Original Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s, 600 N. Clark: Sally and Dave, two middle-aged artists who hang out together when they don’t feel like going home to the people they live with, were sitting in Dave’s van talking about the 1970s when a person could get a Quaalude and have fun, unlike now when there are no good drugs and a night out consists of drifting in full consciousness from one boring spot to another.

“Years ago I was buying ‘ludes in powdered form and filling up empty gelatin capsules,” Dave said, chewing his Quarter Pounder. “I musta had a thousand capsules.”

“I wish I knew you then,” Sally said, picking the onions out of her McLean Deluxe, 91 percent fat free, no cheese.

“I’d hit the bars at night. I’d go wherever there was a parking place, take a ‘lude, fall in love with everyone there, and get ideas for my work.”

“I’d get that floaty feeling,” Sally said. “Quaaludes made me thin. They made me feel like Charlotte Rampling.”

“They really enhanced my sense of touch.”

“My boyfriend and I got so carried away, we did it on the bathroom sink. You know, in my purse I’ve got some Tylenol Threes with codeine left over from a periodontal operation.”

“Let’s take ’em. Gimme the rest of your hamburger. We don’t want food to slow us down.” Dave swallowed the pill without water and put the sound track of Cat People in the cassette player. David Bowie sang: “See these eyes so red. Red light jungle burning bright. Those who feel me near. Pull the blinds and change their minds. It’s been so long. . . . And I’ve been putting out the fire with gas-o-line. Putting out the fire–with gaso-LINE . . .”

They snapped their fingers to the primal cheetah sounds and squirmed around on their seats while they waited for the pills to kick in. “This is gonna be great,” Dave said. “Good move saving these Tylenol Threes.” He patted Sally on the head. She took off her cowboy boots and put her feet on the dashboard.

A half hour went by. They looked at each other. “I think this stuff makes me feel tired or it’s been in my purse too long,” Sally said. “Maybe I should go home and watch the old-movie channel.”

“I don’t feel so great either. I’m gonna have some coffee and clean out my fish tank.”

Next search: October 4

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Tom Bachtell.