confessions are self-serving

Tag: McDonalds

Fat and Thin Sketch

‘116 one flat white?’ industrious worker bee must be fifteen tops, this kid’s going places, I think to myself, slurping a large OJ – I’m going nowhere fast. Sit on the same table as usual, big faux marble thing, whale white, strewn ‘lectronic goodies spread: laptop, dictaphone, mobile phone – caution when I go to the toilet. I take my small goods, close the lid of the laptop, stand, scan the room, seems safe – take off! Awkward little scarecrow stumble from tight thighs, turn corner, laptop out of sight, toilet ahead of me, hand outstretched to door from yards back – I see the PUSH sign – In, dark tiles, faint smell of shit, piss, snap the tap up quick splash hurry, wipe hands on shorts – PULL – round the corner relief – laptop still sitting safely exactly as I left it, slow my pace, even smile slightly to workers who ignore me (naturally).

Two teen fellas have boarded my whale, one baseball cap frontways thin, reading robotically from a message on his phone, friend fat backwards cap looks down, in natural ‘I’m genuinely listening’ pose. Some discrepancy about meeting a girl, Thin says: ‘better go get you some mints’ Fat fiddles with his hat nervously, looks around, where is she? I doubt she’ll board the whale, strange date she’ll have with me and Thin like two awful hangers on, I staring down, now CONSPIRATIONALLY as if they’ve sussed me I’m too scared to look, have to infer details – Fat not too nervous to eat, evidently (I’ve started to feel bad for naming him Fat, it was a split decision relative to his friend, who is thin, sorry Fat) – like me they are both enjoying the watery OJ now silent over muffins, coffee machine grinds on endless beans to smithereens, my industrious Bee never quits – Go! Get them beans boy! Thin makes an off-hand and inane comment about frappe, not his best dinner table talk and clearly (I relax) unsuspecting of me taking a second by second transcript, or he may have thought of something more profound to say. Bee begins to slow, a lapse in sales, his expression is unchanging whether juggling a hundred coffees or none (Thin: ‘I think I’m going to vom man, too much syrup in my syrup hole) Actually I lie! I just glance up to catch Bee with one forefinger running quick across his forehead to wipe sweat, a new-age Turing test, and my fellas leave suddenly, (Thin: ‘Let’s go’, Fat silent) and I ‘spose I’ll never get to see the girl, which is of course some cruel throwback from fate or god or whatever to my own teen years.

Impromptu Poem: For Pigs

I thought I’d get a Mcdonalds breakfast.
I drank a bit too much whiskey
last night
and was feeling sorry
not only for myself
but for the world,
so I thought I’d exacerbate the problem.

I needed some water.
I ran the tap, it came out hot
and rushing.

The sun was fresh
in the sky
like it was still excited
to be there,
and I heard a strange noise.

It’s hard to describe,
off the cuff,
it sounded
it sounded like
it sounded like worry
like angst
like grief
it sounded like panic,
and I cocked my ear
one hand still under the tap
still hot.

Over the road there was a truck
big truck
twelve wheeler
which had what looked like crates
on the side.
This was where the noise was coming from.

It was a pig’s truck
and what was inside it was pigs
and what was making those noises were pigs.

the muddied backs,
poking through the cracks.

Pigs lookin’ at me.
Pigs calling to me.

I walk over to the truck
I cross the road
in my work boots
shorts and nothing
sleep still
in the corner of my eyes
and I observe this truck.

And as I get close
the sounds
that I could hear from fifty yards back
were getting really loud
I reach up
and there’s a snout
there’s lots of snouts,
poking through the bars
open mouths
small teeth
all the while this deafening
and I reach up
touch a wet snout
hay, or something stuck
to it.

The truck driver,
who was in the gas station,
crossed the road with an ice cream
he looked pretty proud
of himself
and I,
heading to Mcdonalds
I felt pretty proud of myself too.

But I might not eat the sausage.

Portrait of a Teepee



8.41 Sunday morning, Southern Australia.

Inside it is hot and dark. The sun here is like an aggressive drunk. Like the kind that has stayed up all the night and is really proud of himself for doing so. HEY – YOU BEEN SLEEPIN’? HAHA. CORNFLAKES MATE? TRY A SHOT OF VODKA. And here we are. On my back, in a puddle of strewn sleepwear, smelling faintly of dirt and ash. Across from me is Luc. Shoulder length shag of brown hair, uncle eyes peering out of a tan face, and a four month dirt beard which is often filled with food scraps (vanilla wafers and chips (crisps if you’re English) appear to be the most common tenants) and less often with soap. He’s French, and the call for maccas is accented, with a slight intonation as the vibration of the vocal chords disturbs the hangover and the head begins to growl. There is an ongoing rumour that he refuses to brush his teeth (You brush your teeth with that s-? (on discussing floride, Crab and I swallow when we brush in bed) because I am never brushing my teeth. Like, euuu maybe, once every three weeks. I don’t care. (care pronounced keeah)) Crab, who we all know by now, is on the mattress to my right. He begins to cuss and moan without opening his eyes.

