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The Independent Culture

Middle-class problems: Fast food

By Simmy Richman

We have a guilty little family secret. We indulge it fairly regularly but rarely speak of it to strangers. From time to time, we have been known to take the toddler with us, though were such information to fall into the wrong hands, we might find ourselves ostracised from certain sections of our social circle.

We love fast food. There. It's out there and there's no turning back. McDonald's? We're lovin' it! Burger King? We got it! KFC? Finger lickin' good!

But the strange thing is that although when we visit one of the many fast-food emporia in our area we glance around and see people who look like "our kind", no one we know ever mentions it. Queue up for an hour at a trendy burger restaurant and people can't wait to tell the world about it. "Really?" we think to ourselves. Our Big Tasty arrived in moments. And big and tasty it was, too.

Are we really the only middle-class people who are prepared to admit to eating fast food every so often? Is there not a Facebook page or support group somewhere so we could link up with others prepared to challenge this taboo?

Sure, we also love places whose names we dare to speak. Nando's can be pleasant. Pizza Express ditto. But when you are in a hurry, don't want to spend a lot and need to fill up on something reliable and sort of weirdly delicious, there is no substitute for fast food.

And if you're not convinced there is a powerful cabal intent on poisoning our minds against this harmless habit (if eaten as part of a balanced diet, natch), just consider what they would have us call it: junk food indeed.