Amethyst Cartoons

Chapter 1-
Fast Food Fun

-Follow Me
 

The thick, warm, muggy air hung heavy. The place was filled with many odd smells. Mostly grease, a bit of piss too, but that’s not something we like to know. The fatty grease unleashed a pungent smell into the atmosphere. The floors were smooth, but were incredibly tacky with the thousands of feet treading across it each day. The feet of men, women, and many, many darling children, playfully running about, emitting high pitched screams that would make even banshees jealous. The floors also contained the remains of many previous meals and food substances. Again, mostly grease, but a few pieces of food was sometimes trampled into it. The tables were the same, tacky. You place a drink on it and you had to use a crowbar to prise it off again. You lean on it with your elbow and the paramedics have to pay a visit. There was a lot of gum under them too. You only had to bump the bottom of the table with your knee to get a load of pink sticky rubber clinging forcefully onto your trousers. Sort of like super gluing a slug to your knee. Plants hung about the area to make the place more family orientated, but even they were fat. You squeezed a leaf and got a fistful of grease in your hand. The ceilings housed thirty-year-old sprinkler systems, which would be as effective at tackling a fire as would a can of oil, coated in a layer of aerosol. The whole place was plastic. The floor was plastic, the tables were plastic, and if you haven’t guessed so already, yes, even the food was plastic.
Yes, life is fun in a fast-food establishment. Now with the eighteen-hour-a-day burger-flipping, chip-frying, puke-inducing labour called work, you leave with £2.54 each day and get very polite, understanding and considerate customers to serve all the time.
“Where’s my food you little shit!” Blasted a loud voice, cutting through the screeching of the many so-called kids in the so-called restaurant.
“I ordered that thing twenty three seconds ago! Now where is it!?” the man cried, banging his oversized fist on the counter.
Edward looked over to the bellowing man, who was about forty and balding, with a thick, walrus moustache containing remains of his last meals. He had sufficient flab to create a small child, and had wide staring eyes.
Edward scowled. He had deep consideration in spitting in the man’s burger, which he was just putting together, but he had used up all of his saliva in the milkshake. So, he opted to throw extra gherkins in the burger, crush it with the top half of the bun, and lobbed it in the polystyrene packaging. He dumped the man’s ‘food’ in the bag, making sure he spilled the fries as he did so, and took it over to him.
“Have a nice day sir!” smiled Edward, infusing the sentence with all the insincerity and sarcasm he could. He made sure he put on a big grin on his face, to emphasise his displeasure.
The man grumbled to himself, and stormed off.
Edward let out a huge sigh, and went over to the wall. He then stood there for about a minute with his forehead against it, gazing down into the greasy floor below him, asking himself over and over the same question. “How the hell did I end up here.”
There was a small dent where his forehead rest. He’d leant against it sufficient times to wear away a small groove in the wall.
He was just about starting to relax, when an ear-piercing noise shot through his skull.
“Oi! Ain’t ya ganna serve mei?”
He twisted his head and swore under his breath.
At the counter, he saw a girl of about fifteen. She was chewing gum, and had about five piercings in her face alone. He dreaded to imagine how many others there were. She had her hair scraped back in a ponytail, and had so much mascara and eye-shadow on, that she looked a bit like a panda. Only she mated more often, looked anorexic and unfortunately wasn’t a very rare thing. She was wearing a pink tracksuit top. Under her arms were two kids, and a third was resting in a nearby pram. “Well?” she screeched. “Wha-dya fink you are, God or summink? I wan’ phree large fries, two for me and one for mee-shell”
“Sure, and do you want a happy meal for the three fathers aswell?” Edward muttered to himself.

At the end of a painstaking day, Edward left his shift, and set off for home. But just as he was leaving, his manager poked his head out of his office.
“Ah, yes, Edward. Come here lad”
Edward rolled his eyes and turned around to face his boss.
“Right this way, I have something to give you!”
His boss gestured with his finger, and was beaming quite proudly.
Edward plodded into his boss’ office, hoping he would be presented with a retirement fund and an all-expenses paid trip to the Caribbean.
“Now, Edward. For your expertise on the counter, I would like the present you…this!”
He held up a small gold star, with a smiley face imprinted on it. It was cheap, plastic, and incited about as much interest in Edward as a carrot stick would.
Edward stared at it.
“What is it?”
“What do you mean? ‘What is it?’ It’s a gold star! You’ve earnt it my lad! That service you showed me today was utterly spectacular! More workers should be like you!”
“But I was…”
“…That brilliant show of insincerity and sarcasm was truly remarkable!”
Edward paused in disbelief. “Say what, sir!?”
“That sarcastic comment you made to the fat bloke! All those sarcastic comments you made today! I’m rewarding you for those!”
Edward looked around nervously, unsure whether his boss was setting him up for a joke. He was sure that his boss would start laughing, and the plant in the office would suddenly stand up, and say “We got you on hidden camera! How does it feel?” Edward decided to bite the bullet anyway. “Why?”
“Why? What do you mean ‘Why?’ Because, my lad, that’s the way we work! You’re following the fast-food code! So I’m rewarding you for obeying orders!”
“What’s this ‘Fast-food code’?”
His boss took a seat and lit a cigar. He was a tall man, but had a bit of a stomach to him, he wore a suit and had combed back, black hair. “Well, you see, every time a company starts up; it’s given a set of rules to abide by. You know, disability stuff, safety and what-not. But fast-food industries are given a special one, yes. You see, we offer the lowest standards around, and we have rules to follow to ensure we do that.”
That explained the rat in his burger which put Edward off fast-food ten years ago. He knew that the odd rat body-limb in a burger wasn’t uncommon, but he never expected a live one, which decided that Edward looked rather nice for a snack, and attack him. Edward only saw the top half of the bun attacking him, so he ended up running around the restaurant shouting “HELP! BURGER!” Boy that was painful. Even more painful was the fact that he had to try and explain it to policemen afterwards, who fell on the floor laughing. One of them had to go to casualty for laughing too hard. Edward decided to stop reminiscing about his nightmares after the event, about giant killer burgers with rats, and get back to the current award ceremony with his boss. “I see”
“And so, as you’re following the rules, I’m awarding you the star with the smiley face on! That one’s the insincere one! You’re also working your way up to the drinks badge, due to your fine spitting efforts!”
He pinned the badge onto Edward’s name tag
“Wear it with pride my boy!” he said, clenching his fist with honour. Edward was amazed at how seriously this man took the award.
Edward started to back out of the office. “Er…yeah, thanks very much, but I’ve got to go…” He moved hastily to the door.
As he exited, he heard a voice behind him. “Save it for the customers, lad! Don’t be insincere with me!”
Edward left before he had to endure more of his bosses ‘pep-talk’.
Boy he hated this place.