Monday, 29 October 2012


The bears have finished
So my three-year-old son and I were in a well-known fast food burger outlet – let’s call it McDonald's for that is what it was called.

He enjoys the salty tastelessness of the chicken nuggets as I while away the minutes trying to establish what it actually is I am eating.

It was a Big Mac apparently. It was an appropriate name as it tasted rather like I would imagine a pervert’s long coat would.

My son was busy wondering why his dad would be so cruel as to give him a plastic toy that did nothing while he filled his mouth with something equally pointless.

I was busy trying to establish what ‘fries’ where and at what stage in creation they had been potatoes rather than simply atoms of oil stuck together with salt, when I was taken aback by a sight I can now not shake.

A family of four extraordinarily overweight people were trying to squeeze into a corner-style booth and failing with painfully funny ease. Individually, they were foolhardy but determined, collectively, it was like watching Laurel and Hardy move a piano.

One would get in and another would end up being squeezed out one square foot of lard at a time. They tried a different configuration as if persistence would defeat the laws of physics. At one point the table disappeared under a mound of what appeared to be t-shirted marshmallows.

Will no one help them, I thought. Surely there is restaurant fitter having lunch who could do a quick homer redesigning the entire place to accommodate Hardy and Hardy and the two Hardy juniors.

It was like a large portion of Scotland's lard had suddenly congealed into one corner of McDonald’s and was slowly oozing around it, their bellies consuming all before them.

Even when they surrendered, the Alpha fatty was still trying to figure out how to get a fat peg in a thin hole. 

He glared at the offending table with a willful disregard for its inanimate sensibilities while easing himself into the table next to it.

They were like a family of overweight bald bears down from the mountains to feast on perverts’ coats while enjoying a Krypton Factor exercise in futility, either that or they were simply sorting out the eatery’s feng shui.

Daddy Bear’s two huge kids heaved a bronchial sigh into their allotted trough and waited for Mama Bear to come back with enough food to keep them through the winter, as long as winter lasted until mid afternoon.

We got up to leave as the compelling dance was over and our time was up in this happy place.
Leave it Leeeeeee-Annnnne, he's not worth it

I stood up and put the little fella's coat on and was all set for the off when something with a face like a pock-marked drunk koala complete with facial hair and angry sleepy eyes said: "We have a bin sir."

This creature of indeterminate species worked here.

I said: "I'm sorry."

It said: "That's ok, but we..."

"No, the sorry wasn't an apology.  It was used in the exclamation sense of I beg your pardon."

It ploughed on: "I notice you left your rubbish on your table. We encourage people to use the bins provided."

"Go on then, encourage me," I countered. "Say nice things like 'you can do it', 'this is what we trained for', we're all rooting for you' or 'go for it'."

It seemed to be called Lee-Anne or something like that from it's badge but there seemed to be too many Es and too many Ns so my brain started to melt.

"We prefer if people use the bins"


"It helps to keep the cost of the food down," it said with enough pride to suggest it was a fait accompli.

"But it doesn't. I just paid more than £10 for some deep fried parallel of hell with all the nutritional value of a soggy sponge. Why, after that, would I be predisposed to dispose of the disposable?"

It was struggling against the force of my incoherent rambling and repeated, as though it were a mantra: "We encourage people to put the rubbish in the bin.”

“If I was to do that I would take my food straight from the counter to the bin and not stop to fill my child and myself with the cholesterol monstrosity We have been here several times and I have never been asked to use the bin, nor the toilet, which is where this stuff will end up having left me nothing but hardened arteries and an overriding desire to have a shower."

"If you been before then you should know people put their rubbish in the bins," it was attracting a crowd, although that might have been me or my boy who was high as a kite now and singing Mary Poppins songs while clearly considering whether to fling poo at people.

"Why do you come back if you don't like it?" 

I told it that the phrase is "a triumph of hope over experience" but it just looked at me and said "what".

"A triumph of…oh nothing." I said as though surrendering. "I come back to look for my karmic centre but when I'm asked if I want fries with it, I give up on any chance of Nirvana and sit in a chair to feast on a pervert's jacket."

“I want you to leave,” it said.

“You should work for Greggs. They love people like you. Just the right side of surly to make people feel they have just had a door slammed in their face.”

“I have worked at Greggs," it said triumphantly.

"Why did you leave, not surly enough for you?"

"I have asked you to leave,” it insisted.

“Listen,” I said, just to make sure she knew that speech would be the medium by which I was about to impart my wisdom and not modern dance or mime.

“You can’t throw someone out when they have clearly got up to leave. It’s like firing someone when they have just resigned. It loses an awful lot of impact.”

It scowled and walked off with a damp rag in its hand and a red rage in its head.

Victory was once again mine.

We left, my son full to bursting with e numbers, salt and sugar and trying as three-year-olds do to come to terms with the song Supercalifragilisticexpialdocious, me with a smug grin, both of us replete and nutritionally bereft.
I looked down at the family of red faced bears rapaciously mounting a full frontal attack on the bucket full of perverts’ jackets and the pile of almost potatoes in front of them. I wondered if they had ever been introduced to cutlery.

I shouted back to the drunk marsupial: “You’re going to need a bigger bin.”


  1. Hilarious! Made me laugh out loud - before I puked!

    1. Rather like me in McDonald's then. Thanks.