This story illuminates some deeply troubling facts about me. One is that even from a young age I was insanely judgemental and relished in the ability to create dystopian societies and destroy them piece by piece on a daily basis. The other is that though I think of myself as a relatively giving person, in reality I am a crazy food hoarding maniac who would rather spit fire at someone than have them touch my food.
Here’s what would transpire:
My mom would take my friend and I to some terrible fast food restaurant. My friend would be standing next to me, showing off her latest sticker book page or something like that and letting me know where I could find the coolest stickers. I would be standing next to her, eyes wide, totally oblivious to anything she was saying, solely thinking of all of those crispy warm salty fries that would soon be mine.
Maybe there would be some extra long ones that were nearly burnt and crispy on the ends, yet magically squishy all down the sides and center. Oh man, I couldn’t wait. Why do the waiting moments last infinite time???!! I want them NOW!!!!
Also what the hell was my friend talking about? Didn’t she know that talking about useless things made infinite time spaces last infinitely longer????
The French fries finally arrive and I know that the very best moment of my life was just about to happen. I take the fries to the table and look in the bag like the creepy gleeful maniac that I was. It’s swarming with so many varieties of delicious salt infused godly superfood.
They are each so unique and beautiful. I carefully map out the best of the best, the weird, the horribly deformed, and the commoners. There is a very careful timeline to be followed when creating a French fry caste system. Since you want the best ones to still be warm and perfect when you finally attack them, speed is of the utmost importance.
I hastily remove the uglies first, you know, the ones that were too fat to be cooked all the way through, the ones with just a little too much burn, the broken ones, and the short worthless pieces that are only good for scrap eating desperation once the real true fries are gone. These are discarded into a pile of lowly worthless scum. Their sole purpose of existence is to give meaning and power to the common fries. After all once you eat a couple of these wretched fry scum, the lower class of common fry seems almost lordly!
The scum is left sitting and awaiting termination out in the open air, it doesn’t really matter if they get cold or not, they really can’t get any lower. The next ones out of the box are the lower middle class common fry. There really isn’t anything wrong with them, they are just boring or slightly imperfect. Often they are the slightly too short, slighltly undercooked, broken yet could have been lords if they had been whole, or maybe they were just normal fries that looked at me the wrong way.
Then the bulk of the fries are released. They are the true solid middle and upper class fries. Some are quite lovely. They reach to the sky with a confidence. “I am a fry, that is all!” They shout to the heavens. I admire them for their ability to be nearly perfect.
The final 2-5% left are the elite. They retain their right to stay in the box and keep warm, huddled together safely behind their cardboard castle walls. They fight for power amongst themselves but are given a very clear order of import. The king and queen and their immediate relatives are clearly quite superior to all of the others. They are the fries that just managed to reach a little higher. They have some special quality making their imperfection perfect. They are tall and confident, impossibly both crispy and squishy. They are royalty, through and through.
Let the eating commence!!!
The scum is gathered together and devoured. They scream for mercy, but they have no power over their hungry god of destruction. Maybe four scum get eaten and then an unlucky lower class fry gets picked off. The lower class fry is delicious and becomes a delightful treat compared to the others.
Once the scum is devoured the remaining lower class fries tremble in terror, they know they are next!
This type of careless consumption continues up through the middle-upperclass. I imagine the middle class fries to be hiding in their little stone houses and woodworking shops, fearful of their vengeful god, and hoping against all hope that they could be saved.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice a low class broken fry that really should have been one of the royals had misfortune not befallen him. I pity this poor wretched soul, he could have been so great… And then I decide maybe his imperfection really is actually quite beautiful. He and his closest friends enter the rank of the nobility and cause turmoil within. Several of the nobility are devoured by the ever vengeful god of wrath, and the newly crowned hero conqueror takes his place at the top of the French fry kingdom!
As I’m devouring and destroying, my French fry citizens struggle to survive. I eagerly anticipate the joy of devouring the rulers. When suddenly my friend reaches her hand in the bag, and grabs a handful of the most noble, loyal, perfect citizens and stuffs them in her mouth.
“I ran out, can I have some of yours? Here you can have a sticker!” She says as she’s masticating my poor leaders, their bodies torn apart in brutal agony by her big horrible toothy jaws of doom.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!” I scream at her. “You’ve just ruined the whole freaking kingdom!!! I hope you’re happy now!!!!” Everyone in the restaurant looks over uncomfortably, wondering what horrible parent has created such a terriblely rude and freakish child. My mom sinks a little lower in her seat and tries to pretend she is just part of the chair, and I sit in a fit of anger, wondering if I should even bother eating the rest of my fries now that the kingdom has been ruined.
My friend sits uncomfortably, not quite knowing what has just transpired. She busies herself with her stickers, and I don’t get invited to her next birthday party.
Flash forward to the future!
This problem still has carried over into my adult life. It just doesn’t make sense to people that you are a crazy food hoarding maniac, and if you let anyone know this about you they can become disenchanted with you very quickly. So I end up in predicaments where I have to either lie and pretend I’m this normal French fry sharing creature, or risk telling the truth which ultimately leads to some seriously awkward and potentially relationship destroying moments.
Here’s a possible first date: We go to the movies and have a great time, and afterwards decide to pick up some food. She orders a veggie burger and I get some tea and fries. After she finishes her burger she decides to ask me if I mind sharing a few of my fries.
Awkward silence. I then attempt to explain myself so that mayyyyybe she’ll understand…
Awkward silence ensues until I am dropped off. I do not get a second date.