I ate Burger King last night and now I'm filled with existential dread. — John Coyle Steinbrunner, February 19
JC's whopper of a fast-food hangover made me think of how, as a child, fast food seemed like magic to me. Pizza delivery — the concept that you could pick up the phone and have a slab of cheese on dough brought to your front door — was truly mind-blowing. We lived in the country, where the nearest fast food place was 15 miles away (it's now less than that) and nobody delivered pizza or any other food to our dirt road.
Naturally, my 10-year-old mind felt that this was an income opportunity.
I drew up — literally, with crayons and colored pencils — a business plan that would bring Burger King within walking distance of our house. That way, I could almost effortlessly enjoy a cherry pie that tasted like the cardboard it was presented in. It was an election year, so I scribbled some notes on how the presence of Burger King would bring much-needed jobs to the neighborhood. (It's the economy, stupid.) I attempted to cajole my parents into opening the Burger King. "We'll be millionaires," I explained. "And we can have a chicken sandwich anytime! You'll never have to cook again!" Betty has yet to heed my youthful sales pitch, but I'm telling you, there could be literally dozens of dollars made from it every week. And who doesn't want to live next to a Burger King?
The funny thing is, now I could walk to some awful fast-food place in just a few minutes, and all I want is to make food at home. Sadly, I haven't had a home-cooked meal in eight days now, all thanks to the magic of delivered Zen Palate and room service. Even tonight, when I really wanted to cook but haven't been home long enough to buy groceries, I gave up and ordered some kati rolls. They showed up less than an hour afterward, and it is still amazing — wondrous in that we-live-like-royalty way — that I can dial a number, speak into a shiny slab of technology, and have paneer wraps brought to the apartment while they're still hot. Let's just hope they don't spark a crisis of the existential or gastrointestinal variety later on.
Labels: regression to adolescence