EXT. FAST FOOD JOINT - NIGHT
Two men sit in a beaten down truck, idling outside of a drive-thru window.
Extra cripsy… I mean extra crispy. Two pieces of extra crispy.
A voice comes out of the intercom.
What kind of chicken do you want?
(Slower and louder)
No, what kind of chicken?
No! What kind of meat? Leg, breast, thigh?
Pull around please.
Wait a sec, my friend needs to order.
Yeah, man. I want a mashed potato bowl. No potatoes.
Just pull around!
All right, all right. Shees.
Courtesy is dead me amigo.
Hahaha. So true, so true.
Hold up a sec. I forgot to hide the bud.
John stashes a bag of weed and a pipe in the glove compartment. John gives Steve a nod, and the car creeps forward to the drive-thru window. It opens. A man, roughly 50, peaks his head out the window.
Ok, let’s try this again. What kind of chicken do you boys want?
No! Just… Do you want light or dark?
What’s the problem, son?
It’s just, like, and interesting dichotomy. You can either have light or dark. So true, so true.
I guess I’ll have dark meet.
That’s cold man. Can I get, like, a blend of light and dark meat in my mashed potato bowl. So, like, good and evil stay in balance.
The bowl just comes with strips.
Are they evil?
They’re breast meat.
Ahh, ok. Looks like I’ll take the righteous path.
Ok, so that’s a two-piece extra crispy dark piece meal
John winces at the word “dark”
And a mashed potato bowl. It’ll be just a minute.
The man closes the window.
Do you think he knows we’re high?
It’s KFC man. The colonel doesn’t care if you’re high.
The man returns and opens the window.
Ok, here you go. That’ll be four dollars and twenty-one cents.
Ahhhh…. So close, so close.
Is something wrong?
Nahh, just a little off.
(Handing him the money)
Here you go. Have a great life, man.
The car drives off.
Fuckin pot heads.
(In the distance)
God damnit! There’s mashed potatoes in my bowl!
FADE TO BLACK.
Every night I drift into death, awakening the next morning to a few seconds of bliss when my body is a soul-less vessel, free from the burden of identity. Fuck. That’s deep. Okay, maybe not, but anytime I can write a few expletive-free thoughts I consider it a good day. Shit, shitty turd shit, an ode to my toilet. There, that’s better. Basically, I hate the morning, because there is this moment when my brain loads up my life and I realize that I’m not married, I didn’t have dinner with Tom Hanks last night, and my car doesn’t have a button that turns it into a dragon. That was all a dream. I don’t even own a car. I own a bus pass. I wax the damn thing every week, but for some reason women aren’t impressed when I show it to them. It makes them squint, which I suppose is a plus since it probably blurs out any acne that’s on my face. Where was I? Right, the morning. Dawn. As the sun gives the sky its daily kiss and slap on the ass my routine begins. I trade eating breakfast for a few more moments of unconsciousness. Then I trade showering. Then putting on pants. Then I wake up and realize I can’t go to work flaunting my body’s supposed reproductive capabilities, so I wind up leaving 30 minutes late. Yes, it takes me half an hour to put on pants. As I trudge to the bus stop I avoid making eye contact with any of my fellow bipeds. One of them might ask me for a dollar, at which point I pretend not to hear them and feel like an asshole for the rest of the day. The cold sidewalk whispers against my feat as I take the last steps of my half-mile journey, and I absorb into the blob of humanity incubating near the side of the road. A bus looms in the distance, and the crowd starts to twitch, each one of us inching forward to claim a few inches of the vehicle’s precious real estate. The day plays out in a blur, and if I can make it through without an awkward encounter my brain will simply call up a rerun from my life’s “best of series,” such as that time I was kicked out of a bar for napping. But, hey, it’s not so bad. Soon, I’ll be back in sleep’s unconscious embrace. Mr. Hanks will pour me a drink, which I’ll graciously accept. “So,” I’ll say, “about that movie they want us to star in.”
The man sitting across from me needs to shave his balls. Correction: first, he needs to cram them back into his gym shorts, head home, introduce a razor to his nut-sack, slap on a par of dungarees and come back to the dentist dressed like a god damned normal person. I mean, Jesus Fucking Christ, we are trying to have an advanced civilization of man here. In this modern age, a man should be able to visit the dentist without having to stare at a pair of testicles, and definitely not a hairy pair of testicles. None of this would have happened if I had flossed like a good boy. But what can I say, I’m a rebel.
He’s looking over here. Mr Overgrown-Fruit-of-the-Womb is staring right at me. He’s going to say something. What if he wants to have a conversation? What if he wants to talk about his balls.
