When I came back in I was immediately attacked by The Buddhawg. I had to hold my hands way over my head so he wouldn’t nip them, but he jumped up and tried anyway.
“Mom!” I said.
“Don’t let him bite you,” she said. “We’re trying to train him out of it.”
“I’m not letting him. He’s forcing it to happen.”
Then she had to pick him up again and throw him back behind a high wall of metal wires. Even then the puppy kept staring at my fingers and barking at them.
“Mom!” I said.
“I’m just about to make a nice big salad.”
“Salads are the best food. They’re full of the vitamins and minerals your Self needs to Grow and have none of the toxins that Shrink it.”
Then she made a huge bowl of it for me, but it was only made of things from The Great List of Gross Food. There was sharp, pointy weed-lettuce and tomatoes and red peppers and cauliflower and toadstool mushrooms and currents and walnuts and lots of seeds and no dressing on it whatsoever. I tried to eat it, but the taste was not good, and every time a bite went in I had to close my eyes and shake my head, and my throat would try to close off so none of the grossness could get in. I looked down and there was so much left I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish.
“Can I have something else?” I said.
“Something from the Great List of Food.”
“Well, I guess you can look around.”
I got up and opened the refrigerator and the pantry, but nothing we used to eat was in there anymore. There were only unfamiliar things called ‘herbal tea’ and ‘tempeh’ and ‘quinoa.’ The Tingles got big and swirled. I got dizzy and wobbled.
“Mom!” I said. “I can’t eat anything here.”
“What’s wrong with the salad?”
“Everything. I want McDonald’s.”
McDonald’s is a restaurant about being able to get the same great fast food everywhere in America. Everything on their menu is scientifically designed for the most Realities to MeToo. And it’s ready to eat as soon as you order it. The best thing there is The Happy Meal. It comes with a cheeseburger, french fries, milkshake and a toy of a McDonald’s character like Ronald McDonald.
Ronald McDonald is a clown about being really happy.
“Tss, tsst, tsst,” Mom said. “McDonald’s is the most toxic food there possibly is!”
“But you made me like it, cuz we would always stop there on the way back from The Mall.”
Mom wasn’t listening tho, she just kept shaking her head and tsst-ing me.
I had to fight thru the TimeFuck and get out of there again. I made it to the garage and got in the car. But then I realized I got in the back seat. Then I realized it was Mom’s car, and my own car was actually in the driveway. And then I realized I actually didn’t want to drive anywhere ever.