Some just like their food fast while others prefer the “stuff” that often comes under the category that is “fast food” also labeled popularly as “junk food”.
I’ll be the first to admit – as I usually am – that I adore fast food. Pizzas, Burgers, Chips, Momos, basically anything which has been either fried, steamed (for the health conscious) or has an unhealthy dose of cheese on it, is a given favourite of mine. Imagine a physically (never mentally) grown up, almost balding, 36-year-old man jumping with joy while eating a Four Cheese Pizza (or if you want to be really stylish you can say Quattro Formaggio with an Italian accent)… that’s me!
As was the case while growing up, we didn’t have all this. Our limitation to the world of fast food was having tasty footlongs at Nirula’s in South Delhi. That all has changed over the last two decades.
Obviously, this has also resulted in a scary scenario of children adopting the trend of eating such foods at an early age. While, just like any young member of this generation, my daughter too loves her pasta and pizza, I never stop her from eating any of this. In moderation, everything is fine.
But, this isn’t really about the pros and cons of fast food. I’m sure you will find enough blogs, articles and research papers that discourage or encourage you to enjoy the cheap and tasty pleasures of life. It is a never ending debate, one that I’d rather watch from the sidelines.
What I want to talk about instead is making a heartfelt request to fast food “joints”, or any place that serves even moderately “heavy” food, to make some changes with their restaurants.
It’s a request that comes from an aging individual whose lunch or dinner outings with the family includes a number of factors; from actually finding a parking spot near the restaurant to waiting patiently for the food to arrive, to making sure my kids eats enough food, and finally tackling the sugar rush that will make them stay up all night because while their mother wasn’t looking, I sneaked them a few sips of an aerated drink.
So, as a fan of the restaurant chain business, all around the world, I would like to put forth these following two very simply executable requests;
Recently, I had the opportunity to experience the pleasure of the Pizza Hut Everything Included All You Can Eat Lunch Buffet! (Phew!). That’s not what they call it, but that’s the gist of it. At the end of it, while I was letting my waist come back to its natural size (although I must confess, it wasn’t much of a journey for the waist), my mind started to wander. If this were a film; imagine me sitting on a table, my wife busy feeding my son, my daughter busy colouring one of those activity sheets that all kid-friendly restaurants have, and me with a dreamlike expression in animation with a thought bubble emerging out of nowhere, just as the camera zooms into it, to give you a glimpse into what I am thinking. Yup! I have a wild and very filmy imagination.
So, my first request is for an 8 Day Free Pass to a nearby gymnasium. In-case you are wondering why 8 days, let me try and explain.
The reason is that, after a couple of hours of stuffing myself, I was so bloated that I would obviously need a couple of days before I could even think about doing any exercise. We all know, even gym instructors say so, that we should never exercise after eating food, so two day are spent waiting for the right moment. That leaves us with 6 days.
Now everyone knows you cannot go to the gym every day. It is a well known fact that the companies who own gymnasiums rely on this. If everyone who paid for the gym actually went every day, these companies would go bankrupt. In the interest of helping an industry in this economically weak time, I decided to sacrifice my health for their financial health. That’s my good deed for the day done.We are now left with 4 days.
I’m sure all of you are busy people, not the type who spend time reading blogs (wait!… never mind), so we have to take out 2 days for work, sudden appointments, socializing etc. That leaves us with only 2 days and you need one to relax after such a hectic week.
In the end, technically you have only one day to enjoy some steam, sauna, Jacuzzi, and… Oh right you have to go now.
Oh well! you will definitely come back tomorrow for some exercise, Right?
Definitely, but first I must have some pizza so I can get another 8 days free pass.
See what I did there, repeat business for the restaurant.
My next request, which is even more important than the first one is for the restaurants to supply its customers with lounge chairs to take a nap for say an hour minimum.
I know what you’re thinking, that it’s absurd that I would even suggest such a thing, but hear me out will you?
By doing this, the restaurant companies (since this could work with any restaurant) are saving lives as people are less likely to fall asleep while driving which is of a high probability after having a heavy meal. And, this will also let people drink alcohol freely without having to worry too much, as they can then relax and sip some water and let that alcohol level go down before they venture out. In case someone passes out for the night, the restaurant can charge them a “parking fee”, and that my friends is how great ideas come alive. Sometimes, and just sometimes, I’m in awe of my ideas.
That being settled, what would blow our collective minds is if the very chairs we sat on to have our meal were to transform into the lounge chairs once our meal was finished.
I mean seriously how cool would that be?
You don’t even have to get up and risk walking to the lounge chairs (it is important to keep public safety in mind). That done, I knew you would be as excited I was when I thought of this, what would really blow out all our collective geek minds was if they (the transforming chairs) had an inbuilt music system that played the theme song of Transformers – The Movie (goes something like “Transfooormeeers, more than meets the eye!”) every time the transformation took place. Actually the mechanical sound all Transformers make while transforming would suffice as well. All you Transformers haters, I hope you get a chair that plays elevator music.
Being a businessman I agree that if the transforming chairs were to be placed in the restaurant, a lot of people would just come for those and not the food. Here is what should be done; as stated above, the transformation can only take place if, and only if, you have finished your meal and your weight has gone up in the process. What this also means is that parents would not have to coax their children into finishing the food. It’ll be as simple as saying “Hunny! You want the chair to transform, finish you food”, and lie back on your recently transformed lounge chair and see the magic happen! If you have leftovers, you would need the use of a special “management only key” that will transform your chair. Trust me, I’ve thought of everything.
Now, while I am posting this, and while I am sure someone is bound to jump up to the ideas I have suggested, why not we all make a pledge that the next time we are at a restaurant, any restaurant that you think can do with transforming chairs, we will drop in a little note in their feedback box, telling them about the gym membership scheme and the transforming chairs, and who knows one day we will be enjoying this simple pleasure of life as we bite into some succulent cheesy delights.
The above post was initially written for my ongoing parenting series Being Dad or was it It’s A Dad’s Life or some other name (I keep changing the name). The series used to be online at one time, but isn’t anymore. I’m sure it’ll pop up again in the future. This post is a bit out there, but then that’s what life should be all about.