Alright. Fandango over at This, That, and the Other picked up a writing challenge started by Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith and continued by Cheryl at “The Bag Lady.” So Teresa started writing the story, then “tagged” Cheryl to continue it, who then tagged Fandango (real first name unknown) to continue it, and then he tagged me.
For the record, it’s been decades since I’ve eaten at “Greasy Macs” or any other fast food joint (with a few exceptions), and I’m no longer a fan. At first I thought I’d just blow off the challenge, but then I decided to twist it.
Everything that could go wrong that day did. First Louise couldn’t find her left shoe, then her power went out while blow drying her hair, and the milk went out last week. If all that wasn’t enough, her car ran out of gas on the way to work. By the time she arrived at work, it was time for lunch.
“Finally, something will go right today,” she told herself.
Missing breakfast, Louise started to crave something filling and flavorful. She had tried the vegetarian diet and the cafeteria at the office had many salads to choose from, but today? Something hot, greasy and full of calories was going through her mind. . .should I be a few more minutes late? As she had these evil thoughts, her gaze turned to the McDonalds across the street.
And then Fandango’s:
As soon as she opened the door and walked through the Golden Arches, Louise was hit by the pungent aroma of grilled chopped beef and deep-fried potatoes. How long had it been she’d last stepped foot in a McDonalds? She honestly couldn’t remember.
Louise got into line and was trying to decide if she should be good and order a salad or indulge on a burger. When it was her turn to order, she asked for a quarter-pounder with cheese with everything on it. Plus, a large order of fries. Hell, the way her day had been going so far, she deserved to treat herself to something different, right?
And finally, mine:
A sudden cacophony caused her to spin around toward the doors just as Louise was about pay for her order. A horde of young men and women carrying signs, bullhorns, and boom boxes playing discordant noises of animals apparently in pain burst into the establishment.
“Meat kills,” shouted one.
“Burgers are murder,” declared another. It was hard for Louise to make out everything they were shouting as they shoved her and the rest of the patrons away from the counter. As she staggered toward the side exit, she read one of the signs carried by a protestor, “Animals’ lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust, no matter how it’s done.”
She found herself across the street as several police cars pulled up to quell the near-riot inside the fast food joint. He heard footsteps behind her, then a door opening and closing. Turning, she saw the sign of another eatery and a notice: “Socially responsible diner offering all-vegetarian eats like meatless burgers and soy ice cream.”
Louise decided she was through with having a bad day and was determined that the second part of her Monday was going to be better. Walking in, she started scanning the menu. Their “Veggie Fajita Bowl” looked pretty good.
For the record, I’m nowhere near being a vegetarian, but I prefer to grill my own burgers.
Oh, I have to reverse myself because I just found out that McDonald’s no longer uses “pink slime” in their burgers. Previously, I had heard that they, and all fast foot establishments, used Grade D beef, which is barely legal for human consumption, but apparently according to The Daily Mail, Thank You Body, and even Snopes is no longer true. McDonald’s uses 100% USDA approved beef. That said, absolutely none of those sources, including the much vaunted Snopes, said what grade of beef was being used. It could be 100%% beef, USDA approved, and still be grade D (barely fit for human consumption).
I’ll take my chances with my own burgers, thank you very much.
Oh, the veggie restaurant Louise enters is the Saturn Cafe Berkeley in Berkeley, California. I found it by “Googling” and have never been there. I also seriously doubt they have a McDonald’s across the street. My group of protesters is based on Direct Action Everywhere, who I think are a bunch of extortionists, though they probably wouldn’t enter a place of business in real life.