The Dark Side

Yes, I went there.

In case you are wondering what exact aspect of the Dark Side I am referring to, it is more commonly known as McDonalds. Yipe!

I have had a craving for tortured beef for a few weeks now…so after spending my two days off raking and bagging pine cones and needles from the yards (2 dozen big trash bags filled & I’m still only half way done!) spring cleaning my bedroom and bathroom, and also attending a fundraiser for the communities elementary schools, I felt entitled to a little bag o’ sin!

I even asked my father (who art in Truckee, hallowed be his name) and he not only gave me permission to get food from there, but he absolved me ahead of time. So here are a few insights that came to me during the course of the drive-thru experience and the preceding “meal”…

MickeyD’s new gig is the McCafé, where they are going for the coffee house motif, and even offering wi-fi at some locations. Very post-2000. So when you pull up to the speaker, there is an automated girl-voice who inquires if you would like to try one of these new coffee-ish drinks, & I was like, sure, I’ll have a Mocha frappé.

That was when the real time drive-thru boy piped up and was like “You wanna what?” So I said “I’ll have a frappé.” See, I used to frequent this little dive in Reno called Deux Gros Nez, where they apparently like French-sounding things, and on their menu, they offered frappés, which were delicious, by the way, and beat the living bejeezus out of this McCafé shise.

Anyhow, it said on the menu, right next to the frappé selections, that the proper pronunciation would rhyme with crap. “Frappé, rhymes with crap” easy as pie, so that is how I was saying it, and the boy at the window was finally hip to my attempts and said “We have frapp-ays, if you want one of those.”

& I was like, yeah, whatever, and I’ll take a number 14 (Angus burger with mushroom and swiss) and add some bacon please. (My stomach is still desperately trying to disassemble that mess). The drink in question was greasy in texture, and not quite convincing in it’s coffee-ness, and the burger was dry and tired as well. I highly advise you have a large dog with an iron gut around for backup when you attempt to take out an entire McD’s combo (thanks, Mu!).

And the last observation I made was that the large couple behind me in the drive thru line pulled their mini-van over quickly and haphazardly to mow down on whatever they purchased, right then and there in the parking lot. I am not placing any judgment here, I had just been privy to that same mass marketed line of “food” on wheels, but it did give me a bit of a sinking feeling.

I suppose my main point here is that, you can extricate yourself from these goings on as much as you like, but they really just seem to persevere… so what I really want to know, is how we can change these megalithic institutions that now dominate our society, so that they do not need to be eradicated entirely, but restored to some version of benevolence. If McDonald’s served grass fed beef, we would have a whole other story to tell here. But they don’t.

I just think that it is so easy to mistake these new trends for being gimmicky and silly, when they are actually quite powerful. For instance, McCafé was created and launched in Melbourne, Australia, in 1993. It is now the largest chain of coffee shops in Oz and New Zealand! That is kind of freaky news for a small town Cali girl who is used to coffee shops being small, funky, and quite frequently, independently owned…

Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, B.P.’s exploded deep sea well continues to spew 5,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea each day. & their one big idea to stanch the flow, by placing a huge box of steel and concrete over the main leak, was thwarted when the structure became overcome by ice crystals due to the frigid temperature of mile-deep ocean waters. So right now, an entire quarter of the nations wetlands may be living their very last days of bounty and health, for generations to come, and we still have no solution to this imminent & growing  problem – whatsoever!!!

You cannot get away with just not driving a car and saying, “well, I’m not involved.”

We have a big freaking problem here, it’s angles are infinite, and we are all going to be held accountable.

Frappé! It rhymes with  “Oh crap!”

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