David’s Daily Digital Dollop: Dollop 237 – McDonald’s vs Hospitals

Download the audio version of today’s Dollop here

I can’t get the song Daniel Wet Himself Today out of my head. If you didn’t listen to the Dollop from a couple of days ago, then you won’t have heard this epic composition by me at the age of nine. I’ve caught myself singing it under my breath on a number of occasions throughout the day.

We’ve been to Whitby Folk festival today. At one point I was chatting to Becky Unthank and during the conversation she received a text. We momentarily stopped talking As she checked the message. As I waited, I absnt mindedly began to sing Daniel Wet Himself Today under my breath. I didn’t think she heard me, but then a few minutes later I heard her humming something to herself which sounded a bit like Daniel Wet Himself Today. It might not have been Daniel Wet Himself Today. To be honest, I think I’ve got the song so firmly stuck in my head, that all other songs have also started to sound like Daniel Wet Himself Today. If there are any songs about incontinence on the next Unthanks album, then you know who and what inspired it.

I was about to remark that if I travelled back in time to visit my nine-year-old self and tell him that his song would still be being sung by me twenty-two years later, then I would be massively surprised; but actually, I was the kind of child who’d probably find that perfectly understandable and would see no reason why a song of such magnitude shouldn’t stand the test of time. I might also be a bit disappointed in my future self, that I was wasting the ability to time travel on visiting my nine-year-old self to point out the bleeding obvious. Of course “Daniel Wet Himself Today” was still going to be sun twenty-two years in the future. I suppose I might be a tad impressed that I’d discovered how to time travel, but when you’re the kind of kid who’s got the creative genius to think up a masterpiece like “Daniel Wet Himself Today,” then it’s very difficult to be impressed by mere time travel. I think I’d still consider “Daniel Wet Himself Today” to be my most noteworthy achievement.

I’ve just had my first Macdonalds for a very long time. We stopped off at a service station which didn’t really have anything else open. There are certain places that are easily identifiable without the use of sight. The sandwich shop Subway, for instance, is very blind-friendly, because it has a very distinct smell which pervades through the street, making it easy to locate. There have been times when I’ve been in an unfamiliar town, feeling hungry, then smelt the familiar smell of Subway, and was able to literally follow my nose to get me there. Although there was one rather embarrassing time that I smelt the smell, followed my nose, and ended up inadvertently essentially stalking a poor woman all the way home, simply because she was eating a Subway; well, that’s the story I told the police, and I’m sticking to it.

The thing that helps McDonald’s be identifiable to blind people is the sound it makes. McDonald’s is one of the only eateries I’ve been to that has this particular ambient sound. There is constant beeping. Every appliance seems to beep. When you walk into that place, from the sound alone you know that you are either in McDonalds, or an intensive care unit of a hospital. Although I suppose if you are eating in McDonald’s, then chances are it won’t be too long before you actually are in a hospital’s intensive care unit. Perhaps McDonalds has all that beeping so as to help diners get used to where they’re going. Maybe this is also why the food is so appallingly bad; it’s to get you used to the hospital food; only McDonald’s have the generosity to make their food even worse, so that you’ll actually stand a chance of sort of enjoying the food in the hospital. Ronald and his cronies are such lovely philanthropic souls.

Throughout the entirety of ourstay in McDonald’s, there was constant beeping, and not just one solitary kind of beeping, but a whole host of different beeps. Everything beeps: there is beeping when the burger is cooked, beeping when the chips are ready, beeping from the tills, beeping from the card machines, beeping from the tray washer, beeping from the old guy’s heart monitor as his salt and fat intake goes through the roof.

I am at home now, lying in bed, writing this while drifting off to sleep. My brain has seemingly absorbed all that hideous beeping for so long that I can still hear it in my head. It’s driving me insane. I need to think of something else quickly, in order to replace the bloody beeping, otherrwise I’m going to go mad. “Daniel wet himself today, Daniel wet himself today …” Ah, that’s much better. Goodnight.

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