Free Dinner 

It has been hot around here lately, which isn't so bad for me during the day, but at night things get to be a little unbearable. The afternoon heat seeps into the walls and then pours slowly out at night in a claustrophobia-inducing miasma of dark warmth. I try not to stay up too late watching television, but is sometimes hard to go to sleep at a decent hour under a blanket of heat.

The other day, I decided to indulge in my bad habit of eating fast food. Although I had a good breakfast of eggs, toast, and whatnot, I skipped lunch and when 9:00 p.m. rolled around, I figured that Burger King was a good enough place to fill my belly. And, when I say fill my belly, I mean just that; after as many hamburgers as I have eaten in my life time, they all have that same cardboard-bland-like taste. I should have cooked dinner, but like I said, it is a bad habit.

Night Mountain

So, I drove eight blocks down to the restaurant, pulled up to the drive-thru speaker and ordered a number one with a coke. (For those of you who do not eat at Burger King, a number one is a whopper, fries, and a drink: $4.29 where I live.) As I pulled around the building, I saw a man--who looked homeless--digging through the garbage. As I drove around him, he had found a hamburger that someone had thrown away. He held it in his hand as he continued to search the trash can. It seemed as if he was looking for more food.

I pulled up to the pickup window, paid my money, and waited the few minutes to get my order. None of the employees seemed to have noticed the man, otherwise, I am sure that they would have told him to leave. In my several previous trips to fast food restaurants, I have been occasionally asked by homeless people to buy them sandwiches, and I have seen the restaurant employees chase these people away.

The man who had been digging in the trash for food left by the time that I got my order, but I drove back behind the building and tracked him down a couple blocks away. He was walking through the parking lot of an industrial building. "Hey! Buddy," I called out to him. "Are you hungry?" He stopped a looked at me for a brief second before answering that he was. He looked a little embarrassed to admit that fact. He also seemed to recognize that I was going to give him my all food, the whole order, which I did. After I handed the meal over, I drove to the next fast food restaurant, McDonald's, and got another meal for myself.

29 May 2005
Comments: Post a Comment