One of my many pet peeves (I’m a lover and breeder of pet peeves; I have no pets but peeves) involves the fast food industry. Well, not really the industry per se, but rather a few of its customers.
Has this ever happened to you? You head into your friendly, local fast food joint, Rob’s Retch N’ Roll*, where a long line greets you. You decide to stay because you have an intense craving for the obesity-inducing, artery-hardening fare that is this fine establishment’s specialty.
(If this happens to you during the current pandemic, or a future one, social distancing may stretch that line into another timezone. Adjust your mealtime accordingly. On the upside, you’ll get considerable exercise walking the line.)
After 41 minutes, you finally almost reach the head of the line. There are only two people—friends of each other, but not of you, it would seem—between you and the order-taker.
Not So Fast Food
There is a huge menu board mounted at the front of the joint. It is positioned high enough and the lettering is large enough such that it can be read not just from the other side of the “restaurant,” but also from the other side of the street. Possibly from space.
Despite this, the two people ahead of you take this particular moment, as opposed to one of the moments during the 40 or so minutes they were standing in line, to examine the menu for the very first time. Only after they have perused the superb cuisine listed there can they begin the excruciating process of figuring out what they are going to order.
And there’s always a lengthy discussion between the two friends.
“What are you having?”
“I don’t know, what are you having?”
“The Coronary Bacon Cheese Burger looks good, but I think I might go with the Cholesterol-Fried Chicken. I’m just not sure. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. Do you think the Gut-Buster Burrito is any good here?“
And on it goes.
Is this not a conversation they could have had 40 minutes prior, or any time during their 40 minutes in line? Really?
People, people, people. They call it fast food. Get with the program. Make your mind up while waiting in the almost interminable line. Not when you finally get up to the front.
And, I can’t figure out what the hell they are debating about in a place like this. It is not a complex menu. There are six food items and a few beverage choices. That’s it. All are equally tasty, unhealthful and unhygienic.
It shouldn’t take anyone that long to make up their mind. Just pick one. Randomly, if necessary. I’ll even give you a coin to toss to make your selection. And you can keep the coin. My pleasure.
Come on, folks. Your meal here is probably going to shorten your life considerably. Why do you want to waste any of it this way? Let’s get going.
And it’s not as if the menu requires much guidance from your server. The most complex culinary questions in this sort of fast food, grease-and-pathogen emporium are:
- “Do you want fries with that?”
- “Would you like to supersize it?”
- “Fried with lard or tallow?”
- And, “Should we dial 911 now or would you prefer it if we wait until after you’ve taken your first bite?”
I don’t care how you answer those questions. All I ask is, if you are ahead of me in line, please do it quickly.
I’m getting old and my lifespan isn’t lengthening any by eating in places like this. I’d like to be able to place my order before I die. Is that too much to ask? So, make up your frigging mind quickly or get the hell out of my way. Please.
* If there really is a fast food joint called Rob’s Retch N’ Roll, a note to the proprietor, presumably Rob: What the hell is wrong with you? I know you’re trying to be cute, but, really? I absolutely refuse to apologize for accidentally selecting your establishment’s thoroughly disgusting name for the fictional fast food restaurant above.
P.S.: This is satire. You can’t sue me for accidentally using your alleged restaurant’s name.