Strathclyde Telegraph

Obscureoscope, column two (the world without… fast food)

YOU probably haven’t heard that eating fast-food will likely lead you on a downward spiral that only stops with your incarceration on Death Row.

A local councillor in India has attracted widespread derision for blaming an increase in the number of rapes in the town of Haryana on fast food. Jitander Chhatar, a council leader in the small Indian town, said chowmein, pizza and burgers cause a ‘hormonal imbalance, evoking us to indulge in such acts.’

It is both farcical and mind-boggling that any human being with a crumb of intelligence could put such a despicable act down to one’s dieting habits. If Chhatar is correct then why is it that the vast majority of Western civilization hasn’t descended into anarchy because of the fast food outlets splattered all over the USA and central Europe?

Burger King employees often seem to struggle to tell the difference between a cheeseburger and a hamstring, and now we know why. We can put it down to the stench of the burgers and chicken nuggets numbing their senses.

Imagine if this claim by Chhatar had been taken seriously. I did, and imagined a troubling post-apocalyptic world where fast food was outlawed.

Livestock would have to be culled ruthlessly before their populations skyrocketed. (This might not be much of a sacrifice, mind you. Cows – and sheep – are one of evolution’s sickest jokes and are embarrassingly useless animals in the wild. They are as likely to survive a week on a foothill as an ice cube is to last five minutes in a volcano.)

People paranoid that their thighs were like tree trunks would rejoice: dieting just got easier! But in this utopian world, I think such prohibition of fast food would backfire. Crime would hurtle out of control. Take the livestock that was supposedly wiped out. The animals that had survived would become invaluable black market items. Cows would become ‘gear’ – the new ‘druggy’ word for hamburgers. Crack dens would become a thing of the past. They would be replaced by McDens, where fast food would be manufactured illegally for consumption by drooling zombies gagging on their next fix.

Police would attempt to raid said fast food dens and quash this growing trade. Your typical McDen would be a rundown apartment block; the only thing giving away its seedy underbelly would be a smell so sweet and endearing that it made your stomach growl. Inside this dreary McDen you would find men and women wearing surgeon masks and aprons in an attempt to prevent themselves from indulging in the toxic fast food. The masks would stop these hollow workers from snorting the grated cheese intended for the pepperoni pizzas.

Once the gear was ready, dealers in blacked out cars would roll up dark alleys to give withdrawal-ravaged addicts their next fast-food hit. Formerly obese people would shuffle up, paying ridiculous amounts of money for their ‘gear’, before melting back into the night dragging an Iceland bag overflowing with raw Aberdeen Angus beef behind them. This cycle would continue and soon we would find a country swept up into hysteria over fast-food.

Let’s be honest; the only way fast food can have any impact on crime is if it was to be made illegal and people were willing to commit any sort of nefarious act in order to acquire a KFC. Thank the Lord that the world isn’t entirely full of mad men who think rape is a direct result of a dodgy takeaway or food that’s too fast for its own good. Chhatar’s notion of fast food causing such a heinous act is just as daft as the dystopian world I’ve imagined in a fast food served society.

Pure and simply, fast food is a staple of life nowadays and his ludicrous view makes you wonder how such a man was ever elected to serve his community.

By Michael Scobbie, columnist
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