The worst riot I’ve seen in my life wasn’t televised, nor did it occur in Los Angeles.
It happened when I was a teenager working at McDonald’s, and we ran out of french fries shortly after a tourist bus pulled into our parking lot. Chaos ensued quickly after I made the announcement that we were out of fries. People were yelling, screaming, and threatening us teenaged employees. I remember looking out into the angry mob, hoping to catch a glimpse of decency, only to see an elderly woman with a “rollator” perform an obscene hand gesture towards me. There was no decency—all I saw was a sea of eyes jaundiced by the aroma emanating from fry-less vats of cooking oil. That day, I witnessed the dark side of humanity because of an unfortunate shortage of french fries.
This event almost inspired me to write a short story called, “The Lord of the Fries.”
I am a physician and trained chef. I specialize in gastroenterology and nutrition. Currently I work as the Associate Director of Adult Nutrition at the University of Chicago.