We'll make it up to you

In Arkansas, there's a company that enjoys special treatment at the hands of county government. No, not Wal-Mart. It's an auto-repair service, Four Wheel Drive Specialists on Route 126 in Gassville, and its driveway is about to be given a new layer of gravel that other businesses won't be getting. The gravel is a gift of the Baxter County Office of Emergency Management. Must be politically connected, right? Uh-uh. One day last week, sheriff's deputies escorted a sanitation truck whose reeking garbage had caught fire to the nearest spot where it could be dumped safely. That turned out to be ... Four Wheel Drive Specialists. Making the mess worse, firefighters then doused the blaze with foam before it was scooped up and carted away.

Now that's a big Mac! The chain's roomiest outlets

After 50 years in business, McDonald's has built a fast-food empire of almost unimaginable proportions. The world's leading foodservice retailer has more than 300,000 outlets in 119 countries on five continents. Some, to borrow a company slogan, truly are supersized. The locations of the largest McDonald's outlets, with size (in square feet), as supplied by the company's headquarters:

1. Smithsonian Institution (Air and Space Museum) Washington, D.C. 36,747
2. Vinata, Okla. (Will Rogers Turnpike) 29,135
3. Buenos Aires (Avenida Florida ) 24,843
4. 50th Anniversary Restaurant, Chicago (600 North Clark St.) 24,068
5. Pushkin Square, Moscow 23,681
6. Naucalpan, Mexico 18,729
7. Times Square, New York 17,000
8. Polanco, Mexico (Blvd. Avila Camacho) 14,327
9. Columbus, Ohio (Easton Mall) 11,500
10. Champs-Elysees, Paris 9,957

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