In the recent McDonald’s brouhaha in Los Osos, it was the drive-through opponent who likened Los Osos to “Mayberry,” that fictional Hollywood-idealized rural TV town from 50 years past, that finally had me fed up with the restaurant’s foes. Much of the anti-drive-through faction acted like quaking virgins facing Mongol hordes—wringing their hands over a corporate convenience restaurant situated in an already corporately anchored Vons plaza. (For some really interesting corporate perspective, did you know Vons was just acquired by Cerberus Capital, owners of Freedom Group, the “gun giant” firearms and ammunition conglomerate that manufactures and promotes the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that killed 26 elementary school students and staff in Newtown, Conn., in 2012? Hmmmm.)
Largely white and affluent, Los Osos is not helped by elites cosseting its populace from a restaurant chain that makes cheap and efficient dining more convenient for those needing this option. In reality, Los Osos is a 21st century town (not a fantasy idyll) that consumes and provides goods and services for a range of people, such as families, seniors, college students, tourists, small businesses, retail clerks, house cleaners, gardeners, contractors and the building trades, i.e. those who sustain the more privileged classes of Los Osos. For this broad former group, a drive-through McDonalds makes their labors and lives possible.
With the Board of Supervisors sensibly settling this inane controversy in favor of the drive-through, the opponents would be well advised in the future “to never forget that our common life depends on each other’s toil” (Book of Common Prayer).