I left work early today because Elise and I wanted to make it to mom & dad’s house early. I left work hungry. I wanted something quick. I drove by the Subway in Marble Falls. As I drove by and looked through the windows, I could see that the store was packed. I don’t like eating in the car so I opted out of getting a to go order. I don’t like eating alone near other people so I wasn’t going to eat in the store. And from previous dine-ins I know there is an employee whose job it is to wipe the front door handle. That’s all he does. He wears his open top Subway tennis hat and stands at the front door. When the door handle is clean, he stands there, back against the door and eyes dining patrons. That drives me nuts.
So I drove past Subway and found myself in line at Whataburger. It’s going on 1:30 p.m. and I’m really hungry. The signs and banners tell me that I need to order a #5 Value Meal. A Whataburger with bacon, cheese and jalapenos. I order my lunch.
“Do you want to ‘Value Size’ your meal, sir?”
I was handed my receipt, order number stanchion and my Value Size 32 oz. plastic cup. I filled my cup with ice and Dr. Pepper. I strategically found my booth that would allow me to eat without making eye contact with strangers and my food was brought to me shortly thereafter.
I ate at Schlotzsky’s earlier this week. When your food is ready, you hear a voice that says “Number 125, your order is ready.”
You have to physically get out of your booth and fetch your lunch from the counter. Not at Whataburger. You flop your ass onto a plastic bench and someone brings your 1200 calories to you and says thank you.
I devoured my hamburger. I like Whataburger because it makes me think of Texas fast food. Hot hamburgers with mustard (not mayo) and a jalapeno slice in every bite. Yummmm.
I ate all of my fries too. I remember being a kid and fries used to come in a tiny paper sack. Not now. My Value Size Whataburger fries came in a mini popcorn tub.
I didn’t need to eat all of my fries, but I did. It was my obligation as an American consumer. I watched myself eat those fries. The angel spoke. The devil spoke. The devil won. Fancy catsup and all.
I made my way back to Austin with a belly ache. I immediately remembered John’s post on the movie “Supersize Me”. I decided to rent the movie on the way home.
We made it to mom & dad’s this evening, chatted for a while and I put “Supersize Me” in. Mom & dad went to bed early. Elise and I watched the whole movie plus the extra footage. What really stood out in my mind from the movie was the part about addictions. Fast food addictions and bad eating are prevalent and most of us are victims. I’m a victim now and I can acknowledge the addiction. Just this week I’ve eaten fast food three times. Schlotzsky’s on Tuesday, Margarita’s (a local spot in Marble Falls) on Thursday and Whataburger today. I haven’t stepped on a scale in a while but I’d be willing to bet anything that I’ve gained a few pounds.
After the movie I mentioned to Elise that I understand that addiction. I’ve thought about this for a few years now. Two years ago I decided to exercise more. I started Tae Kwon Do again and started riding my bicycle to work. Tae Kwon Do has been great but the best part was riding my bike eight miles a day. Since our bicycles were stolen and consolidating offices in Marble Falls, I don’t get enough exercise. I really miss the daily exercise and I can see how that has significantly affected my diet. When you’re physically stagnant and eating crap, you tend to crave stagnancy and consume crap for nourishment. Saturated fats and sugars provide a rush – just like riding a bicycle.
I’m going to hone the angel and hop on the bike… err, buy a bike.