“Crazy weather we have been having, huh?”
Perfectly normal question. You can do this, just play it cool.
“Your testicles are hanging out of your shorts.”
You idiot! Now YOUR talking about his balls.
“What? My testi… Oh my gosh, you’re… I am so sorry.”
What are you saying? It’s not okay. It is definitely not okay.
“I am so embarrassed.”
“We all have embarrassing moments.”
Yeah, like this one time I went to the dentist and this guy’s balls were hanging out.
“I was just going to ask, uh, could you hand me that copy of Newsweek over there?”
“Yeah no problem.”
Alright, a task. You can handle this. First, pick up the magazine. Good. Now hand it to the man. Shit, I brushed his fingers during the trade off. Wait, that was the hand he used to adjust his… Fuck Fuck Fuckity fuck sack. I need to wash my hands, right now. Okay, stay calm. Keep the infected limb away from the rest of your body, we don’t need any cross contamination here. Just excuse yourself from the conversation like a normal person.
“I, uh, need to visit the lavatory.”
Visit the lavatory? Who the hell says “visit the lavatory?” IDIOT… calm down. There is no need for embarrassment here. Your balls are still in your pants, you are not the cause of this social awkwardness. Wash your hands, recompose yourself, get your head back in the game. Jesus this bathroom smells. Ahh, fuck. Someone decided not to flush a turd the size of first-world baby’s arm. I guess its my job now. Shit! Its clogging. Abort, abort, get out of here man. Go home, find a new dentist. Another week of plaque build up won’t kill you. OK, here we go. Open and shut the door quickly. We’re back out in the waiting room. Passing the receptionist, right on course for the elevator. Almost there.
“We’re ready for you now Mr. Harrison. Mr. Harrison?”
Keep walking, don’t look back. The cavities can wait.
I was never a man of faith, but I was once a child who believed most things my parents said. I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny—though I never bought into the tooth fairy. I mean, really? What did she want with my teeth? She didn’t really have a sustainable business model. Lets break this down: Santa had his elves, which were basically slave labor, so… not a lot of overhead there (I’m assuming, of course, that elves don’t survive on food but instead feast on the collective greed of millions of children). The Easter bunny would hide my eggs (which I painted and left), eat a carrot (which I also left), and then poop candy onto fake grass (which I also left… god, I went to great lengths to accommodate that rabbit). But the Tooth Fairy? She would leave me money in exchange for a small rock that fell out of my mouth. There’s no upside for her there, and clearly teeth are an unstable equity; the money she paid seemed entirely arbitrary. Sometimes she would leave me a five-dollar bill; sometimes she’d leave me a dime.
Really though, parents are just asking to get caught when it comes to the tooth fairy. With Santa, there’s this whole to-do about going to sleep and not coming downstairs because if you do you won’t get any presents. With the tooth fairy, you put the goddamn thing under your pillow, and then your parents have to come in, retrieve the tooth from under your pillow, and leave behind money. All without waking you up! It’s like some game of mythological chicken that parents play with one another. “What’s the most ridiculous thing you can tell your kids before they realize that you’re completely full of shit?” When I have kids, I’m going to tell them that if they collect all of their fingernail clippings and plant them in the back yard, then they can grow a twin. Then, when they’re not looking, I’ll switch out the fingernails with a fake hand, wait for them to stop screaming, and say, “that’s what you get for not watering your brother.” I’m going to be a great dad.
JOHN STANDS BY THE COUNTER, RUMMAGING THOUGH A MCDONALD’S BAG. JACK ENTERS AND SEES JOHN.
JACK: WHATCHA GOT THERE BRODIDDLY?
JOHN: JUST WENT TO MICKY ‘DS. PICKED ME UP ONE OF THESE BAD BOYS.
JOHN PULLS OUT A FRUIT AND YOGURT PARFAIT
JACK: WHOA, WHOA, WHOA. NO WAY YOU GOT THAT AT A FAST FOOD JOINT.
JOHN: YEAH, CHECK IT OUT. IT’S GOT GRANOLA AND FRESH FRUIT AND EVERYTHING.
JACK: YEAH I SEE THAT MUCH, BUT WHERE DID YOU GET IT FROM?
JOHN TOSSES THE BAG TO JACK
JACK: YEAH, FUNNY JOKE. HAHAHA. SERIOUSLY, WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GET THAT FRUIT CUP?
JOHN: ARE YOU BLIND? YELLOW ARCHES, BIG LETTER “M.” CREEPY CLOWN WHO SELLS BURGERS FOR A LIVING. RING ANY BELLS?
JACK: DONT PLAY WITH ME. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHERE I CAN GET A HEALTHY SNACK FOR MYSELF.
