I don’t feel lonely
Sitting in front of your hateful PC and languishing from loneliness. Thoughts thicken like jelly in a deepfreezer, eyes almost start to yawn, mouse pointer slowly moves to Solitaire icon. But suddenly your mailbox clatters – Oh, those wonderful mail slits of Irish Georgian doors! – the mail has arrived.
And you’re happy with this moment of freedom and have a good reason to leap up from your familiar spot and rustle with your slippers cheerfully as you go out to the corridor. Today my mailbox clattered four times. And what have I received?
A leaflet from the oldest in Dublin Indian takeaway, “Fresh-n-Halal”Chicken Hut menu, and an ad booklet “Posh Pizza” from Four Star Pizza. Every time I heard a clatter of my mailbox, I felt myself in demand and necessary. After having looked through the correspondence I felt hungry and cheated: cheated with hopes to see a beautiful postcard with hot palm-trees and girls from my adventuring friends, or a package from my mom with another knitted cap (“It’s already autumn, cold weather is coming.” – It’s impossible to explain about eternal Dublin half-autumn-half-spring) and hungry because that Posh Pizza looks really like a D4 skimpily dressed girl with an appetizingly overflowing love handle of tantalizing gorgonzola. You have nothing to do save drag yourself along to the kitchen for the portion of legal narcotic intoxication with caffeine, especially pleasing because it’s made in Moca, a real Italian coffee-maker, brought from real Italia by a real and very loud Italian neighbour. I take the heap of glossy to the point of garish papers with me, to amuse my eyes at least somehow, while drinking a cup of brown sweet slush.
I’m making a hit parade of brochure quality. The first place is won of course by well-promoted “Four Star” network. The booklet has a lot of alluring information. I’m reading it like an evening paper. One can learn that drivers carry no more than 20 for the case of aggressive hitch-hikers and they’re proud of being Coronation Street’s sponsors. I’ve heard something about that most famous Irish or British soap opera from my friends who watch TV. By publishing this they probably imply that while watching stupid heart-rending sorrows of common-people-like me it’s not bad to fortify yourself with a Fatbread of Happiness. It’s also noted that you can order everything not only by phone, but also through 2 web-sites, and by e-mail, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I could just shout loudly through my window, since I’ve counted about 30 subsidiaries all over Ireland. Even prior to closely examining the booklet a question arises in my head – is really their business so prosperous that they can print tens of thousands of booklets, hire delivery men and open new pizza-huts at every corner, regardless of growing competition from sons of China (who always give you plastic forks instead of wooden chopsticks for no obvious reason), the faithful sellers of halals and kebabs (who seem to me to be supported by their oil relatives) and the Romanianised fish-and-chippers?
“Ha!” my friend cook Dima would exclaim, who is madly fond of turning any product from my fridge into an exotic dish with a pile of used crockery in the background, “Pizza is made from a handful of wheat, a drop of water, and tiny amounts of cheap, sliced diversity,”- which costprice, even in desperate conditions of counting cents before going to the nearest Spar, Londis, or worse THE MENACE OF MACE, is negligible in comparison to the standard price of 7 for a 9″-wide shortcake bread, spread with something like Dolmio sauce (100 portions in a 1 can are guaranteed!) – not to forget 100% extra for pepsi and cola, apparently for cooling it. I imagined the statistics of the over-weight people. It’s not necessary to study the surveys of the World Health Protection Organisation that declared the main problem of the 21st century was not AIDS or SARS but obesity. Go out in the street, and the flab rolling out of the tracksuits of the population will strike your eyes.
Though McDonalds is trying to wriggle its way out of its reputation and by all means to rid itself of a negative “fast food” label, introducing choices of salads and vegeburgers, there still exist maniacs like that American who carried out the extreme obesity experiment on himself, eating only I’m lovin’ itÂ® food and sacrificing his own health to show what’s it all about in the world of profits and gains of double cheeseburgers and large fries.
I can’t talk for you, but I still won’t feel lonely, when I hear the clatter of the tin door of my mailbox because I am sure there are many other people who are also browsing through the nice pictures and who understand what lies behind the beautiful glossy print of a girl dressed in uniform and smiling on the phone taking your order.
Published in The Little Picture #2 2006