“OH Lord, give us this day our daily McDonald burger?. This would be an apt prayer for us globalised-cum-Americanised Indians. To it Satiricus would like to add??But, oh Lord, please see to it that any worm inside is not left half-fried but is fastidiously fully fried.? This is not levity with the Lord. For some time back, when a school-girl in New Delhi bit into her lunch-time McDonald'schicken burger, she saw a half-fried worm in it. How could this culinary calamity happen? It could not, declared McDonald'sin a statement issued on the momentous matter. Why? Because ?Our rigorous systems makes it impossible for an incident like this to happen.?
Ah, but then how did the impossible become possible and the possible become actual? For that McDonald'shad an excellent explanation??There is a possibility that the worm got in later (from the counter to the car), as the order was a takeaway.? That certainly explains it, says Satiricus?although a slightly suspicious Satiricus would have said it certainly explains it away. For it would be an exceptional worm that would hitch a ride from the counter to the car inside a burger for the priceless pleasure of getting half-fried.
Anyway, McDonald?s, whose global sales are a whopping thirty billion dollars, claims that its products are prepared using the most modern, state-of-the-art cooking equipment to ensure quality and safety. Translated into English, this means their pots and pans are clean as well as good to look at. And there'sthe rub. For here Satiricus recalls that figure of speech??container for the thing contained?.
Should Satiricus take it for granted that a good McDonald'spot will cook a good McDonald'sburger? Alas, not necessarily, if an Italian by name Raspelli, described as ?one of the top food personalities? in the country, is to be believed. He says McDonald'sburgers taste like rubber and their fries like cardboard. McDonald'shave sued him, claiming that the comments were ?clearly defamatory and offensive,? but the critic says he has no intention of going back on what he said. Good God! What would it mean if this anti-American Italian, this anti-McDonald moron, is sticking to what he says because it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the tasteless truth? Would it not mean that modern, multinational Indians are disdainfully discarding their delicious daily dal-roti and gorging themselves on McDonald'srubber and cardboard? And if that is so, Satiricus, although far from being a foodie, would firmly say that modernity and McDonald'smust meet at some point. For progress should be palatable, globalisation should be good to eat. In the considered, culinary opinion of Satiricus, modern progress (or progressive modernity), as represented by McDonald?s, should be like those books that Charles Lamb described??there are books and books, some books are to chewed and digested…? And here he recalls what his grandma once said to him??Look, kid, God has given us thirty-two teeth, so we should chew every Morsed thirty-two times.? How ridiculous that now sounds, no?
For Americans living life in the fast lane, eating food so slowly would be an absolutely un-American activity, and so they invented fast food in general and McDonald in particular. But here too, surprisingly enough for Satiricus, he finds that there are people who side with his grandma against the fast-food giant. And a prominent one among them is the Raspelli quoted above, who is leading a popular ?slow food? movement in Italy. See? What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?and eat a leisurely burger at a slow-food joint?
So Satiricus solemnly suggests to the Italian powers that be in secular, succulent India that instead of keeping India'sglobalisation entirely American, it should also be allowed to be Italian to an extent. In the meanwhile Satiricus is happy to learn that Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), banished from India a few years ago, is set to return. What makes him happier is the news that KFC has agreed to be ?chicken-hearted?. That is, under pressure from animal welfare activists, the President of Kentucky Fried Chicken has pledged to improve the lives and deaths of the 350-million chickens it serves in the US every year. In return, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will pull back its advertisements that accused this fast-food chain of being ?Kentucky Fried Cruelty?. There! Every chicken-hearted Indian (Satiricus included) should rejoice at the big news that Kentucky Fried Cruelty has agreed to become Kentucky Fried Kindness.
In accordance with reported terms and conditions of the KFC-PETA deal (?American deal in deals, not us agreement), Kentucky Fried Chicken promised to provide chickens with ?mental and physical stimulation? such as toys, increase the living space allotted to each chicken by as much as thirty per cent, and overhaul the slaughter system to ensure human deaths. Satiricus is impressed. In fact he is amazed. He is amazed to see the milk of American kindness overflowing into the animal kingdom and ensuring ?humane deaths? for chickens to be slaughtered, fried and eaten. Now Satiricus does not know how humane any killing can be, but then, what does this Indian ignoramus know?
All he can guess is that the people (who are) for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) may have come up with an admirably ethical method of slaughtering and frying chickens. Oh well, morality and mortality fit together to a T, wot?