Wednesday, June 08, 2011



“Are you hungry?”

“No, but I’d watch you eat.”

“I’m hungry.”

“There’s a McDonlad’s.” I pointed out the window.

“Anything but McDonald’s.” We continued to drive. We drove up Western Avenue, which I was told was the longest-running contiguous city street in any city. I was amused by the history lesson as we continued to drive.

“And, also, apparently without any freaking fast food. I’d even take a Taco Bell at this point.”

“Mmmm. That’s unfortunate.”

“If it continues this way I think I am going to go to Whiteys.”

“What is a Whiteys?”

“White Castle.”

“I’ve never been to a White Castle. Aside from seeing the movie, which I think may count as having a White Castle experience.”

“That is not the White Castle experience. We are going to White Castle.”

I sat back and enjoyed the ride as we drove across town to find an open White Castle where food (or at least some reasonable facsimile of food) could be purchased. The first thing that hit me was the smell. The smell was truly powerful. This tincture of grease and meat and fats and cheese and it all sort of forced itself on you.

The next thing I noticed  was the stark white and silver of the place. It was nothing but white tile and silver stainless steel. There was a sense that it was trying to be antiseptically clean, but somehow failed to do so. For all the clean and shiny it just didn't seem that clean and shiny.

I got  another history lesson as we stood there. “When it was designed they used all the stainless steel to make it look cleaner so it would appeal more to people. You know, it came along in an age when people really felt that fast food was dirty.”

“Uh, huh. You know there is like nothing here I can eat, right?”

“I thought you ate chicken.”

“I’m not sure that anything that they have on the menu is composed of actual chicken. Also, this place smells like bacon. “


“What is the American fascination with bacon? It’s disgusting.”

“I don’t even know you anymore.”

“I don’t like bacon.”

“Bacon makes everything better.”

I find it amusing: the American obsession with bacon. I had gone to a Denny’s not too long ago where the menu was covered in things made of bacon, including bacon shakes, bacon balls, and bacon pancakes. A surfeit of bacon. A wrongness of bacon, really.

“Mmmm, bacon.”

I smiled as we got colas and a bag of small, greasy burgers.

“Do you want anything?”

“Not a chance in hell.”

Laughter as we moved back into the fluorescent city lights with a bag full of greasy stains, meat patties, and fries.

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