Seal Beach friends find a little fun during trying times

Pictured above, Penny Nichols asks a couple in the drive-thru lane if they would order sundaes for them. Photo by Nancy Ramos

Sundaes are sweet.

Kindness might be sweeter.

You be the judge.

Penny Nichols, a local real estate salesperson, wanted a hot fudge sundae. Nichols said she was sick of the pandemic and lootings and wanted to get a sundae at the local McDonald’s.

Nichols called ahead, something she never expected would be necessary, and was informed the restaurant would not serve walk-in customers.

OK, so she’d buy a sundae at the drive-thru window.

But she didn’t have a car.

Nichols discovered that the restaurant chain would not serve a pedestrian in the drive-through lane. (According to, “Generally speaking, for safety reasons we cannot serve pedestrians and vehicles at the same outdoor service point. Vehicles need to pull up close to drive-thru service points to complete their orders and there are no pavements or safe areas for pedestrians to stand at these same points.”)

Undaunted, she dressed up in a cardboard “vehicle” and went to the drive-thru window. She was accompanied by two friends, as they were looking to have some fun. The employee at the window still declined to serve Nichols.

The outing was looking to become a disappointment, but a car drove up occupied by a couple and their child. They, too, were at McDonald’s to buy food.

Nichols and her friends asked the couple in the car to order the ice cream for them, explaining the failed attempt to get service with the cardboard car. They agreed.

Nichols reached for her wallet, but the couple insisted on paying for the treat.

Nichols didn’t get the name of the couple in the car, but was grateful for their kindness in paying it forward and for the friendly interaction during these trying times.