Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Law and Order in the Food Court*

The following is a future conversation coming to a municipality near you.

Sitting down at the local chain establishment known for its greasy cheap abundant delicacies that have been deep fried more than once, I prepared to enter that gastronomic paradise known as fresh fried chicken. My meal was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a staff member from the chain, dressed in the red uniform, wearing secret service glasses and holding a brief case.

“You ordered the trans-fat saturated high carbohydrate and sodium basted poultry with a side of twice submerged in canola oil high starch potatoes with a whole milk sugar enhanced frozen beverage?”

“It’s on the menu, #3.” I sputtered.

“Yes Ma’am, please sign these release forms.” He said as he produced a stack of paper an inch thick and placed them in front of my meal.

“What for?”

“Exemption from liability for any current existing known or otherwise health conditions that may or may not be exacerbated by the ingestion of excessive carbohydrate and fat infused food products, resulting in but not limited to heart disease, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, obesity, muscle fatigue, and gout.”

I looked around for a camera or someone to shout “You’ve been punked.” But everyone else in the store was ordering, eating or simply observing. The staff of the business seemed not to notice anything.

“Is this a joke?” I started.

“No Ma’am, no joke. We here at …have started a proactive policy of targeting 10% of our customer base at random to ensure that we show due diligence in warning our patrons about the dangers of eating these particular foods which the government has deemed exceptionally hazardous to the long term well being of its citizens.”

“And I’m…”

“This noon’s recipient of the information.”

"Why me? I'm not that overweight!"

"Ma’am, if we only spoke to people who were obese, we'd be accused of physical profiling. That's against federal law."

“I see. Well, you’ve told me. Now take these forms and go away. My food’s getting cold.”

“You will not sign these release forms?”

“No! I bought the food and I’m going to eat it.”

“I see. Thank you Ma’am for your time.” He removed the first form and my drink.

“What are you doing? That’s my chocolate shake!”

“Substituting a healthy soy-based, protein enhanced sugar substitute frozen beverage, flavored with carob.” He snapped his fingers and another employee in red with sunglasses appeared with a new drink and placed it on my table.

“But I ordered a chocolate shake.”

“If you had signed the release form, it would stay Ma’am.”

“Get me the manager.”

“Certainly, sign this affidavit indicating you wanted to initiate mediation rather than accept responsibility for your poor health choices.” He pointed to the next form.


“It makes you responsible for all potential legal fees involved in the negotiations regarding the return of your chocolate shake.”

“Get me the manager now. I’m not signing anything.”

“Very well Ma’am, I’ll alert the management. In the meantime…” he snapped his fingers again and away went my food. The second employee in sunglasses put an apple, broiled chicken breast and salad in front of me. “Enjoy your meal Ma’am.”

“Give me back my chicken. I paid for it.” I stood up, I was mad.

“Ma’am, you may have back the entire meal on one proviso.”

I should have said “No provisos, I want to eat my food now!” But curiosity got the better of me, “What proviso?”

“Sign this form indicating a pledge enforceable by law that you will put in the obligatory 10 hours of cardio-vascular exercise necessary to erase the calorie-intake health risk represented by this meal.”

“I belong to a gym already.”

“Yes Ma’am, this makes it possible for the government to check into your gym records. You also will not be allowed to frequent another establishment of this franchise until those ten community service hours of exercise are served.”


“Oh, and one more thing.” He puts the remaining papers back in his brief case and my cold chicken and fries and melted shake back on the table.


“You owe an additional $4.25 for the heart healthy lunch.”

“But I didn’t eat…”

“Yes Ma’am, but federal regulations prohibit the food from being served to someone else, so it is yours to dispose of as you wish. Here is your bill. Bon Appetite.”

*Original run on November 12, 2007


Margaret said...

McDonalds-I surrender...mwg

Maria Fernanda McClure said...

and oh so appropriate again!
When I worked in Real estate, I kept begging the agents to stop selling property in Montgomery County to lawyers...

Anonymous said...

Still funny-maybe funnier given the current mood (and mode) of government. Texas Mom

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