Fast food. I ate it as a kid. And I liked it.
A quarter pounder with ketchup only was my special order at one fast food establishment; no heat lamp burgers for me.
It's a different story for our kids. They've never eaten fast food. Let me clarify; they have never eaten at any fast food chains.
Sure, they enjoy pizza and grillwurst and chicken nuggets every now and again, but they've never been to Quick, Burger King, KFC, or whatever other chain there is.
In fact, a couple weeks back while driving around Luxembourg our older son wondered aloud, "What is McDonalds, anyway?" I wasn't sure to be thrilled or concerned. How could he not know? Those annoying red and yellow/white signs burn like beady eyes against the urban sprawl of America and dot its highways like greasy fingertips.
Perhaps it's because those establishments are not as ubiquitous here in The Grand Duchy. Another reasonable possibility is because my wife and I don't eat at those places. For her growing up in in Estonia prior to 1991, there was only one brand of red.
As for me, I stopped eating fast food way back in the early 80s. Since then, there have been three lapses.The first was in 1996 while living in Morocco as a Peace Corps Volunteer. McDonalds had just opened in Rabat, so it was the place to go. The other two, surprisingly, were here in Luxembourg. In 2006, a parent of a child I was tutoring organized to meet at Pizza Hut in Bereldange.
There was also a near consumption calamity in 2005 while chaperoning a class on a bowling trip. Afterwards while the students ate at the aforementioned "Arches", I waited in the parking lot, the wretched stench inside triggering my gag reflex. It was foul.
Like those kids, at some point our boys will go to a fast food joint with their friends. I won't be thrilled, and I won't be concerned. I will be sick, though, when I smell the stink that has stuck to their clothes.
By Dan Franch