The expression "fast food" suggests that you're expected to gulp it down rapidly. A US photographer, Sally Davies, has conducted an interesting experiment that seems to prove, on the contrary, that fast food is capable of standing by patiently, like a faithful robotic dog, until you decide that the right moment has come to savor it. She purchased a simple meal on 10 April 2010 (from a celebrated chain of fast-food outlets), and she promptly took a photo of it:
She then decided not to eat it straight away. Instead, she took further photos of it, periodically, to see how the food reacted to the passage of time. Here, for example, is the meal as it appeared on the 137th day:
As you can see, it's pristine, as if it had just been dished up. Now, this experiment would appear to prove something… but it's hard to say what. I was intrigued, above all, to learn that no bugs or insects of any kind had moved in for a tiny fast snack. If I understand correctly, even run-of-the-mill bacteria didn't appear to be very keen on this food… which is probably the most disturbing discovery of all. An observer can't help wondering if the daring bacteria that had moved in first actually succumbed to their tasting… like the tasters employed by medieval despots who were afraid of being poisoned. There are many pressing questions. For example: Has the meat retained its delicate barbecue texture? Are the French fries just as crisp today as when they emerged from the fry-pan? Another interesting question: Could food with such exceptional qualities of durability maybe play a vital role in lengthy space voyages?
The only thing that seems to be missing (for the moment) from this fascinating experiment is an in-depth gastronomical description of what the food actually tastes like at the end of that lengthy period.
POST SCRIPTUM: The latest French publicity for a celebrated fast-food outlet looks like this:
I'm a little annoyed to realize that French viewers are expected to understand that the English expression Big Tasty means "grand et savoureux". Does the US McDonald's corporation dare to consider that they're on a cultural mission aimed at teaching the French to speak English? No doubt yes. The thing that most intrigues me in this ad is the unexpected statement DURÉE LIMITÉE in the lower left-hand corner, meaning "limited duration"... which contradicts completely the above-mentioned idea, gleaned from the experiment of Sally Davies, that these fast foodstuffs might be astonishingly durable, if not eternal.
Having spoken thus, I'm confident that French cultural authorities will not tolerate this sort of linguistic bullying… in spite of the fact that they're faced with countless silly young French idiots who might think it smart to be brainwashed by a foreign force. In a Darwinian perspective, I'm convinced that the defenders of French linguistic culture will nevertheless emerge victorious, because all the young idiots who are tempted to eat that big tasty shit will surely die young, leaving little or no progeniture. Unless, of course, the US marketing geniuses hit upon the idea of launching a fabulous MacDarwin burger... whose exact evolutionary contents remain to be specified!