Monday, May 19, 2014

Late Night Fast Food: A Plea For Reason and Sanity

The system is broken and we don't even realise there's a problem.
Green to me means go, proceed, etc... This is confusing.

Let me bring something to your attention.
Two occasions in the last month have made me realise that we can do better as a society.
The first time was one night when I was walking home at approximately 1.20am, not hungry or looking for a snack, just listening to a few tunes when a car pulled in beside me and in a panicked fashion the driver asked me was there anywhere they would get food. This being a Tuesday or Wednesday night I told them they'd have to make do with whatever they could get from the 24 hour garage. She pleaded "But is there no takeaways open?!?!", my heart sank a little as I had to crush that last little ounce of hope she was clinging to.

Only one week later I was in a strangely similar predicament, this time I was starving, but I already knew the answer. At least my brain knew, my stomach wanted to believe another story. Leaving work just after 1am, a Wednesday night, I knew there was nowhere open, that 4 packets of crisps and a loaf of whatever bread was left in the 24 hour would be my only solace.

Crisp sandwiches are exceptionally difficult to construct on the walk home.

But what the gut wants, the gut wants: Fried Chicken. I emerged onto the Main St. to some kind of shit version of Las Vegas. The place lit up like a bonfire of cheap neon.
I knew the chippers were closed. The chippers knew the chippers were closed. Were they dressed accordingly? Not a chance. If I see lights, I think open for business. Chippers would claim they leave lights on for advertising. It's a sick and twisted act of temptation; shining a light on what you cannot have, illuminating the empty chasm of your stomach.

Chippers you're doing yourselves absolutely no favours. Here's a simple rule of thumb;

If it's late enough that you're closed, anybody who is out in public wants fast food. 

Your brightly lit beacons of disappointment are pissing people off. Nobody sees them and thinks "oh, maybe I'll get food from there tomorrow"...
Their only thought is "Chicken skin. Now".

Now I'm not one to go ranting about this seemingly trivial problem without presenting a solution. And my proposed solution is twofold.

1. The Traffic Light System.
Chippers want to advertise at all hours of the day and night as is their right and are highly unlikely to change that policy after hearing the ravings of a guy with a nickname like mine. What I propose is a lighting system, just like traffic lights. Green for open. Red for closed. Maybe even an orange light to signal that they're on their last orders and you better get there sharpish. Their name is still illuminated, just in one very clear colour.

Just so we're absolutely clear: THIS IS  ALL WRONG.

That solves that problem. If there's a simpler or more rational way to fix this issue I'm all ears.

This has no relevence to this story other than it being a tray of sauces that looks like a traffic light.

2. Rotating Mandatory Takeaway Opening.
Just like pharmacies rotate which ones open late at night or on a Sunday, chippers should be made do the same as a form of service to the people of their respective town. At a quick count, just using Newbridge as an example, I can think of at least 8 takeaways on the Main St. that if they took it on a one week rotating basis they'd each only have to open late (until 7am the next morning, when hot deli counters start opening) about 6 weeks a year. Hike up the prices 10, 20, even 25% to cover staff and security costs, we wouldn't care. The business generated would be minimal, I know, but think of the smile that'd be put on the face of the person coming off the late shift in work who can't face another Pot Noodle sandwich or the happy drunk stumbling home from a few late cans in a mates house who wants the last mile of his journey home to be spent trying to solve the puzzle of how to dip a large battered burger into a tub of curry sauce. It'd bring happiness to the hearts of everyone involved. Again in conjunction with the 'Traffic Light System' identifying which chipper is on the late night opening would be simple. 

Lets not stop the Traffic Light System there though, put it into play within bars and niteclubs for people who, unlike me, aren't so acutely aware of last order times.

I'm only trying to make this country a better place for all of us. If you agree with what I've said please forward this not only to your local Chippers & Takeaways, but now in this time of elections, send it to your local politicians imploring them to put this system into law where it rightly belongs.


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  1. "Hike up the prices 10, 20, even 25% to cover staff and security costs, we wouldn't care" - oh how the ppl.of Newbridge care when some places put there prices up, I had three years of listening to it haha

  2. "Hike up the prices 10, 20, even 25% to cover staff and security costs, we wouldn't care" - oh how the ppl.of Newbridge care when some places put there prices up, I had three years of listening to it haha