Seasons greetings, everyone!
Thanksgiving is this week, and to celebrate, I decided to have dinner at the cultural epicenter of the universe, or at least the highway exit, McDonald’s. Why not? People have enjoyed, and sacrificed themselves, for McDonald’s for decades. When all civilizations crumble, aliens are going to examine the ruins of a McDonald’s and get contact high space diarrhea. McDonald’s is timeless.
Initially, it was baffling that more people weren’t in there to celebrate Thanksgiving on the Monday before Thanksgiving. McDonald’s had even erected a tree, with McDonald’s logo ornaments on it, right beside the cash register. I imagined children, running down the hall from the Play Place on Christmas morning, to find Happy Meal toys under the tree, elated at first, and then grimacing and wondering why their parents had dropped them off at a fast food restaurant so many years ago.
The first kindred spirit that I saw was man who literally slapped the side of his laptop, as if the machine had insulted his wife. He then said “I can’t believe this. This, OF ALL THINGS!” and typed hard on the keyboard, as if he was not only trying to get a certain point across in his words, but to the computer itself.
A family entered after me, four children and a mother who I assume, at one time, looked happy. They left a few seconds after walking in, and were soon replaced by two old men in leather jackets. The two old men complained to each other about business things, which doesn’t make sense, as holiday movie logic deems that doing anything that deals with finances close to Christmas will lead you to being forced into an emotionally-revelatory ordeal where you have to take over as Santa Claus, or go on a car ride with John Candy.
The last noticeable group was a couple that sat at the booth beside of me, and argued the whole time about how the girl arranged her food. I’m not kidding. Her pattern of cheeseburgers wasn’t “correct.” I’m sure they’ll work out their differences though, by December 20th, when the guy reveals that the reason he’s been distant is that he’s actually Santa.
I decided to choose the booth in the back corner, to make the evening more special. I also invited some friends to come with me, but I got there a little early, I think.
Although no one had shown up yet, I decided to say Grace.
I am so lonely. I don’t know what I did to deserve the constant misery that I wake up to every morning, but please, please, I’m sorry. I apologize. I just want companionship. Just someone to tell me how their day was, and to ask me about mine. Please. Also, the food seems nice. Amen.”
They didn’t have anything on the menu that even shared half the letters in the word “turkey,” so I bought the closest thing that was poultry-related. Here I am, cutting the first, savory piece:
Usually, when you have a big group together, like a caring family that loves you unconditionally, you have to fight off people for the best part of the turkey: the turkey leg! But this time, I got it! Just one of the one perks of dining solo.
The turkey wasn’t as juicy as people usually like it, and it tasted like I was eating a mummy. There were ten though, ten mini almost-turkeys, so I got a stomach full of preservatives, slowly turning my digestive system into a mausoleum for choices of varying respectability.
No Thanksgiving is complete without a large array of dishes to choose from, some of these foods being made out of leaves. The dilemma comes with the conflict between Thanksgiving tradition and McDonald’s strict adherence to blowing your arteries’ minds. Back in the early 1600’s, when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, the Native Americans showed them how to plant vegetables so that they wouldn’t starve, like iceberg lettuce, and a tomato.
I decided to honor history by ordering just that. The tomato didn’t taste, as they say in advertising, market fresh. I think it may have been rotten.
POST BATHROOM EDIT: The tomato was rotten.
Ah, look! My friends arrived!
One of the biggest staples of a Thanksgiving dinner is the mashed potatoes. McDonald’s didn’t really sell those, so I bought their main potato product.
It wasn’t very mashed, so, for aesthetic purposes, and to really get the true feeling of the holidays, I took my fist and jammed it into the center of the fries repeatedly until someone at another booth told me “Stop your drummin’.”
I bet you’re wondering what I had to cleanse my palette during this feast. Often, in November and December, people drink holiday-themed beverages and sit around a fireplace and say things like “I’m so glad you were able to make it to Thanksgiving, Daniel. We love you. We’re your family. You have a family.”
McDonald’s didn’t have anything fancy, but they did have peppermint mocha lattes. Combining this coffee drink with two complete McDonald’s orders is a Third World laxative, but I was able to make a toast to another great year before gravity exerted a pressure that only my bowels were affected by.
Thanksgiving dinner has to be capped off with a dessert; specifically, a pumpkin pie. McDonald’s decided that, for the season, they would create a pie to fill with a type of pumpkin-flavored sauce. I don’t know if the people who invented this pie licked the air around an old jack-o-lantern and decided that that was what pumpkin tastes like, but I doubt that there is something that tastes less like a pumpkin pie, and I have the watermelons replete with toothpaste to prove it.
Would anyone care for a slice? I bought way too many (two) for anyone ever to consume.
In the end, I left feeling like my heart was slowly hardening into igneous rock. But that’s the meaning of Thanksgiving, right? Gathering together with your best friends and family so that you have the comfort of touching someone’s shoulders with your shoulders as you binge until your body literally can’t anymore.