"Do you realize that the majority of the world's population lives in poverty?" I asked the girl pushing the broom at Taco Bell.
"No, I guess not," she said.
"Well, they do. And get this: while the majority of people are poor as hell, the richest people own the majority of everything. That is why capitalism must be smashed!"
"You're really good at preaching this stuff," she said.
Under the influence of radical zines, punk rock, and youthful idealism, I had embraced the ideals of communism in high school. I could trace all the ills of society back to the very structure of the capitalist system, which forced people to live shitty lives so that a handful of rich white men could own everything. I fought the powers that be day and night, organizing and mobilizing a powerful resistance movement, determined to make a better world for my working class comrades. By that I mean we took excessive amounts of condiments from fast food restaurants.
My friends and I were jobless high school students, so when we ate out it was invariably at a restaurant that was part of a large chain. The large chain joints were the perfect target, because their very existence signified everything that was wrong with the system. Mom and pop couldn't open a restaurant because they couldn't compete with the global empire that is McDonald's, and people in poor countries were starving because all of their farmland was owned by these same giant corporations. Every time we'd eat at one of these places, we'd walk out with our pockets stuffed with salt and pepper shakers, packs of ketchup, plastic silverware, and the like. This was our ultimate plan to create a worker's utopia, as we felt our theft of condiments would irreversibly weaken the fast food companies, and the capitalist system as a whole, to the point of defeat.
Being not just a commie, but a vegetarian commie, I always wanted to go to Taco Bell, so I could fill my belly with bean burritos before smashing the system. The acquisition of all of their Fire Sauce became our main goal. Every time we'd go to a Taco Bell, we'd completely empty the restaurant of all of the Fire Sauce they had out for their customers. We had so much of it that I ended up with a giant box of it at home, and my friend Radical Ryan had filled the vegetable drawer of his refrigerator with it. He was the only one of us who actually used the stuff outside of Taco Bell, and he had filled a ketchup bottle with it.
"This ketchup tastes weird," his mom said one night while they were eating hamburgers.
"That's not ketchup, Mom," Ryan said, "It's Fire Sauce!"
In the end, the plan to destroy capitalism by stealing their sauce didn't work. Our condiment heists began tapering off until we weren't doing it at all anymore, and then I grew up and realized people are too stupid and mean for communism to work, anyway.