My takeaway consumption has been obscene during lockdown. I have had plenty of time to cook 7 course meals every day, yet my boyfriend, Rory and I have had 9 takeaways during this time. NINE. That’s more than in the rest of our year and a half long relationship… But I would argue that lockdown has been hard; things have been shit and sometimes that boost of serotonin is exactly what you need… And when salty goodness is a click away who can say no?
So when we discovered Brighton McDonalds’ were back up and running, we took the time to order a cheeky Uber Eats as a reward for erecting half a bookcase (we passionately hate DIY).
As a part veggie- part vegan, occasional fish eater (I don’t think there’s a name for people like me), I ordered a fillet of fish with mozzarella dippers, and it arrived promptly. I dipped my soggy chips in the sour cream sauce and shoved them in my mouth as quick as possible. My boyfriend wolfed down his vegetable deluxe, sat on the opposite side of the room. We didn’t look at one another: this was not a social session.
Once I had finished crunching, dipping and musing on the fact that a McDonalds burger bun will ALWAYS end up stuck to the roof of my mouth (why is this?), I stopped to consider the thousands of calories I had just consumed… I was full, yes. It was cheap and it came quickly…. But was I satisfied? Was it enjoyable? Was it worth the £11.05?
Rory put it lovingly: “McDonalds is like a wank… as soon as you finish it, you feel a little disgusted, but the urge is now suppressed.” I would argue that wanks are not necessarily disgusting and greasy and often can be better than the alternative of a quick one night stand which, in the world of sit down meals, would be a Wetherspoons. But I see where he’s coming from. In fact this was a bit of a hook up of a meal: parts were gross, despite the perfectly round bum- errr bun… And if I’d done it myself it would have a much better experience.
So why do people love Mcdonalds? Why do I love Mcdonalds? Maccies has always embodied convenience. It’s that quick meal you grab on the way to gig, or before a job interview to calm your nerves (pretty sure I’m just recanting McDonalds adverts). It’s not necessarily the best food, but it’s easy and above all else, it’s comforting.
So now with it back open, and on to Uber Eats, it’s easier and more convenient than ever (I swear this is not an ad). It’s a pick me up, a dose of carbs we are desperate for, and it’s the nostalgia of better days: the memories of a 7am family McDonalds breakfasts on the long drive to Cornwall… It’s a break from the exhausting shopping trips as a young teen… It’s the end of the night burgers; and then hangover burgers the next morning. McDonalds is more than a tray of carbs and salt, it’s the memories that come with it.
As I bite into my tasteless mozzarella dippers, I’ll picture a time waking up spooning these cold breadcrumbed bastards at uni, a strong headache and sense of confusion washing over me.
I’ll remember late night trips after gruelling bar-shifts, bitching about awful customers or horrible managers. One specific time we broke down on a hill as we exited the carpark at 1am.
There’s the time a friend got a parking ticket in the McDonalds car park because we were sat in there for for 2 or 3 hours chatting absolute shite.
I rather momentously told a friend about the loss of my virginity in a McDonalds. And a picture of my regretful face with a plate of fries still remains on Facebook to this day.
So say what you will about gherkins, broken McFlurry machines and 2000 calorie burgers, McDonalds holds a lot of memories for me. So while their burger buns may taste like cardboard, it’s the salty treat we need to remember better days.
Thanks for reading 🙂