Five of us sleep here, on a pentagon of foam mattresses dragged dusty out of storage, clad with itchy faux-wool sheets. My sheet is half off, exposing a sallow mustard underbelly, which reminds me of all the thighs I wish I’d never seen. A box of goon (‘white’ wine, 5 litres) is split, the remainder in the sack spilled sadly onto the wooden foundation. I notice our resident ant, who, like many Australian insects, is unnecessarily large, fighting his way across the six of clubs.

I HATE this S- country

Crab pipes up, grasping at his brow, his fingers porous and thick with sweat and dirt.

No no no Malakaa– 

Danny. Spanish English. A cheeky bastard with a hot tongue, thick moustache and a taste for quality steak, begins his morning routine of denying the existence of the outside world (On weekdays – Time? No, it can’t be. Seriously man? Noo- Okay today I get fired I say okay I say f- that man – Interestingly, when I first met him he made claim of a fine work ethic, which I’m yet to see evidence of – man when I work, I work like a dog, trust me brother). He reaches to his right, knocks over an ash tray, grabs a sandal and launches it across the room. In flight, it smashes over an incense stand before clattering painfully into Thomas’ sleeping face.

Thomas (French, pronounced Tomma)

F- you man

Thomas shall we get brekki at maccas no?

Thomas is the youngest, monkey-esque in frame, wiry, with a stereo-typically French passion for cheese which he continues to consume despite complaints of a dairy intolerance. He also aime le chocolat, and is known, on hearing the rustling of a packet, to emit animalistic chimes (Chocolat? Chocolat?) until fed, at which point he settles back into his pillow with satisfaction and gratitude set deep in his face. Luc, who’s head is practically touching Thomas’ due to the positioning of the mattresses, stares with much gravity at the ceiling while Thomas contemplates the proposition (of course by ceiling I mean the hole where the support poles meet, stuffed in a cursory manner with sheets by a previous owner, in a limp attempt to keep the torrents of tropical rain from washing us all away entirely).

Okay we go

And as quickly as the idea was manifested in the brain of one, it has evolved into the actions of many. Us five, in turn, each stumbling into the harsh light of another day, slap the door flap ‘shut’ behind us, and leave our home to the goodwill of the snakes, spiders and scorpions that roam the grounds, for we have begun our pilgrimage towards a better land. A land of thin brown patties, sugar flavoured water, and golden, crispy fries.

Quest for the Holy Arches

We searched for them at ever increasing speeds, around every twist and looming mountainous turn in the road. “There!” screeched Sam, grey about the face. But no, it was merely a blossoming tree, or the flash of a possum in the headlights, or some such unimportant tripe. Eventually we found one though, about one hundred kilometres into the journey. We were faint with hunger and malnutrition, our eyes half shut, vision blurred and unseeing. We staggered into ‘Donalds in what felt like a half remembered dream – elated, giggling, mirthful. We ordered a combo meal not even on the menu – 2x Big Mac, 2x Cheeseburger, 4x Fries, 4x Coke, for $20 – How’d ya feel? I feel great, and excellent too at the peak of my physical prowess – wooping and getting real pumped and jacked as well-

We puffed our chests out, suddenly the weakness had left us see, and made short stamps in the lino – now towards a cretin getting a little too playful with his happy meal, now stomping in the direction of an elderly woman just here for a cup of black tea – but she looked at us strange an’ weird like, see? We waited and waited. 

It came in a huge box with ‘Family Dinner’ slapped on the side. We loudly proclaimed “Our little Sally will enjoy this” and “Gavin will be happy with his chips!” and other such bald lies that in our desperation we hoped veiled the fact that no children would be sharing this meal. The box was heavy and felt like it contained a human head. I lifted it as high as I could and turned, when we neared the door, mumbling, my voice shaking with emotion, “T-thank you ‘Donalds, I love you, I love you, I love you -“. I composed myself and began some unknown sermon of celestial gravity. I am proud to say that many of the workers stopped, put down their meat patties or cardboard cups, and listened attentively, some even going so far as to place their hands on their chests and whisper “Yes, he’s right, we’re doing a good thing here…”

Sam was on his knees, sobbing in a dry and agonising way. I daren’t put the box down to help him to his feet for fear someone would snatch it away, so I left him there in the filth like a common tramp.