The shitty er city I work in has fast food places galore. Four are within half a block of work. I can see 3 of them from the front window, and hear the drone of the order taker. Yesterday's NY Times Life in the Fast Food Lane piece by Frank Bruni ("Nine Days, 42 Stops, 3,650 miles, 10 Favorites") got me thinking about what it's like to have fast food at ones doorstep. Frank, I'm living life in that lane! I'm a non-fast food type (some rare exceptions: road trips and In & Out sightings), but have four years of high school experience spending my daily $2 allowance on bean burritos and cheeseburgers. Some observations:
Deranged Drivers like to speed out of the drive thru lanes, without paying attention. Many times, they are hand-to-mouth, with a Big Mac or Taco Hell Combo Burrito at the lips. It's not as if there is a lot of space to zoom around on the not-so-wide road, and these outside the bun thinkers help add to heavy traffic and near collisions. The honking bugs-it's not our fault you are in a rush, folks! Life isn't fair; wait your turn.
Disgusting Cars: There's one amazing station wagon that best exemplifies this. The floor space in the back seats is piled high with old, greasy fast food wrappers. Empty drink cups and straws are mixed in. It looks dirty, ugly and I wonder what it smells like. Who owns such a beast? A portly engineerish type in his forties, sporting surprisingly clear skin and a huge belly that hangs.
Seagulls show up like clockwork, and zoom and dive over Mickey D's. They squawk and swoop at anyone walking in what turns into their sacred space. There's usually strong greasy fried food smells and grey smoke to add to the spectacle. Ah, nature.
Thank goodness there are other dining options in this area-falafel, pho, taquerias, and so on....