Fast Food Virtues

Fast Food Virtues November 13, 2017



I never in a million years thought I’d be defending the Slumgullion-in-chief. I defended Melania once, when she wore stilettos to survey the wreckage of Hurricane Harvey. I pointed out that women who wear heels on a regular basis get so used to them that flats hurt their ankles, so maybe this IS Melania’s version of sensible footwear. But I’ve never had cause to say anything nice about the president. He’s earned just about every nasty thing people are saying about him– until today.

Today I’ve noticed quite a few people taking time out from their horror at the president attempting to start a nuclear war by calling unstable foreign dictators fat, to make fun of the president for ordering the White House chefs to try to replicate McDonald’s and then sending staff to pick up the real thing when they couldn’t do it.

Well, I’ll come out and admit it. If I were as rich as Trump says he is, I would totally do the same thing.

I’ve always thought that one of the perks of being wealthy would be all the fast food you could eat. As has been pointed out to me by actual Trumpettes, McDonald’s is an expensive luxury. To be able to send a servant to get it for you without anyone tut-tutting about how it was irresponsible to buy fast food when raw flour has so many more calories per dollar would be delightful. I couldn’t digest it with my food allergies, but it’d be delightful while it lasted.

When I was at Notre Dame for the writers’ conference,  with my room and board paid for by Patheos and a pocketful of spending money given to me by a friend, I skipped out on most of the hors d’ouvres reception, went to the local hotel restaurant and nervously asked if I was allowed to order a meal to-go even though I wasn’t technically staying at the hotel. They graciously brought me my order, a cheeseburger on a gluten-free bun and a large soda, in a wasteful and uneconomical Styrofoam container; I tipped the hostess generously because I wasn’t sure whom you tip in this situation. Then I took the meal back to my dorm along with a package of gluten-free brownie cookies I’d bought for far too much at the Huddle Food Court. I ate dinner in bed. To hell with fine dining, THAT was luxury. That’s what I’d do most every night if I was rich, and if my health could take all the grain– though probably not on a twin bed in a Notre Dame dormitory, but you never know. I really like Notre Dame.

Not too long ago, there was a time when you were considered a bad Christian and a bad Conservative for NOT buying fast food, or at least for pointing out that fast food-buying wasn’t in itself an act of virtue. Many of you likely remember the incident. Several years ago, every good conservative was supposed to eat at Chik-Fil-A. Specifically, they were all supposed to crowd into the nearest Chik-Fil-A on a certain day and buy everything in sight, to show their support for “traditional marriage.”

I happened to be in a “traditional marriage” at the time (and I still am). I had a devout Catholic husband I’d saved myself for and married in the traddy church with the Communion rail. I had an infant daughter, named Rose in honor of Saint Therese and Our Lady, whom I took with me to daily Mass. We were traditional as all getout. But we did not participate in the Chik-Fil-A reverse boycott for many reasons, chief among them being that we couldn’t afford to. We’re certainly not in the income bracket where it’s feasible to buy a giant sack of fried junk just to support a political agenda right now, but we were way worse off back then.

Do you want to know what I did six years ago on Chik-Fil-A Reverse Boycott Day? True story. On Chik-Fil-A Reverse Boycott Day, I got on Facebook and posted a Sarcastic Wonka meme making fun of people who thought God was proud of them for buying Chik-Fil-A. I was only able to get online because we were splitting the cost of wi-fi with two other tenants in the crazy slum apartment building I’ve written about before, otherwise we never could have afforded it.

After I posted the Sarcastic Wonka meme, I drank one of those bottled Glucerna shakes for breakfast. We’d bought a box of them several months before, during a health scare where we thought I was diabetic on top of everything else, and when we found I wasn’t diabetic we stored them in the closet in case we ever needed a bottle of chocolate-flavored chalk water that made my hypoglycemia worse. I drank the shake. When I got dizzy because it lowered my blood sugar too much, I ate a few spoonfuls of jelly and cream cheese, but no bread because we didn’t have any bread. We had part of a brick of cream cheese and half a jar of jelly in the fridge, one sack of dry beans I was going to soak and cook for dinner, and those disgusting Glucerna shakes in the closet. Other than that, we were out of food.

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