August 24, 2006
I'm Lovin' It
There's something profoundly disturbing about ordering a vegetarian meal at an Oxford Street McDonalds at 9:30pm, and waiting for five minutes (letting people go ahead of you in the queue) while your Grilled Veggie Melt (one of the very few to be sold that day) is grilling and melting, and then taking your food (yes, it's still called that, though barely) to the basement (200 extra seats! Caution! Wet Floor!) and choosing a table far in some obscure corner, where the obscurest table is already taken by a self-conscious young man neatly picking at his McFlurry, and then loading the calories without a book in hand (not because you don't have one but because you do not think you'll be there long enough to find the page where you left it, since the bookmark was forgotten at home) with an eye on the waitress who has her eye on the neat man (not for flirting but for rapidly cleaning the table the moment he leaves, and putting up the chair so that no new customer dares to take a seat close to closing time) and another eye on the door of the ladies room (which is right across the hall, and each time it opens it shows two girls engrossed in make-up) wondering if the four pounds you spent on this meal were worth it, and then remembering that you came in because you did not want to cook, not because you had better things to so, but because you had already cooked twice today, and repeated domesticky tasks can kill you, like that waitress, for instance: the cleaning fluid must seep through the cloth in her swift hand, and the chemical must be rotting her skin as she ceaselessly clears the remnants of happy meals from tables.