August 03, 2000
It was a dark and stormy night. . .well no. . .really it was just hot as hell, I was hungry and I needed something to write about. My good friend, radio producer on another station, and dining companion, who wishes to remain anonymous -- but whose initials are denise meyer -- suggested I persevere with my millennium commitment to bring KNPR listeners the best of the worst cheap restaurants in town. Ever the adventurer, I listened as she enlightened me to the ways of the unwashed masses. "To them," she said (price is everything, quality of limited importance, and concern over what is placed in one's mouth, non-existent." "In other words, they are nothing like you" she opined. I had to agree. "But a duty is owed to one's public." I signed as I shouldered the burden of celebrity and being ever a man for the people, if not one of them, I suggested we dine at the establishment that started the decline of western civilization as we know it.
And that my friends, is how I ended up at McDonald's.
Take heed citizens, little has changed in the decades since I first sampled that over-ground, gristled burger on a slightly sweetened bun. The food here is as mediocre as ever and designed to do but three things; fill you up quickly and cheaply. The basic burgers still hold to the flavors of days gone by, the fries are still crispy and potatoey as ever, and everything else on the menu as awful as ever. So bad are the "quote" shakes "unquote" that they have only a passing acquaintance with the promised flavors of milk, vanilla and chocolate. One slurp had me fantasizing about the corporate minions at Hamburger U where Mickeyd's does it's R and D. I could just imagine these nutritiously astute bean counters tinkering with formulas until this imitative mix of texture, color and taste was hit upon. "Eureka" someone surely exclaimed, "we've got it." If you close your eyes and think real hard as you taste, you'll almost think you're drinking a real milk shake, except of course that you're not.
This is John Curtas.
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