Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In McDonalds We Trust

The Volunteer Village manager instructed us to grab something to eat on our way from the airport. The village kitchen and food supplies would not be available to us until Sunday morning and we were arriving Saturday evening. So we drove east on I-10, away from the New Orleans airport and toward Mississippi. Even from the freeway you can see the devastation: acres upon acres of empty apartment buildings, boarded up stores, blue-roofed homes with FEMA trailers parked in the backyard.

Numbly, we turned our thoughts back to dinner. We were approaching an exit which promised the usual array of fast food choices, so we floated into the exit lane turned off. Someone had neglected to tell the sign people to remove the advertising. There were fast food restaurants there, all right. Boarded up. Locked. Weeds growing in the parking lot. Roofs buckling. Paint peeling. We got back in the van and tried the next exit. Same thing.

We were sick with horror. We're a group of sophisticated suburbanites who roll our eyes at fast food and eat in these establishments only when faced with a lack of options and/or a car full of whining children. Still, in the deepest parts of our souls, we know that, should we ever really need them, McDonalds will be there for us. No matter where, no matter when. Even if we devouered "Supersize Me", the golden arches are embedded in our psyches as unshakable proof that we live in a world that is safe and secure.

McDonalds gone? Shuttered and abandoned? We stood blinking like idiots. Of all the things we saw in the "Katrina Zone" this may be the one that will haunt our nightmares.

6 comments:

peripateticpolarbear said...

I didn't realize you were in Katrina zone right now.

Purechristianithink said...

Not now. Last week.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh man. I never thought about it that way.

Songbird said...

It's a devastating drive. Keep telling people what it is like. They need to know.

cheesehead said...

(o)

SpookyRach said...

Wow.