The McDonald’s Corporation of America

4 Feb

It was my job to throw out the lard. Or whatever the fuck it was– 100% healthful canola oil or some shit– it was this huge tall bin of white, semi-congealed fat from the fryers with chunks of Filet o’ Fish and floor-dropped hamburger patties that had been stewing at just above room temperature for days. They had a special dumpster for it, this big black steel trap with a heavy lid that opened onto a thick grate, and inside was just months and months worth of this rancid meat fat. The black box would heat up in the sun during the day and all the fat would melt into soupy grease, then it would cool by night and recongeal into a thick gelatinous mass. It smelled like a corpse and there were clouds of flies.

One time I found a dead skunk in there. Someone had left the lid open and the creature had somehow wormed through the four-inch holes in the grate-top, driven mad by the smell of meat. It had dropped down into the grease, which must have been liquid at that point, and I guess it couldn’t get a grip on the slippery walls and probably exhausted itself trying to stay afloat. By the time I found it the grease had recongealed and it was like Han Solo encased in carbonite– its muzzle frozen in a snarl of fear and pain and its little claw forever reaching out, futilely, for the steel bars that were just out of reach.

It was a message– a symbol of some kind. God was trying to tell me something about the self-destructive nature of my dreams. But I couldn’t wrap my mind around it; I was beat, and I had to go mop down the kitchen and get back to making Quarter Pounders. So I dumped my bucket of warm fat over its face and went back inside.

5 Responses to “The McDonald’s Corporation of America”

  1. Johnny Caustic April 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    This post is utterly awesome. I’m going to steal your story and tell it to people at bars as if it had happened to me. Thanks.

  2. Ottimus Prime May 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    You Sir, are a poet.

  3. Brigitte June 12, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

    I worked at BK. Women didn’t do the grease trap; equipment was too heavy. The men drained old liquified shortening thru a faucet-looking device into a lined disposal box w/a funnel on it. Remove funnel, close up box, carry box to an area next to the dumpster. Boxes picked up by a company that allegedly recycled the old shortening for things like makeup and soap. Supposedly.

    New shortening came in a giant cube, in the box that would eventually become the disposal box for said shoretning. Dump giant cube of shortening into fry vat, wait for it to melt.


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