He leaned over and said, "Don't eat the mustard." I froze, yellow squirt bottle half-tipped over my open burger. "Why, is it bad?"
"You could say that." He leaned closer, and I imagined I would feel his wild beard tickling my chin if I breathed. "Or you could say it's full of toxins they put in there to make you more pliable."
"Shit!" I slammed the mustard back into the condiments basket. "Who's doing it?"
"The shadow government, duh." His breath smelled like black coffee and stale cigarettes. "They own the companies that make the mustard bottles, which leach the poison into whatever mustard these places put into them."
"How do they work?"
"Well, do you remember being asked a bunch of personal questions by a stranger in a suit?"
"No." Anxious, I looked around.
"Because their drugs make you forget." He turned back to his hashbrowns and eggs.
"What else is bad?"
He ticked them off on his fingers. "Ultraviolet light, pasteurized milk, those vape things, and those phone things you put in your ear."
"Is the ketchup okay?"
He looked at me like I was crazy. "Of course."
I sighed in relief and started in on my fries.