He’s the most static eater I’ve ever seen, at least of McDonald’s meals with a hamburger, fries, and drink. I had previously referred to him as the food Buddhist on a few posts about regulars whose paths I cross in my frequented places. However, as those, like this one, was “warm-up” writing, not a lot of thought went into every detail. While observing him today at another chance path crossing, I thought up a few alternatives I liked better, and wondered which I should apply going forward in my mind, as I don’t anticipate writing about him again.
He’s a nearing retirement, roundish white guy with a grey moustache to go with his balding grey hair, and small glasses on a gentle face. After he sits down and unpacks his burger, fries, and drink, he begins his meditative eating. Both hands on the burger up to mouth level. Opens mouth and hands pushing in burger for a bite before pulling it back out. Chewing all done with mouth closed as if trying to win a least discernible chewing competition. Eyes occasionally moving to survey all he could see at eye level as he often sat against a wall or in a corner by the floor to ceiling window of the dining area. Nothing else really moved all this time. Then repeat cycle until burger is gone. On the rare occasion, he will take a sip of his drink before he finishes the burger, but he usually eats it all before moving on to another item.
Between burger and fries, he usually took down a fair bit of his drink. From an innocuous lifting of the drink straw to this mouth, to a dead still hold and a handful or more gulps, that’s all there was to it. Usually not even time for eye movement from wherever he was looking from his first sip!
With his fries, it was one hand raising the fries to mouth level to hold it there till done. Then the other hand gently picked out a few at a time to put into his open mouth with a mere twist of the wrist until the batch was done. Same lack of discernible chewing as if to win another such contest. Same mechanical visual surveying of things at eye level as he ate. That’s how little motion there was to it! No ketchup. No condiments. No nothing to complicate it.
Then some final sips of his drink as between the burger and fries, though he often took longer with the second round so I’m unable to say whether he drank a lot between burger and fries. However, I suspect he finishes the drink from the time often taken during the second sipping of his drink. And that was it! Sometimes he would sit there for a while longer, looking wide asleep. Other times, he would gently put everything in the bag supplied in place of trays these days, and walk to put it in the garbage before leaving.
My original nickname for this guy was the “food Buddhist”, because of his static, meditation resembling eating tendencies. Contrast that with me drinking almost between every bite, looking everywhere while chewing vigorously since chewing helps with neurogenesis, double or triple dipping my no salt fries pending their length, often talking with someone if there were someone there. If not, I’d like to think he and I had in common the fact we did deep thinking while we ate alone. Seeing this fella dine yesterday and thinking about what I had named him while I ate, my deep thought was that “food Buddhist” was not quite right because it suggested something holy or spiritual about the food he ate, which, McDonald’s is anything but. It also wasn’t right for how he ate because that would warrant another description. So what should I call him then?
Despite rejecting the Buddhist portion of the nickname I had previously given this guy, my McDeep Thoughts went to the holier Buddha instead, with a required humorous tone for whatever would end up being the chosen name. “Food Buddhist” had been too serious, and might have been taken serious since there were lots of Buddhists around. Buddha, on the other hand, no one would take seriously. Think of worshipper versus Jesus in a nickname. Same idea. One Jesus. One Buddha. Ah, McDeep Thoughts. I lovin’ them!
For the humour, I thought of either Mc to denote McDonald’s that I associate with this guy, or food, in the form of “fooda” because it rhymed with Buddha. Rhyming is always a key consideration for me in a good nickname, even though it doesn’t have to be present in the end. Between Mc and fooda, I came up with simple combination of one, the other, or both, among McBuddha, Fooda Buddha, and McFooda Buddha. Of those, I opted for McBuddha because I thought if someone blasphemously posed the Buddha with a burger, he’d probably strike a pose like this guy… waist up since the guy would find it hard to sit cross-legged in those McDonald’s chairs a tad small for him. So McBuddha was it, maybe jokingly Mr. McBuddha if the sentence called for it.
Now I just need names for those other regulars I had previously written about, besides the Drawing Lady, now formalized. Give me a little time on that one.