I live in Fast Food Hell
I will always be one of the first to admit that I’m Not From Around Here. I grew up outside Atlanta, Georgia. A staple of my life before San Francisco was always fast food. This is not, as my stomach has tricked me into thinking, a good thing. As a matter of fact my brain makes me realize that it’s a bad thing. I nonetheless occaisionally have cravings for fast food. It’s turned into a rarely-indulged comfort food, much the way some people view tuna casserole. Despite having grown up with Krispy Kreme and watching folks queue up for them in mile-long lines in disbelief, I still want one every once in a while.
What is worse than this is having a fast food restaurant and then having it snatched away from me. There are no more Wendy’s — the one on Market Street closed. Arby’s remains a 45 minute bus ride up Geary to sit on a patio inundated by gay techno and being served by the same mid-forties asian male with a combover that I have been served by for 12 years — it’s never worth it and my childhood memories make Arby’s seem like the best of the lot. Of course, there is In-N-Out burger at the Wharf. We never had these in Georgia. It’s my new addiction. The most disturbing thing is the new Del Taco on Market Street. These went bankrupt in Georgia twenty years ago, and I could have gone my whole life without seeing another one.
The problem is television. I often see advertising for some new fast food blasphemy on TV and literally start salivating. When Burger King came out with their ENORMOUS OMELET SANDWICH, I had to have one to say that I had eaten the largest sandwich ever devised by fast food. In reality, it gave me the worst heartburn I’d had in ages. I’m definitely a sucker for anything featuring that really creepy Burger King mascot.
Krispy Kreme is an example of obtainable desires from my past, though. The closest one is in Daly City. There are television ads for many fast food places that taunt me mercilessly. I know that this is a quirk of how they sell television ads, but it’s still cruel. There is not a Dunkin Donuts in the state of California, yet I see commercials for them every day now. I am haunted by visions of the Dairy Queen chili cheeseburger (I WANT IT) yet the closest DQ Brazier is in Redwood City. I have no car and it’s not worth a ride on Caltrain to me. I will more than likely NEVER KNOW the joy that is the Sonic Blast drinks — from what I understand, that’s a schlep out to Livermore beyond where the BART train goes.
I know that it’s all an illusion — if I actually ate anything they were advertising, the illusion would be shattered. I cannot have them, yet I desire them. So many things in life are like this.