Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 4th Meal


           Eighteen has opened up a whole new world for me; I can watch porn now! But more importantly, the law no longer confines me to a driving curfew. Admittedly, I never paid much attention to that law in the first place, but at least now I don’t feel guilty about it. These past few weeks on projects, I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a routine. Jake’s house has become my forward operating base, from which I plan all of my Pikesville errands and activities. Since neither of us have any evening obligations anymore, we tend to use the full capacity of our available free time hanging out, going to the movies, and buying nosebleed tickets at Camden Yards.
As a result of this new schedule, I usually don’t get home until around one in the morning—just in time for the 4th meal. If you need to familiarize yourself with the concept of the 4th meal, just watch a few Taco Bell commercials on YouTube. There’s something about the clock hitting midnight that triggers a very particular brand of immobilizing famine within me. It’s a feeling I attempt to fight with every muscle in my body, only to be crippled by its otherworldly power.
To get home every night, I have to drive down a two-mile stretch of Route 40, the last major road before I turn into my development. Much like Reisterstown Road, 40 is littered with gas stations and fast food establishments. In just two miles, I pass: a McDonald’s, a Burger King, a Subway, an Arby’s, a Checkers, two 7-11’s, a Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins hybrid, a CVS, and a 24-hour Korean Barbecue called The Honey Pig. That’s two miles of vibrant neon signs, cheap hamburgers, and Coca-Cola products that I have to just ignore at one in the morning. Are you kidding me?
I’ve seen Food, Inc. enough times to know that eating at any one of those ‘restaurants’ will probably decrease my life expectancy. But if there is ever a time when fast food should be OK, I’d say it’s when you’re a teenager. My driver’s license says I’m eighteen, but I certainly don’t feel like an adult yet. So while I still have my coveted youthfulness, I don’t mind eating a few meat paste tacos and drinking some high fructose corn syrup. Soon enough I will have to start worrying about my health. But not today.