The Munchies





Four friends sat at the Mc Donald’s verandah, munching their burgers and fries and apple pies and lava cakes silently. At peace with the moment.

An hour ago, Martino the Italian student from Verona, Raj the Indian student from Uttar Pradesh, Drevin the Spaniard from Madrid and the only lost Malaysian among the foreigners, hailing from Teluk Kemang, Sitpal Singh Sandhu sat in a park, in the dark, at the staircase leading downwards a lake, at the bottom of their college’s hostel, smoking a fat joint.

“This is Beyonce, man,” Drevin said, taking a puff off the freshly cut up Marijuana leaves. Martino giggled. Sitpal joined in. Raj followed suit. Soon the whole group started rolling in laughter.

“That’s a joint man!” Martino exclaimed.

“Beyonce my ass!” Sitpal chimed in.

The gang, mass communication students studying in one of the local colleges here, were on their month long semester break. For three days, all they did were smoke the joints and the occasional vodka and whiskey shots during the nights in the club or if they couldn’t afford it, at a friend’s place.

But tonight, here they were, outside in the night, while the December breeze blew gently, smoking Mary Jane. It had rained a couple of days ago. The weather was chilly and served as a substitute for the hot and humid Malaysian sun.

“I feel like Popeye,” Sitpal said, as he took a puff. Smoke blew out from his nose like clouds do on a windy day.

No one laughed. Each one had zoned out. Feeling stupid, and finding the moment he found himself to be stupid, he found this funny and snorted.

Martino played a song from his iPhone. Coldplay’s Viva la Vida bounced through the lush bushes around them, up towards the trees and into the earth like a bounding cat.

“Awesome song man,” Drevin said as he closed his eyes.

Raj took the last puff of the weed, stubbed it off and looked around to throw the roach off. He looked at the space near his feet. There was a thick underbrush on the right. He placed the bud at the top of the leaves. Realising it was obvious, he pictured police coming to investigate the crime scene. He pictured an officer putting on gloves and using a tweezer to pluck the bud off the leaves.

He inspects it thoroughly, turning the tweezer left and right and all around, he looks at the three other police officers.

“Yes. Ganja tuan!”

The leader of the team would then dispatch a team of special agents to their location and detect the four of them, breaking through their homes and arresting them for smoking a joint in the park.

Drevin would be caught gaming in his underpants. Martino while hitting the bong, Sitpal in class as the lecturer gave his lecture and himself, masturbating at one of his porn collection.

All of them would be arrested just for smoking pot at the staircase. He saw all four of them being ass raped by the inmates.

“Oh Ganja ke? Ini Ganja la, Pundek!” One of the burly looking prison inmate yells as he stuffs his dick up Martino’s ass. Martino cries and he-

“Dude.” Martino snapped his fingers. “Snap out if it. You zoned out dude.”

“Yeah. That felt like eternity.” Raj breathed a sigh of relief. Feeling better and relaxed, he threw the bud a few metres down the stairs. It fell exactly where the streetlamp’s light shone.

Raj stared at it. The question whether should he pick the bud up popped in his head.

“Should I? Or should I not?” He muttered. And then he mimicked Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Martino stared at Raj and sniggered. “You just zoned out for a few seconds you fool.”

Raj laughed nervously. And then froze. He realised his folly. He should pick up the bud as he saw movement up the stairs.

“He is feeling paranoia, man.” Drevin droned. His eyes were closed, listening to the music.

Sitpal laughed observing all these.

Martino spotted a cat coming downwards. It stopped suddenly, its ears pricked. It had found a mouse a few distance in the grass.

“Look dude,” Martino said, as he observed his shadow, creeping up to the cat’s shadow from the back. The cat doesn’t realise this.

As he started rocking his body back and forth, he turned to the rest and said, “Look man, I’m shadowfucking this cat.”

The cat doesn’t budge.

“Owh yeah, owh yeah..” Martino moaned.

“That is fucked up man..” Raj said softly. Everyone laughed for two minutes.

Drevin then started talking about this hot classmate of his.

“Body like an hour glass, face like an elf and hair like silk, bro.”

“Sounds Tolkien to me.” Martino quipped.

They sat for about 30 minutes, talking about topics ranging from women, to boobs, to boobs depicted in games, and media and then the conversation went to how media was controlled by politics and finally the conversation landed on politics itself.

Martino, being a mass communication student, felt it was always a responsibility for an aspiring journalist to keep abreast with the media. He kept up to date with Malaysian politics by reading the news portals and papers. Scanning and comparing reports. As a Malaysian, Sitpal felt extremely embarrassed by this.

