I have a love/hate relationship with the McD’s.  As in, I think I love it but actually I hate the place.  I walk away regretting it every time. 

But then I soon pine for the taste of charred beef and lettuce marinaded in Hellman’s Lite.

McDonald’s.  So it’s been a while and the whole place has changed.  It’s fancy and new-looking.  The walls look like one of those school classrooms where the kids were allowed to decorate.  Nauseous splashes of colour.  There are no real tables now, only long breakfast bars plastered with old shit like the table at Herot after Grendel had a go. 

It’s still got that horrible supermarket cafeteria feel with everybody elbowing each other out the way with little pots of Heinz tumbling off their trays.  On quiet days I don’t mind these places so much.  Desperate animals always seek out a place where they can fester in dirt, anonymously.

I was shocked at the number of prams that were in there.  At one point my path to the counters was blocked by no less than five prams.  Did I miss a Mothercare newsletter?  The one with the Happy Meal vouchers in it?  What, new mums think it’s a good idea to take their babies – not kids, babies – for lunch at McDonald’s?  Stuffing those fries into their gaping toothless mouths as a pacifier substitute?

Be quiet and eat your McNuggets, Courtney-Lou.

But the checkouts.  No longer the undisciplined lines of people undecided on which queue looks quicker!  There’s a new Express Line.

Oh yes.  Fuckers are organised now.

Because apparently there are times when fast food just doesn’t come quick enough.  The people have demanded ultra-fast food.  It’s the fibreoptic broadband of effortless eating.

But I have to say, they’ve really evolved.  They’re with the times.  I ordered at the little free-standing desk, and by the time I’d taken two steps to the counter they already had my ‘meal’ waiting for me.  Shit you not.

The Chicken Legend.  Basically a big herby McNugget in a toasted wholemeal breadroll.  Open wide…! 

Chicken’s meant to be pink.  Right?

Doesn’t matter.  I figured that any salmonella would eventually be killed by the Dead Sea of salt that they served my fries in.  Currently my blood has a higher salt-to-water ratio than the Pacific.  Or a condiments warehouse during a light fog.

I had to LOL at the fries.  Burnt little crispy fingers.  Those little greenish bits.  Yummy.  Wash ’em down with my drink, 1 part Diet Coke, 1 part soda, 2 parts ice.

Why do I do it?  I couldn’t tell you.  It’s kind of an experience.  I spoke to someone recently of the type of food that is really self-flagellation.  Sometimes we think: “this is nasty, but it’ll do me good”.  Sometimes we think “Doesn’t this taste good?  Even though it will kill me?”

I seem to have survived the expected food poisoning. 

But.  Just in case: If I die, you can have my Happy Meal toy collection.