Picnic Day was routine for me. I woke up, took a shower, mixed orange juice and Southern Comfort into a mug, lit up a fat Churchill cigar and sat out on the lawn to watch friendly drunks walk by.
One guy who gave off an intensely “Woodland” vibe (he was five foot flat, wore Famous Stars and Straps and was flanked by women wearing criminal amounts of eyeliner) stopped in the middle of the road, turned to me with his neon Fay Bans and said, “BOSS.” Even though he was objectively a douchebag, I couldn’t agree more. So after finishing about half a bottle of So Co, I figured I was sober enough to show myself in public.
Fast forward nine hours and I’m high and literally glued to my friend’s couch listening to “The Final Countdown” on full blast while watching a mixed martial arts ticket on CBS. I’m not exactly sure what transpired during those nine hours, but apparently my animated body was seen offering people Reese’s Pieces behind Dutton Hall and volunteering at the info booth in front of Mondavi for two hours. Goddamn, I must have stuck out so badly amongst the aged wine snob crowd. I was the only rowdy drunk college kid in sight. How shameful.
That’s relatively benign compared to last Saturday when I woke up uncomfortably full with a searing pain in my mouth. What the fuck was that about? I found a receipt in my pocket from Domino’s. I had to do a little amateur anthropology to figure out what happened:
“TIME: 1:40 AM, DELIVERY NAME: Big Dave Karimi, AMOUNT: 26.71, TIP: 4.00, TOTAL: 30.00.”
How did I know I was drunk? I couldn’t add correctly. Apparently, the number I was looking for was $3.29. Of course, I can empathize with my drunken self. I don’t want to add shit up at 1:40 in the morning.
There is an element of surprise when you black out from drinking. For me, it’s never, “Oh, I totally made out with this ugly chick” or anything risqué like that. It’s more of a disgusting surprise – like the one time my friend J. Grumpy spent 17 dollars at Crack in the Box. And it doesn’t help that Domino’s has online delivery ordering. I literally don’t need to move. I can just sit, comatose in front of a screen and order a shit load of thin crust pizza.
All right, let’s rewind back to me tripping on the couch watching mixed martial arts. As I gracelessly pulled out of my blackout spiral and came to my senses, something flashed across the screen for a fraction of a second. There was also a back-masked, low-volume audio of what seemed to be snapping fingers and the sound of someone saying, “Ahh.”
I was absolutely flabbergasted. What could it have been? I vaguely remember seeing the McDonald’s logo buried in-between an alternating purple bar. It was the motherfucking golden arches. What the fuck? Are you kidding me? Am I living in 1984? I felt like my mind was just raped by Ronald McDonald. And in true Orwellian fashion, the announcer subsequently blurted out the following:
“Look at that punch that just flashed across the screen!”
I thought I was the Manchurian Candidate for a second there – my brain started drifting away…
Flashed. Flashed. Flashed. What Flashed? McDonald’s. McDonald’s. McDonald’s. What’s the logo? I’m lovin’ it. I’m lovin’ it. I’m lovin’ it. What the message? Love. Love. Love. Connect the dots! I LOVE MCDONALDS. I LOVE MCDONALDS. I LOVE MCDONALDS.
And that’s how a brain is programmed!
It was a double-plus-ungood experience, to say the least. I was freaking out and I was in no way craving a McDouble with fries (though, in retrospect, that would have been the proverbial cherry on top of the SoCo sundae in my belly).
I needed this shit corroborated by the Internet. I flip open my Macbook – totally haggard – and searched “McDonald’s subliminal commercial” on YouTube. Lo and behold, on one Iron Chef show, the Food Network aired a subliminal advertisement by McDonalds that was exposed by “Entertainment Tonight.” It’s not exactly the New York Times of news, but it’s still mind-boggling as shit. Apparently, they did the exact same thing – a full screen shot of the McDonald’s arches with the “I’m lovin’ it®” logo at the bottom that lasted 1/30th of a second. Wow.
Apparently, KFC did a similar mind-fuck for their “Snacker ™” line of 99-cent sandwiches. In the commercial, the Snacker™ has a picture of a dollar bill hidden amongst the green lettuce. Google that shit if you don’t believe me.
In all honesty, I think Orwell is wrong: Oppression will not be coerced upon the lowly masses. No, it will instead seduce them, much like they were in Brave New World. People think oppression will come with flags and warning sirens. Bullocks. It will come in the guise of pleasure and it will be unassuming. You’d never know it was out to skullfuck you, because you’ve been skullfucking yourself the entire time.
DAVE KARIMI wants Erin Lebe to know that he’s still the definition of haggard. If you want to know more about why DAVE is hag as fuck, send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.