PERHAPS, you’re now marking your “plastic anniversary,” which, in my little store, means the 10th year a person has been eating in fast food restaurants. Most fast food outlets use plasticware and waxed boxes to serve their food.
One day this week, my friend Nalda and I went to McDonald’s after a day of shopping for her six-year-old niece’s birthday. She found this ultra-neon pink hooded jacket and since she’s adept with silkscreening, she plans to print the tame image of Doraemon on the back side. Nikka, her niece, loves the robot cat, and can’t seem to have enough of him. Though Doraemon’s soft blue clashes with the neon pink, Nalda is sure Nikka will love and thank her to death.
I suggested doraemon-flowers under a doraemon-sun over a hill covered with doraemon-grass. “I’ll think about that, but it sure is unique. Yellow and purple doraemon-flowers and neon green-doraemon grass would be cool. I have a week to make studies. Let’s eat.”
A lot of shredded lettuce covered the extra large burger patty, under which were sliced pickles, cheese and tomatoes. We couldn’t complain of stinginess even with the dressing as it was dripping with the delicious stuff.
It was an enjoyable messy meal but Nalda asked for a knife so she could slice the huge burger into two; she had a hard time biting into it. I used my knife, too, and it was indeed neater eating half-a-burger at a time. There was more finesse to it.
Then we turned our attention to the milky white mushroom. “It’s piping hot, so soothing to the stomach. It’s great to have soup when you’re tired or feel sad. This soup lifts me up because it has a kick to it maybe from pepper or chili.”
We had caramel Sundaes that came with cutesy spoons to scoop out the creamy ice cream. By now, our table was covered with boxes, waxed paper bowls and plastic utensils and glasses.
Nalda told me, “Something just clicked in my head regarding our clutter.”
“Ah, you have a headache?”
“Crazy guy, no! I’m thinking of recycling this disposable stuff here.”
“I know you know how to paint and all, but why bother with fast food utensils?”
She stared at her burger, took a small bite, and said, “Here we are ATM (at the moment), enjoying our meal but after this, where do you think will the garbage go?”
“Let me guess,” I said, “into the city’s misnamed ‘sanitary dump’ miles from where we’re sitting?”
“Very funny, Mr. Michael V, but responsible companies send them out to recycling plants. However, those meals that get taken home end up eaten at home, of course, but the trash is often mindlessly thrown into a neighboring vacant lot or the sidewwalk. When it rains, drainage systems get clogged with urban cholesterol.”
“It sure makes me feel guilty even if I throw my cholesterol at the proper place. I hate litterbugs, you know.”
“To lessen guilt by association, let’s recycle our cholesterol into works of art?”
“Are you asking me, or are you telling me?”
“Are you being irritating or are you acting you’re dumb but really smart?”
“Are we going to do the artwork today?”
“Think of this: Spray-paint the spoons and arrange them into flowers on a prepared board, or give these plastic glasses a nice design then group them into four to create a flower vase.”
“I can hardly wait to start working with you, Nalda FTW (for the win),” I said as we gathered our litter, while wondering what the clean-up crew would think when he found our neat table after the messy meal.