Fast food restaurants are a lot like prostitutes: every thing in them is slimy and filth-ridden, and you’re still going to pay way too much for whatever you get. Just as with a prostitute, it’s important to investigate the anatomy of a fast food restaurant, so that you have a good idea of exactly what you’re getting into before you embark on your gastrointestinal oddysey.
The Pervy Manager
Apparently it’s a requirement that, in order to be the manager of a fast food restaurant, you have to look, act, and heavy-breathe exactly like a sweaty pedophile. The Pervy Manager spends half of his day masturbating furiously in his "office" to old security camera footage of the cashier girl bending over to pick up a roll of quarters. You can tell that he’s the kind of boss who touches his employees a little too much, because when he walks past the cashier girl he touches her too much before telling her that he’d like to see her in his office later for some kind of ambiguous performance review. She shoots you that "oh, shit, I’m about to get sexually harassed" look, but what can you do? You only have a red belt in karate, and you got that in the 7th grade. It took a cocktail of bad life decisions to get her where she is today, and it’s going to take more than a concerned customer with a superficial understanding of self-defense to get her out of it. Anyway, you’re hungry.
Fast food restaurants are kept at a brisk -40 degrees inside, and it’s for good reason: there are a lot of fat people in a fast food restaurant, and fat people are always getting hot and complaining about it, because when you’re fat, you hold on to what you’re capable of, and complaining is one of those few things. Fat people are a fast food joint’s key demographic, though, and they must be accomodated at all costs. If you’re a skinny or normal-sized person who gets cold easily, well then that’s your own fault. That’s what jackets are for, Twiggy. If you’re looking for an unhealthy, disgusting dining experience that’s comfortable, then go to Olive Garden.
The Homeless Guy
There’s a vicious cycle of monotony in the fast food world, and nobody knows this better than the homeless guy who’s standing outside and begging for change. Like a dirty, stinky, slightly crazy gargoyle, he observes everything. Fatties go in, fatties come out. Some people give him a dollar. Some give him a quarter. Some people ignore him altogether, but he’s the one you want to know. He’s the only guy who knows what’s really going on, because he’s been standing in the same spot for almost an entire decade collecting change, eating everything on the menu, and shitting next to the dumpster out back. Is the special needs kid working the fryer today and causing the fries to come out undercooked and soggy? Ask the homeless dude. Are the lazy employees just lying about the milkshake machine being broken so they don’t have to clean it later? Ask the homeless dude. Did someone recently find a band-aid, syringe, or cigarette butt in their burger? Homeless dude knows the answer, because he ate the rest of that burger after they threw it out in rage. He’s the eyes and ears of this establishment, so give him a dollar and ask him what’s good.
The Annoying Kid at the Soda Fountain
Even if it’s 11:30 at night, there’s going to be an 8-year old kid who’s having a blast with the soda fountain, filling and dumping the ice out of his cup until it’s at the perfect level, and then filling his cup with an elaborate cocktail of caffeinated beverages that will ensure a rough night for his single parent, who’s just happy to be free of his ADHD-ridden clutches for a few peaceful moments. This kid is young, but he may also be semi-retarded, because he doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of other people quite yet, which he should have a handle on at his age. Either way, it’s going to take about ten minutes for him to get his concoction just right, and you’ll wait politely the whole time because it’s inappropriate to yell at a kid in public at 11:40pm. It sucks to be you.
The Graffiti-Carved Toilet Seat
There’s something about the toilet seat of a fast food restaurant men’s room that just screams "carve graffiti into me!" It never fails, and why wouldn’t you decide to carve it there? It’s where all eyes in the room eventually end up. Does Tina give good head? Is Philly Mike a buster? Carve that shit on the toilet seat, dude! It just makes sense. This creates a huge problem, though, when the inevitable fast food emergency diarrhea hits you, because the toilet seat graffiti artists "brush" of choice is usually a switchblade, which causes his "art" to collect pools of urine that no amount of toilet paper nest building can cover. This will result in either a shit-covered seat, a shit-covered floor, or a shit-covered you. You can guess which one of those it never is, which is why you should only consider a fast food restroom as an absolute last resort.
Pictures Glued to the Wall
If you’re anything like me, when you look at the bare walls of your apartment, the first thing you think is "I need to go down to the nearest fast food restaurant and steal some paintings!" Well, the fast food restaurants are well-aware of this inherent, uncontrollable urge, which is why they’ve made the decision to glue every piece of wall decor to the building, in order to eliminate the possibility of theft. Everyone would like to own their own version of the signature Jack portrait from Jack-In-The-Box, but aside from that single article of decor, there’s absolutely nothing in a fast food restaurant’s interior decorating catalog that’s worth owning, let alone stealing. A cheap faux-painting of some Indians looking at a buffalo? Boring. Some colorful, blotchy flowers? Stupid. A sunrise that looks like it was painted by a 6th grade art student? Gay. It makes you wonder how much money they could save on hot glue if they’d just acknowledge that nobody considers their artwork desirable in any way, which is why it’s hanging on the wall of a f*cking fast food restaurant in the first place.
The inside of a fast food restaurant is a complete bizarro world for many reasons. For one, it’s the only place in the world where ketchup seems to have become sentient, and as a result there’s ketchup f*cking everywhere. If you sit down, you’re sitting in ketchup. If you climb up on a table and reach under the ceiling tile, you’ll pull back a ketchup-covered hand. It’s ridiculous, and part of the problem lies in the fact that the trashcans in these places are in a constant state of inevitable overflow. As a customer, there’s not much you can do about this, aside from trying your best to add to the trepidatious tower of waste like you’re playing a game of reverse Jenga. Sure, they’ve got a young, apathetic, untrained new employee who should be emptying the waste bins on a regular schedule, but he’s probably busy scaring rats out of the deep-fryer right now, so you’ll have to choose whether you’d rather sit next to some garbage, or eat a fried rat. If you choose the rat, there’s bound to be some ketchup nearby.
A Fat Person in a Motorized Wheelchair
With total disregard for how they ended up in their current situation to begin with, the morbidly obese person in the motorized fatty scooter will either be scooting up to the drive thru, or slowly ascending the wheelchair ramp for another heaping helping of grease. This person is the reason why Muumuu’s and the phrase "Super-Sized" were invented, and you should absolutely, positively never order what they’re having. Standing in line behind this person should make you reconsider your decision to eat altogether, if only because their dirty neck-fat so closely resembles the hamburger you’re about to order, and if you happen to be the guy who can only fit into sweatpants and has to walk with a cane, it’s a slippery slope to Scooter City.
The Wet Floor Sign
Of all the characteristics of a fast food establishment, the Wet Floor Sign is the real star. It gets the most face time by far. Like the bilingual front man of the internationally famous fast food rock band, the Wet Floor Sign is constantly in your face and always telling you how piso the mojado is. Why wouldn’t it be? The floor is constantly wet. Always. It could be a carpeted, open-air fast food restaurant in the middle of the Gobi Desert and somehow there would be a need for that sign. Never in the history of fast food has the Wet Floor Sign even seen the inside of a janitor’s closet, because the moment it disappears, someone is going to fall and break a hip. Rule #1 of fast food: Always keep the wet floor sign out. Always.