What's going on with McDonald's? I thought the whole idea was that the food was crap but at least it was fast and cheap. The other day I visited one of their restaurants for the first time in years, forced there by torrential rain, insatiable hunger and the absence of any alternative.
At first everything looked normal. There were the usual crackhead mums shoving fries into toothless infants whilst checking their phones for texts, a couple of old ladies hiding in the corner wistfully remembering the Lyons tea rooms and a lad in a shell suit who wasn't eating anything but seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere, judging by the moronic grin on his face.
But the food was completely different - healthy salads, fruit juices and wraps seemed to dominate the menu. Where were the quarterpounders dripping in grease, or the milkshakes consisting of 22 sugars and wood pulp (allegedly)?
I tentatively approached the counter and asked for one quarterpounder and a medium strawberry shake (I took great care to remember to omit the word milk). A girl with very poor skin looked up and asked 'Dwanamildil?' Thinking that there was a misunderstanding, I repeated my order and she repeated her question, adding 'It's cheapar.' I nodded and paid double what I was expecting before being told that I would have to wait. Wait! What has happened to fast food?
Five minutes later, Fagash Lil ambled over and wiped my table. My God, it's almost waitress service now. I felt as if I had been in a coma for twenty years.
This must be the post-Supersize Me McDonald's, trying to claw back its market share after several years of declining sales. It was a strange experience, but I'm relieved to say that the quarterpounder and milkshake tasted the same as they did in 1994, right down to those bloody gherkins. Indeed, like cockroaches after a nuclear holocaust, I bet the gherkins will still be there in 50 years' time.