But with the weed, he realised, he had a walking talking news machine. He found it tedious reading online news portals. Instead he got his updates from Martino.

Being a genuine Liberal, Martino always found it necessary to correct his friends, whom he deemed as having the, herd mentality. People who believed every word of the politicians, be it government or the Opposition as the Gospel Truth. A bunch of amateurs who did not know their stuff on politics.

His friends on the other hand, felt he took life way too seriously.

“I’m telling you bro, Anwar shouldn’t be the Prime Minister if the Opposition comes to power,” he retorted a statement made by Sitpal, who Martino viewed as a staunch Opposition supporter, due to his comments on Anwar being a better PM than Najib.

“Yeah? So explain how Najib makes a better PM then.”

“It is not about Najib or Anwar,” he said, as he lighted a Marlboro Lights cigarette. He took a puff of it, blew the smoke and replied dramatically (or rather, in his case it appeared dramatic), “It is about the future of this country.”

There was stunned silence.

“Nurul Izzah would make a good PM” He took another drag of his cigarette. The cold breeze blew the smoke away, merging it with the air in the park.

“She goes down to meet the people. Cares for them like a mother. Fights for her people like a father. That, my friends,” he took another drag dramatically and continued, “Is why, she would make a good PM.”

There was silence. Sitpal broke it, “Speaking of Izzah, we need to roll another joint.”

Drevin agreed. He took a stash of weed, enveloped with aluminum foil, and pinched a chunk out.

“Anyone has a paper to roll?” The Spaniard asked drowsily.

He separated the branches and seeds with the leaves like an ant despite his slow shortcomings due to the heavy influence of Marijuana.

Martino took out his tiny round grinder and grounded the leaves, turning them into powder.

Sitpal rolled it into a joint and they all smoked it together.

An hour later, they sat in the fast food restaurant, eating their french fries hungrily.

Martino stared at his Chicken Mc Deluxe. It was wrapped. He closed his eyes and pretended to be a music conductor.

“Da da dunn dunnn dunnn” he muttered, miming a cinematic music.

He started humming a Star Wars tune as he unwrap his burger dramatically. He hummed louder, emphasizing on the drums and crescendos, mixing and matching the music from his mind, through his mouth.

As the burger was fully unwrapped, and the couple on the table next to theirs stared at the gang weirdly, only then Martino stopped humming the tune and took a big bite out of his burger.

“You actually hummed the full ending credits soundtrack from The Return of the Jedi, dude.” Drevin said as he stuffed his mouth with french fries.

“I have never been this hungry before!” Sitpal said as he took another bite off his burger.

Martino on the other hand ate like a damsel from the renaissance era, enjoying every bit and taste of the succulent burger.

“Okay, food and sex. You can only choose one, which one would you choose?” Raj asked.

There was silence as everyone tried focusing the attention from chewing to thinking.

“I’m trying to think,” Drevin said. He swallowed, “But I can’t because my chewing is too loud.”

“Then chew softer, idiot!” Sitpal exclaimed.

“Okay! I got it!” Martino raised his right hand excitedly, wriggling it up and about in the air like an excited student.

Raj asked him what his answer was.

“Food sex!”

The whole gang broke into a laughter except for Raj.

“Food sex..” He pondered hard, looking at his soft drink’s plastic cup and his half eaten burger.

He closed his eyes hard and tried thinking. Moments later his expression relaxed and he looked up with shock.

“Oh my God.” He said, sounding like a bimbo. “Oh my God!”

“What?” Sitpal asked.

“I just had this.. this..” He tried recalling a word used to describe and fill this sentence. But he was just too.. lazy to think.

“This.. Ahh fucking hell, I forgot the word. It was at the tip of my tongue!” He slapped his face. Hard.

The couple at the next table stared at him.

Realising what he had just done, Raj did the only thing he knew during an awkward moment like this.

He pretended as though nothing happened, sipped on his drink and said, “Epiphany. Yes, that’s the word I was looking for.”

“What about it?” Drevin muttered as he stared, engrossed at the way Martino was eating his burger.

The renaissance damsel has now turned into a barbarian, eating his burger patty with his hands.

For some reason that made Drevin hungry.

“Think about it.” Raj said, nodding his head.

All three stared at him and one of them asked, “Think about what?”

“You guys didn’t hear a word I said?”  Raj asked, looking extremely frustrated. “I was speaking for the past 10 minutes.” He pondered on what he said and corrected himself, “Or it could have been two. I don’t know, I’m high.”

“I was too busy looking at Martino eating, man.” Drevin said. Sitpal nodded.

“What did you say?” Martino sipping on his drink, asked.

