Secret Pop

Nov 22, 2002

"People don't go to sleep thin and wake up obese."

There's another lawsuit in the news. McDonald's has been sued by a woman for making coffee too hot. Now, they're being sued by the children of New York for making them fat. Next, they will be sued by the fashion industry for causing people to be predisposed to dislike wearing combinations of brown and yellow that are too reminiscent of their vintage uniforms.

I used to live in Japan, and there were people -- mostly those who actually worked at McDonald's -- who not only ate there daily, but took home the toss-outs to eat at home with their mates. And they were plenty thin. What's their secret. I'll tell you: Volume.

I miss McDonald's in Japan. It was a classy joint. And when you ordered any milkshake flavor other than vanilla or chocolate (such as melon or peach or mint), you would be given a vanilla shake with a little container of flavoring goo to add in. It was good for my self-esteem to aid in the preparation of my food.

And you could order corn soup there. Actually, it was called "Corn Potage," but that's just because Japanese people are actually French. Watch Iron Chef. You'll see what I mean.

They were always clean and fresh-smelling and nicely lit. Not like so many urban McDonald's in these parts. I've got to carry a little extra pocket money just to pacify the vagrants who want to buy hash browns or bash my head in. It's my choice. The same is true at the gas station. Especially late at night. I have taken to figuring that sort of gratuity into the mix. I don't want my windshields washed, but here's a dollar. Go buy yourself a dialysis treatment, buddy. You look like hell.

I almost prefer giving to a guy who offers to clean my windshield than to a guy who wants to sell me his CD. I don't feel charitable enough on any day to just buy some CD off a guy in the street. That's no way to handle a pan. After all, I'd be afraid to listen to it. What if I dug it? What would that say about me?

I wish it could be a goodly form of charity. I usually give because I feel a combination of guilt and intimidation. I really would like to help all the less fortunate. Especially when it's a lady with only one shoe on and eyes that look in opposite directions. I want to help her. But I worry that she will be offended if I offer to buy her a meal. And who has that kind of time, anyway?

In all honesty, I do give what I have in my pocket, more often than not. It's something I learned from my dad. And being like him makes me feel good inside.

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