Thirty years and a million nuggets ago, there were huge queues for food in Levin, the like of which had never been seen before.
Why? Kentucky Fried Chicken, the first of the grease giants, had hit town.
Cars were lined up along Oxford Street outside the drive-through and there was a throng of people outside the restaurant that didn't abate for weeks.
I know this, because I was among the first intake of staff. In my sixth form year at college, we trained at the Palmerston North store for a week and learnt everything there was to know - except for the 11 secret herbs and spices.
But nothing, apart from SAS training, could have prepared us for the onslaught of a calorie-craving cholesterol crowd that was coveting crispy chicken.
Even though I was still at school, I was clocking 40-hour weeks and yelling out "do you want fries with that" in my sleep.
And I've never got tired of the taste - always been a breast man myself. It's just that these days I appreciate the value of a home-cooked meal, both on the wallet and the waistline.
Fast-forward to 2020, and the main street of Levin is littered with food outlets. You can smell it from one side of town to the other. Try it. You can get anything from an aoili burger to a zinger, from a kebab to a wanton.
It really is amazing. You wonder how they all survive. Then again, not really.
Earlier this week New Zealand was preparing to go to Level 3 in its response to the Covid-19 coronavirus, opening up the drive-through at fast food outlets. I was hoping that the forecast of cloudy with a chance of burgers wasn't true.
I was hoping on the slim chance that after a month of lockdown, of thinking of nothing else but country and coronavirus, that there wasn't going to be a mad rush for the most unnecessary and self-satisfying of conveniences at the first sniff of liberty.
And recognising the impact the virus might have on the local economy, there might have been a collective sense that it would be prudent to be more civic-minded with spending, rather than flock like gannets to a multi-national fastfood chain.
Transport patrons urged to avoid peak times
Is that what our first thoughts turn to as soon as the gate starts to open? Big Macs?
By and large, apart from the arrests for breaching lockdown rules, New Zealanders have done well to comply with the rules. It restored faith in the collective intelligence of the masses, doing the right thing by each other.
But, just like the rush for toilet paper prior to lockdown, you have to wonder where some people's priorities are at.
Part of the community response to coronavirus should be to recognise that there will be locally-owned businesses and tradespeople that will need custom to kick-start their livelihoods.
Every dollar spent locally must help with that recovery.
So while it is a health requirement while in Level 3 lockdown to shop local and not stray too far from one's bubble, it should also be an ethical requirement to support small and local businesses that are reeling from the financial effects of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Whether it's French fries or a fancy frock, think about where the fat is going. It might be time to try the fish 'n' chip shop around the corner when they're up and running, or the local haberdashery.