For the record, let me say that I have never used a drive-through. In the past, this was mostly because I could not see the point. But the recent controversy in my town over putting a moratorium on the construction of new drive-throughs here has caused me to consider why I donít use them. Thinking more deeply on the subject has brought me to the conclusion that (with the exception of concessions for the handicapped), the whole concept rather disturbs, and even disgusts me. Here are some reasons why:
1. I donít want to be a car potato. Even when I was commuting to the city daily for my work, I would be glad of most opportunities to jump out of my car and activate and stretch my body. If you work in an office, is not having to get out of your car to order breakfast some kind of practice to prepare you for sitting for the rest of the day?
2. I donít want to eat unhealthy food. I donít eat hamburgers, and maybe eat pizza or fries once every year or so. There is a myth that it is onerously difficult and time-consuming to obtain healthy and delicious food. Thatís what it is a myth. Donít buy into it.
3. Perhaps because of my European background, I believe that taking coffee or tea outside of the home should have at least the potential for a social encounter, even if only to exchange a few greetings with our fellow townspeople, or, if we have time, maybe with tourists. Itís our daily rituals that are the glue that hold us together, or pull us apart.
4. Drive-throughs are chains or franchises. They therefore squeeze out independent businesses. Where are there independent drive-throughs? Lick-a-Chick (for real and sooo disgusting) in Nova Scotia comes to mind, but where else?
5. Drive-throughs have no character. Same, same everywhere. How does that attract tourists to our town? If tourists driving into a small European town, say, in Austria, were greeted with the golden arches, they would likely keep on driving. Our town needs more independent character if we are going to have a ďbrandĒ that attracts travellers.
6. Fast-food chains are a blight on the scenic landscape. Do we want that to be part of our brand, too?
Well, Iíve covered some of the ills of our society here: sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, social alienation, corporate monopoly, cultural homogeneity, and destruction of aesthetic values. When I sit down and think about it, these things are what drive-throughs represent to me.