McDonald's and Fox's Diner
Student Sample: Comparison/Contrast, Divided Pattern
McDonald's and Fox's Diner are two of the restaurants in Lake City, Tennessee. But even though they both sell hamburgers in the same town, they don't have anything else in common. They cater to different types of customers, there is a noticeable difference in service speed, and every facet of doing business is handled differently. Even the atmosphere of these two places is in contrast.
These two restaurants do not compete for the same customers. McDonald's is located just off the interstate, so many of their patrons are not local residents. Another reason is that they are universally known. Fox's is ...view middle of the document...
The diner itself is a doublewide trailer set high on a five foot, cinderblock foundation. An aluminum awning extends outward about six feet along the front of the building. Underneath the awning, yellow fluorescent lights, which theoretically do not attract bugs, glow at night. They are mounted over a row of metal framed, screened-in windows. To reduce heating and air-conditioning costs, as well as keep the interior floor clean, an entrance was built about fourteen years ago outside the original entrance. Concrete steps covered with brown patio turf lead to the front door. Walking inside is like traveling back in time twenty years.
Trans Ams, Lucky Strikes, and eight-track tape players are some of the things that come to mind when walking in. The white tile floor is always clean; however, it has yellowed with age and feels rough under your shoes because it has never been waxed. A counter runs half the length of the diner. Even though the stools that sit in front of it aren't permanently attached to the floor, they still sit in the same places they were in thirty-five years ago. So over the years, the counter has been worn smooth by countless elbows. Four booths are at one end of the diner. The benches are covered in green and brown plastic, and they surround yellow formica tables. A jukebox also sits there, usually playing an old song by George Jones or Willie Nelson. A blue haze of smoke hangs around the lights.
A room has been added to the far end of the diner. It holds a cigarette machine and an old Donkey Kong Junior video game that hasn't been played in so long that the words "game over" are permanently etched into the picture tube. There are also two pinball machines that see slightly more use than the video game. Four machines labeled "for entertainment only" are where the money is made. They are video poker machines, and they draw truck drivers, housewives, and anyone else easily addicted to gambling the same way an Indian reservation casino does. People come in with rolls of quarters and grab a stool. They get that dull look in their eyes. Some smoke like a freight train while others light up and the cigarette never touches their lips again. It just rests between their fingers and burns down to the filter. The winners don't get excited. They just walk to the register and collect their money. But they are few and far between.
The same people have worked here since before I was born. A lady named Millie runs the place. She has a poodle name Midnight. Originally, Midnight was black. But at almost twenty years old, he's as white as a snow drift. Even when he was young, he could be found curled up behind the candy-bar counter. Maybe that is the key to his longevity. Once a year, Millie goes to the beach for a week's vacation. This year she went to Myrtle Beach while it rained. Last year, a motel in Daytona put a five-dollar charge on all the long distance credit calls she made. Her vacations are a big topic of conversation.