JOHN: I SHOWED YOU ITS…
JACK PULLS OUT A REVOLVER AND AIMS IT AT JOHN’S HEAD
JACK: I’M NOT PLAYIN’ NOW. JUST TELL ME WHERE YOU GOT THE FUCKIN YOGURT PARFAIT AND WE CAN END THIS
JOHN: I… JACK… WHAT THE FUCK, MAN
JACK: I’M GONNA COUNT TO THREE. YOU REMEMBER THAT JOHN? LIKE WHEN WE WERE LITTLE KIDS?
JOHN: JACK THIS IS TOO MUCH MAN… THIS ISN’T FUNNY
JOHN: HAHAHA. OK, GREAT YOU GOT ME. HERE, JUST TAKE THE YOGURT CUP OK!
JOHN: JACK, ITS FUCKIN MCDONALD’S, MAN. ITS NOT LIKE WHEN WE WERE KIDS! THE WORLD’S FIUCKIN CHANGED! FAST FOOD PLACES HAVE SALADS AND SHIT NOW. THEY SERVE GODDAMN APPLE SLICES WITH HAPPY MEALS!
JOHN: WAIT I ….
JACK FIRES THE GUN. JOHN FALLS TO THE FLOOR. A BRIEF MOMENT OF SILENCE, THEN JACK MOVES SLOWLY TO JOHN AND REACHES INTO HIS POCKET. HE PULLS OUT A RECEIPT. A LARGE MCDONALD’S LOGO IS PRINTED ON THE BACK. A SMILE CREEPS ACROSS JACK’S FACE.
JACK: WELL, I’LL BE DAMNED. LOOKS LIKE I’M GOING TO MCDONALD’S
CROSSFADE TO MCDONALD’S LOGO. CUE JINGLE.
There was something wrong with the couple at the table next to me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was, but something was definitely off. A pink sweater bedazzled with the word “baby” adorned the woman. She had to be pushing fifty, though she still colored her long, stringy hair blonde like a 16 year old. She was, to be delicate, of ample proportion. The man was fat. Equally aged as his female counterpart, he wore an Oakland Raiders sweatshirt and a red trucker’s hat that really classed up the joint. His mustachioed face grimaced as he forced more and more disgustingly healthy morsels down his gullet. I watched him, unable to look away…
“I fucking hate salad,” he said under his breath. The woman across from him frowned. She peered at him through a pair of obscenely pink glasses.
“You know what I hate Chris? I hate having to drive you to the hospital when you have a heart attack.”
There was a hint of perverse pleasure to her tone, and her frown turned into a gaping hole as she rammed an Italian sausage into her throat. Globs of dark brown grease cascaded down both sides of her mouth. She smiled. “Mmm… nothing beats the taste of a nice sausage.”
“I’ve got a sausage you can jam down your throat.” Chris seemed tickled pink by this clever turn of phrase.
“What was that?”
“I said, I’ve got a nice big sausage you can jam down your throat… Or maybe you’d rather I stick it up your a…”
“That is enough.” Chris’s female companion was not pleased. “I am only trying to help you and this is the thanks I get?”
“You really want to help me? Then why don’t you put down that fat piece of pork and order some grass and twigs yourself.”
“I am not the one who needs to watch what I eat!”
“Have you looked in a mirror lately?”
The woman actually flinched at this latest quip. “I am voluptuous. I will have you know that men turn their head when I walk into the break room at work.”
“They’re guarding their food.” They locked eyes, both refusing to blink. Chris seemed to contemplate his next move, then his mouth slowly opened in a whisper, “Piggy.”
“Don’t you dare call me that.”
“Little piggy Peggy. The ground actually trembles when she walks.”
“I told you never to call me that.”
“Little piggy Peggy. Animals flee from her for fear of being eaten.”
“Stop… please don’t…”
“Little piggy Peggy. No one will ever love a fat cow like h…”
There was an audible “woosh” as Peggy threw the glass across the table, striking Chris squarely in the nose.
“You bitch! You broke my nose.” Chris jumped from the table, clutching his face. Blood dripped over his hand as he quickly left the restaurant. Peggy was speechless, her face red with a combination of embarrassment, tears, and rage. Humiliated, she bolted to the door.
The glass on my table nearly fell over from the vibration.
I stared at the couple’s departed table while the staff hurriedly cleaned up the mess and apologized to the patrons.
“I am so sorry about that,” a visibly distressed waitress said to me, “we’d like to offer you any meal at half price… do you know what you want?” Thankful for an excuse to finally speak, I placed my order.
“I’ll just have a garden salad. No dressing.”