Saturday, September 03, 2005


I had a new experience this past week - I discovered a subculture that I did not know existed. Call me sheltered. :)
I was awaiting a call from a tennant when I realized my cell phone was almost dead. It was almost noon, so I decided to plug it into my car's power source and hit a drive-through while I waited. I must tell you, I hate eating in a car, so I rarely do it. But on this day I had no choice, so I pulled into a parking area beside the fast food joint and settled in for lunch.

I noticed there was an abundance of large white birds that go by the misnomer, Seagulls, hovering around. When I glanced to my right, I discovered why. A young man was sitting in his truck, chomping on a burger and tossing fries out his window. A couple of minutes later another vehicle pulled in on the other side of me. Then another, and another. Many of them periodically tossed bits of bun or fries out their windows. By the time I'd managed to slowly devour my chicken burger, there were about 12 of us, all facing the same way - the view was decidedly ugly by the way - all studiously avoiding eye contact with one another as the gulls swarmed.

I was stunned. People acutally do this! Then I noticed each of the vehicles held only one person. Could it be they just don't want to sit alone in a restaurant? Or were they all in a big hurry? They seemed to take their time as they tossed bits to the birds. Would it take so much more time to go in and sit down?

It gave me a rather surreal feeling, as though I was involved in something, but not part of it, observing a ritual without knowing its meaning.

Is there meaning in the fast food parking lots of North America? I shudder at the thought.

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