you order McNuggets, pay for them, then are told they don’t have any, I think you should get your money back.

This woman in Missouri who was captured on surveillance video appears to have enjoyed quite a few burgers in her life… The incident in particular on December 27, 2009, shows her demanding a refund for the subpar sandwich, then turning to a fit of Hamburger Rage after being denied her couple of bucks back. Employees did at least offer her a new burger.

Caught on tape, she tosses a bucket of water over the counter at the employee, a basket of straws, some cookies, a wet floor sign, pushed off a display case and a couple cash registers… Luckily there wasn’t many other objects within her reach.

Besides the surveillance tape, there were several other customers witnessing this fiasco, kids included. What a message this woman sends to today’s youth.

Unfortunately this woman calmed down enough to vacate the premises before the police showed up to haul her away. Authorities are asking anyone who recognizes her picture from the video to call in.

I’m sure they will find her; you know another fast food employee at any of the other several local joints she probably frequents will soon get a sighting.

Several, several years ago I had a stint working as a manager in a competing fast food establishment. I was “in-training” behind the counter with the training manager a few steps behind me.

An irate customer comes up to the counter and tosses a burger across the counter in my direction, stopping just before falling off on my side. Then the customer just stands there, like I know what the problem is already.

Having a good night so far and knowing the training manager is well within earshot, I politely ask the guy “How can I help you?”

The customer’s response was “There are freaking tomatoes in here!”

Looking down at the half-eaten item, I recognize this sandwich in particular is supposed to have tomatoes on it, so I politely reply “There are usually tomatoes on that, would you like another one without?”

Getting more upset, probably in part to my politeness, he responds “I already asked for no tomatoes and got this crap, now I just want my money back!”

In retrospect learning from the recent few McDonald’s episodes, I suppose I should have refused to refund him, to see if he would have spun into Hamburger Rage. Unfortunately back then, my response was “Hey, no problem.”

As I slid over to the register to retrieve his $3, he quipped in “Don’t those idiots back there know how to make a freaking hamburger correctly?”

I just kind of ignored it, knowing the 16 year-old punks in the kitchen probably could care less about what the ticket said anyways. I started to hand back his cash, but at this point the training manager stepped in. She grabbed an employee application and slid it in his direction across the counter and said “Here you go!” before I could hand him his money.

Now puzzled, the customer replied “What is this for?”

She told him “Since you seem to think you’d be able to do a better job, we’d love to have you aboard. Should we start you in the kitchen or straight to management?”

He just looked down, took his money and quietly left as she stood there smiling.

I worked there for another 6 months or so, waiting for the proper opportunity to “hand out an application”, but it never presented itself.

I wonder if it would have worked on the Burger Rage woman in Missouri last month?

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Order More Chicken McNuggets

Posted by Rob on Monday, 4 January, 2010

Note to McDonald’s Managers everywhere: Order more chicken McNuggets and stop running out of stock. Seriously, just order a few more cases to have on hand in the freezer. You know you have the room. This will prevent the growing problem of McNugget Rage from occurring at your restaurant.

The most recent account of McNugget Rage was Toledo, Ohio just this past week. According to the local police, a female customer in the drive-through became “upset that chicken nuggets weren’t available” and consequently “punched out the drive-through window,” after being told her order was not able to be filled.

The woman was treated in the hospital for injuries sustained in the fast-food altercation and the drive-through window will now have to be replaced.

She pleaded not guilty to the felony vandalism charge and was ordered not to have any contact with the restaurant. Not that she would anyways, they ran out of McNuggets! This is unacceptable!

Perhaps the McDonald’s down the road is sufficiently stocked with the delicious poultry morsels. Perhaps the chicken tenders at Burger King would be a suitable replacement. Losing loyal chicken nugget customers is bad for business.

This type of gross negligence will not be tolerated. Next week while preparing your food order, you are expected to comply with this request and increase your projected numbers for McNugget consumption and in turn, increase your McNugget order.

McNugget Rage is no joke and can easily be prevented with proper planning.

You are all lucky this woman did not call 911 to report this incident like last March in Florida. Remember, a full customer is a happy customer.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Prevent McNugget Rage.

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