A student in Adelaide, South Australia (an otherwise civilized city crawling with students who like to party) shot a cell phone video of his visit to a busy McDonald's at 3 a.m. What he finds goes way beyond splattered ketchup packets and fry-smeared windows. The place looks like a cyclone hit it, or Times Square after the ball drops, with garbage piled up like snowdrifts.
Disgusting, yes, but harmless enough. And McDonald's litter is so common we come to expect it, like traffic and parking meters. Yet the video attracted the attention of a newspaper reporter on a slow news day -- most days in Adelaide are slow news days -- and the scene made it into the local paper, and even the politicians chimed in, declaring the McDonald's on Hindley Street "a safety hazard."
Don't be fooled by your stereotypical impressions of Australia as a half-empty, suburban idyll. Australia's fast food places are not the pleasing institutions you might expect. Lots of their bathrooms, particularly in the cities, are lit with nothing but weird blue lights, expressly so customers can't find a vein to shoot up.
Clearly, though, the McDonald's in question is a catastrophe that goes beyond your wildest fast food nightmares. When Corporate catches wind of this, no doubt this place is going to receive a visit from an angry clown and the person in charge will get his nuggets cut off. But someone had to make that mess, you know.
So there's another question that begs asking: Are people from Adelaide the filthiest people in the world? Or did we just catch them on a bad day?