It’s 2:00 a.m. You’re on the verge of blackout drunk. One thought is on your mind: food. As you venture from the bar, club, or party towards the nearest provider of low-quality-yet-delicious food fare, a thought crosses your mind: “Should I be eating this? Is this okay for me to put in my body?” All apprehensions are quickly forgotten as the power of the liquor takes over. The Golden Arches come into sight. You can see the purple bell, smiling at you, inviting you in for more. Regardless of your choice, late night drunk fast food is something to be proud of in the moment — and ashamed of in the future.
So there I was, alone and wandering the streets of Boston. Narrowly escaping the clutches of a full-scale blackout, there was one goal on my mind: Tasty Burger. As I got off the T, I turned to my right and there it was. Fuck going to bed and attempting to salvage the following work day, it was on. As far as I was concerned, I sauntered into the late night fast food establishment cool, confident, calm, and collected. In reality, I was a walking human disaster. With more than a few too many buttons undone on my shirt and no life behind my eyes, I swung the door open prepared to make my entrance.
I approached the counter with a nimbleness and poise that could only be matched by a baby gazelle first learning to walk. I scanned the menu, desperately searching for the sandwich or burger that would be my salvation. Then it hit me. Why have just one, when I could have both? My stomach shuddered as it realized what I was about to do. “Can I get the buffalo chicken sandwich and the jalapeño burger, please? Oh yeah, can you throw in some fries as well?”
The master of my domain, I sat down at my table and awaited my feast. As I waited, I began to reflect on my life and my choices, and how maybe one day my poor decisions would catch up with me. Before I could get too introspective, it arrived. Without hesitation, I devoured the buffalo chicken sandwich, barely pausing for water, thoroughly enjoying the experience through and through. I settled in with a few fries before setting my sights on the jalapeño burger.
Often times, especially when bored on a long car ride or trip, the question arises: “If you could go back in time to one moment of your life, what would it be and what would you change?” For me, my solitary moment in Tasty Burger is the only pick I’ve got.
As I bit into the burger, a wave of sensations and tastes washed over me. I was alive. Unfortunately, as quickly as this feeling of ecstasy hit me, it was replaced. As it turned out, the burger did not just have a few jalapeños on top as I once suspected. Instead, it was topped with some sort of demonic jalapeño spread from the deepest layer of Hell ready to turn my taste buds to ash and banish my rectum to a red-hot doom. Within seconds, the realization that I had made a huge mistake came to my alcohol-soaked brain.
So there I was, sitting in the corner booth of a fast food restaurant after last call, desperately trying to work my way through this burger — sweating, drunk and alone. In hindsight, it makes for a fun story, but the message to me is clear. The late night fast food run is something to be both respected and feared. As easily as it can turn your night around or give you much-needed relief to your hunger, it is truly a double-edged sword. Many times, the consequences are not worth the brief relief to your hunger, as I learned the hard way.
All I can ask of you is to just be safe out there. It’s a big and dangerous world, and when you’re one or two or twelve drinks too deep, that Tasty Burger or Taco Bell or whatever you choose may seem like the right idea at the time, but could just as easily begin to haunt you before you know it. .