Raj crept closer to them. The other three followed suit. They sort of huddled close together.

Raj went on, “Now, we all know Mc Donald’s a corporation right?” The rest nodded. Their faces showing no expression, except for being totally zoned out.

“A big giant corporation,” he went on. “What if, the only way they became the biggest fast food joint globally was by inserting mind controlling chemicals into their food?”

Martino scoffed at the idea. “Owh, come on! You think they have money for that?”

“Yes they do! They’re rich alright. Just look at how many Mc D joints are there in this town alone?” Raj started counting the numbers using his fingers, muttering their locations within the town.

“The one in front of prostitute den at Jalan Sulaiman Saad. The one infront of the market. The one-”

“Yes, yes. Fine. What about time?” Sitpal prodded.

“If they have time to pre-make the food, they’ll definitely have the time to put mind controlling chemicals into the food.”

“Bullshit.” Martino said.

Raj sensed something. He stared at Martino who continued munching his burger. He turns to the other two and whispers, “Watch how he eats his burger. He actually scoffed at my idea. Rejection to beliefs, that is the first sign that Mc D has taken total control of his life.”

“I heard that.”

“Yes you are being controlled! We all are! I mean, look at how robotic the US has become. Look how bored and disillusioned mankind has become! Everyone is on the rush. Datelines, meetings, the bus, the train, the flight. Life is dedicated to making money. So much so we have no time for family and let alone food. Which is why, the only food we always eat are fast food. If I were an evil man, I would take this as an advantage to rule the world.” He said, as he took a mouthful of french fries.

Martino munched his burger silently, staring boringly at Raj who was breathing excitedly at his new discovery.

“You’re one sad little cunt, you know that?” Martino said, in between chewing his burger.

“Look man, they have put us all into a system. Think about it. We constantly feel shitty about ourselves. People make money out of this too. Ever seen the types of advertisements these days? Everything is all about staying slim, looking young and healthy. Society has been given this imaginary pursuit. The pursuit to look good. To be famous. It’s a mirage to keep us going with this stupid robotic routine man!”

“What is so wrong in looking good?” Sitpal asked. Drevin nodded.

“And what is so wrong in not looking good?” Raj asked, leaving the rest speechless.

“The very food we’re eating now, has been the cause for such mindsets.”

Everyone stared at him intently. He had got their attention.

“Now, which takes us to the next question. How do we get out of this system?”

All three shook their heads. They had no answer.

“Weed, man! Weed!”

Everyone burst out laughing, except for Raj who stared at them quizzically.

“I’m serious.”

Martino chuckled. Sitpal giggled and Drevin followed suit. Another round of laughter broke out.

Feeling frustrated, Raj lights a cigarette.

It took the three, full five minutes to stop laughing, although to Raj he felt as though it was for a full 15 minutes.

“Done laughing?” He asked when everyone was back silent.

“You’re still on that topic now?” Drevin asked.

“Hell yes!”

The three laughed again.

Martino held his burger in one hand, and the other hand wiped his eyes from tearing. “Stop making that face, man.”

Sitpal laughed and asked, “Guys, why are we laughing?”

“I don’t know.” Drevin roared louder. Martino tried munching on his burger to control his laughter. Only to spurt it out on the table.

The couple at the next table, shifted to a table on the other side.

“I’m serious. See, you guys are laughing. Why?” Raj prodded.

“Because you’re hilarious!” Martino laughed.

“Because we’re happy.” Raj corrected him. The group fell silent again.

“That was deep, dude.” Sitpal said. Raj nodded, trying his best to mask his inflated ego and replied, “Always am.”

“We were happy because of weed.” Drevin muttered.

“Exactly!” Raj said excitedly. “Weed, is the only thing that can break us out of this system. That is why authorities, or rather the government in every country banned weed. They know people would realise this truth.”

This somehow got Martino convinced. “So, you’re saying, the reason weed has not been legalised is because these food chains, these corporations have somehow struck a deal with governments? You know, to control us through food and at the same time make money?”


“Wow..” Martino mouthed.

“Fuck…” Sitpal stared at the Chinese girl with short pants ordering food at the counter.

“Damn.” Drevin droned as he sipped on his drink.

“We are being controlled. Watch The Matrix, you’ll understand.”

“But wait, what if it is the other way around?” Martino asked.

“What do you mean the other way?” Sitpal asked.

“What if, weed is made illegal so that the government sort of regulates and chooses who it wants to control?”

“Holy fuck!” Raj held his head, disgusted by the idea. But it made sense.

All three stared at Martino, who placed his burger down, turning both his palms upright.

“What if, we never find out and are already subconsciously controlled by either one?”





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