1. Thou shalt not judge other fast food patrons.
It is easy, when we’re slumming it in our fur coats and diamond-and-pearl chokers getting a Big Mac with the normals one day at lunch, to imagine that we’re better than anyone else there. We’re not like those other fast food diners, we’re classy, and we only dabble in its sweet, trans-fatty luxury. They’re crackheads, we do coke at parties. It cannot be compared. But in all reality, we are all the same. The second you walk into that plastic-laden establishment and sit your little tray down to feast on various unrecognizable animal parts, we have lost the ability to judge. There is no moral high ground when we are eating fast food, and it is foolish to imagine otherwise.
2. Thou shalt take far more packets of sauce than necessary.
There is a moment when you are beholding the overfull tray of nuggets and fries ahead of you, basking in its majesty and imagining rivers of sweet, tangy sauce flowing upon it like a greasy fountain of youth. You think, hey, maybe I should take several fistfuls of ketchup packets and, like, three tubs of sweet and sour — and maybe a tub of ranch — just to be on the safe side. You never know how richly you will want your nuggets to be dipped. Cue to later that month when you discover that an entire kitchen drawer has become a haunted burial ground of unopened fast food sauces that you will never be able to bring out in polite company.
3. Thou shalt not leave wrappers in thy car.
Unless you want your car to smell like a dumpster/a day-old, deep-fried wet napkin, it is best to squirrel away any and all evidence that you ate fast food in there as soon as you take your last bite. This also will downplay the chance that one of your more judgmental friends will give you the harsh, knowing look of shame upon realizing that they sat on an empty Wendy’s bag and ruined the pristine seat of their pants.
4. Thou shalt not consider Starbucks as fast food.
No matter how many calories are in that Frappucino, no matter how much whipped cream you get on top of your white chocolate mocha, no matter how many slices of iced lemon pound cake you consume — you will never recognize Starbucks for the glorified, largely liquified fast food joint that it is. Yes, most of the stuff is egregiously unhealthy, and consuming any manner of caffeine in 20-ounce bursts is less than advisable, but there is something in the way they market their inoffensive jazzy elevator music-persona that just makes them seem like it could never truly be bad for you.
5. Thou shalt have spiritual moments eating alone.
There is going to come a time when you are alone in your car, parked out in front of the local McDonald’s, and the perfect song is going to come on, and you are going to be perfectly solitary and free of the prying, judging eyes of society, and you are going to have a full bag of greasy, perfect fast food all to your lonesome. This is the moment of pure contentment, pure oneness with your body and mind and the world around you, that man has been trying to recreate with hallucinogenic drugs for millennia. Appreciate it when it comes.
6. Thou shalt not eat the fish.
If you order fish filet sandwiches at fast food joints, you deserve every manner of STD that could ever befall you.
7. Thou shalt not discuss the fast food trip.
There is no need to remind yourself or anyone else that you just indulged in a balls-to-the-wall Burger King Moment. If you all went together while hungry and semi-drunk and ready to load your body down with several metric tons of fried carbs, that stays between you. Don’t be the guy who brings up how badly you feel about having eaten three cheeseburgers in a row “because they were so cheap” and reminds everyone else how badly they just mistreated their body. Fast food is like hot hate sex — enjoy it for what it is, never speak of it in public.
8. Thou shalt embrace the shame.
Do not eat that 10-pack of Chicken McNuggets unless you are ready to face the consequences and nurture your newly conceived food baby. Feeling badly about yourself isn’t going to make the 10-to-1 oil-to-actual-food ratio magically transform into a few dainty sprigs of kale inside of your stomach.
9. Thou shalt have a definitive fry preference.
Whether you are all about the curly fries that Arby’s shills like some titan of industry high on his monopoly over the non-linear potato market, or the only-delicious-for-the-first-scalding-seconds sticks over at McD’s, you have to have your team. Personally, I’m all about the crisp little straws of heaven over at BK which, at least to me, demonstrate the best batter-to-potato ratio in the game right now. I would say Checkers’ highly underrated seasoned fries would beat them out, but Checkers are so sparsely located as to be fast food mirages. I’m not even fully sure I’ve ever been to one — I may have just dreamed it.
10. Thou shalt know that airport fast food doth not count.
No matter what the time of day, if you are in that harried/excited state of slight nervousness and profound hungriness that comes from the fluorescent-lit halls of the airport terminal, you are entitled to your fast food. You might need a greasy breakfast sandwich to calm the early-morning jitters before you board. You may want an order of fries to mindlessly nibble away at while you wait for your delayed flight to be reinstated. You just do you and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Airports are basically the international waters of food consumption — everything is permitted here.