Wednesday, December 11, 2013

At the Point of Intersection Between Video Game Icon and Menu Item

If I live to be one thousand years old - a milestone that no one alive presently including Yours truly hopes I achieve, then I believe I shall never eat (or attempt to eat) a meal more vile or more disgusting than that which the Missus and I subjected ourselves to on Saturday night.

Margaret relaxed on Saturday afternoon while I watched my beloved Buffs break their decade-long losing streak in college hoops to the #6 Kansas Jayhawks.  At game's end, scuffling for ideas regarding what to do for dinner, we opted to do something that I never do:  we went to grab fast food.  Do not misunderstand.  I shall forever consider the Texas Wieners restaurant on Route 22 West in Green Brook to be one of the ten man-made Wonders of the World but I eat so infrequently in places such as Wendy's, McDonald's, Burger King, etc. that at gun point I could not tell you when I had last done so prior to Saturday. 

In the months leading up to Suzanne's wedding, I had a lot of good-natured fun at the expense of my wife and daughter regarding the location of the reception.  I mentioned to them - tongue firmly implanted in cheek of course - that Sonic has a location within a five-minute drive from our home and with its combination of menu items (including but not limited to the 25 different types of milkshakes) it would provide an ideal reception experience.  Guests could eat whatever they wanted, irrespective of whatever the people at the table (sorry, in the car) next to them had ordered.  Sort of a "free range" buffet.  We of course did not end up utilizing Sonic's catering services for our daughter's wedding.  Just last Friday, Suzanne and Ryan celebrated their 1/4 anniversary.  A mini-milestone to be sure but one that would not have been attained had they enjoyed their first meal as man and wife at Sonic. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I am constrained to point out that the young man who handled our order could not have been friendlier or more pleasant.  He moved with a purpose and with the appropriate amount of cordial efficiency.  Neither he nor the other young, freshly scrubbed faces that were behind the counter and were wheeling their way through the parking lot - on roller skates - on a cold December night are responsible at all for the fact that the food products they sell are f*cking disgusting.  Completely offensive, unfit for human consumption garbage.

Margaret and I suspected the breadth and depth of the enormity of our error when the young guy at the drive-thru window ceded possession of our order to me.  As I passed the bag to my right - to my wife - the stench that permeated from it and into the passenger compartment of my car was almost indescribably vile.  We drove home with the windows and the moon roof open in an effort to minimize the lasting effect of the smell on my car's interior. 

Upon removing the "food" - giving that term the widest possible definitional meaning permitted by the Einstein Estate - from the bag when we arrived home we came to grips almost immediately as to the source of the stench.  The hamburgers that each of us ordered were gray.  I had a flashback to standing in line in the All-Purpose Room at W-H as a high school student and looking through the sneeze guard at the mystery meat burgers that popped up every now and again as hot lunch items.  Back in the day, all they cost me was a couple of holes punched in my lunch card.  On Saturday night, I feared I would end up with a hole punched through the wall of my small intestine. 

Each of us endured two bites of the food we ordered and then, after reassuring Rosie that it is because she is my best friend that I would not give her any of what I opted not to eat, threw the remaining 97.5% of our meals into the garbage.  I then immediately took the garbage bag out of its can in the kitchen and tossed it into the big can outside.  We spent a fair amount of money earlier this year having the kitchen painted.  I had no desire to see that investment peeled right off of the walls of our home. 

Kudos for whoever it is at Sonic who is responsible for their TV spots, which feature two guys sitting in a car, eating and drinking whatever new menu item the chain is hawking.  My advice to Sonic:  hold onto your current advertising/marketing folks like grim death, which coincidentally is what the thing that your food most closely resembles in taste and in smell.  Your ad campaign actually conveys the impression that what you sell in your restaurants is food suitable for consumption by humans....other than those whose taste buds and sense of smell have been removed or permanently rendered useless through accident or illness.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  

At least now I know what hedgehog tastes like.  


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