A Glove Compartment Full of American Cheese Food

2019 December 26
by mockers

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I was working as a sort of secretary for the City of Independence, Missouri’s Health Department. I have since learned that a few years later they shut down that Health Department, and quite possibly the City of Independence, Missouri. An inspector that I loved named Amanda’s little brother must not have had any friends, as he was basically calling phone numbers that he knew and telling whoever answered that some idiot small-engine pilot had crashed into the World Trade Center. He stumbled upon my number, told me the news, and seemed disappointed by my, “Yup, that’ll happen. Do you have a Health Department-related issue?” response.

Of course, as the day unfolded, the tragic truth revealed itself. I went through the day in a stupor. Everything seemed surreal. As I drove home at the end of the day, I thought about the world that I was bringing a child into. My wife was pretty pregnant by now. The boy would be born that coming January. I concluded that the world was, and has always been, fucked up…it was way past our turn to host some of it here in the states.

I wondered if our upcoming flight to Chicago would be cancelled. It wasn’t. On one of the first days that planes started flying again, my beautiful wife and her giant pregnant ass and I were quietly and patriotically complying with scared-shitless airport security at O’Hare.

I took a right on to the main thoroughfare and was snapped back into reality as I nearly rear-ended the last of what appeared to be three million cars stopped in the right lane…waiting to get gas at the station that was barely visible on the horizon. I swear I wasn’t a douchey know-it-all about this like I am about everything else. I just simply knew what was going on. I signaled, got in the left lane, ignored the whole thing, and continued the trek home. I shook my head in sadness as I drove past the gas station. The sign had been advertising gas at $1.40 per gallon that morning on the way to work. It was now $5.19. This was an increase of about 371%. And it wasn’t just Independence, Missouri. This was happening all over the country.

I got home and immediately grabbed my wife. As we often did during important times, we just laid in the bed and talked. At the end of the discussion, we made two principal conclusions: first, that what happened, while awful in every sense of the word, was one of the “costs” associated with “beating the communists at any cost”…we did it to ourselves; and, we could never repeat that fact to anyone.

The world changed a lot as a result of that day. Dozens of thousands of lives were lost, trillions of dollars spent, a billion academic papers were now required to house the phrase “post-9-11 America” … And the price gougers? Those bastards got what was coming to them. In jurisdictions where anti-gouging legislation was on the books, they threw those books at them. Jurisdictions who didn’t have anti-gouging legislation quickly passed anti-gouging legislation. Many gougers were sued. Many of those settled. Some faced criminal fraud charges. Regardless of the remedy, nearly everyone agreed that it was despicable to profit off an emergency in which so many Americans perished.

The world has changed a lot since those days too. I am now living in Michigan for some reason. My wife remains beautiful, but she now claims the title of “ex-wife #1”. The boy was born into this crazy post-9-11 America…and conjured a little sister about twenty months later. Despite considerable obstacles, both kids grew up to be happy, intelligent, decent almost-adult humans. I hate my job, a lot, but it pays a bill or two…but on the whole, life is pretty okay. There’s certainly not a gouger in sight…’cause fuck those guys.

So today after a long day of doing stupid shit for people I hate in exchange for not enough money, I decided to swing through Burger King and grab two Whoppers with cheese. You see, I have grown up to be quite the fat fuck and Burger King has been advertising two premium sandwiches for six dollars and that totally sounded amazing. Quick aside – next time that commercial comes on tv, turn it way up and listen to the bass line…it is in a totally different key and has nothing to do with the song…I have no idea why.

So I get to this ruralish BK that’s about an hour from my house and order the two premium sandwiches for $6 deal. The eight-year-old girl on the other side of the sign says, “That’ll be $7.63, please pull around to the second window…”

“That can’t possibly be right…” I mutter to myself. I used to recommend the annual sales tax rate back when I was a city administrator. An average sales tax in the Kansas City metro back in those days was around 8%. $1.63 tax on a $6 dinner? That’s around 27%! Could the rate have more than tripled since I left that world?! Is Michigan that shitty?

The answers are no, sales tax rates have not increased exponentially by a factor greater than three within the last decade. And yes, Michigan is that shitty, but for totally unrelated reasons. As you can see, Gavin only charged me $0.43 tax on a total of $7.20 – a very respectable tax rate of 6%. Now you maize and blue cocks need to immediately raise it an additional 4%, fix the goddamn roads and use the rest to mail Bob Seger far, far away…you stupid fucks.

So why was my two premium sandwiches for $6 deal really $7.20? Cheese. Motherfuckers charged me $.60 per slice for pasteurized processed American cheese food. An old anger I hadn’t felt since Independence, Missouri started to bubble up inside of me…and it wasn’t the notion that my wife and I were the only ones in town who weren’t Mormons, on meth, or both. I was being gouged.

Is obesity not an epidemic of emergency proportions? Are these assholes not profiting from the country’s loss? Never mind the fact BK’s “cheese” is purchased in bulk via exclusive agreements that make the cost per slice close to nothing…I present to you, dear reader, a “most expensive” scenario:

brand name, individually wrapped, small-unit packaged product purchased from Target is $3.29 for 16 slices. That’s $0.20.5 per slice! $0.60 is a 293% markup!! In a most-expensive scenario!!! Call your state’s Attorney General! It’s time to fight these price-gouging bastards!!!

Gino’s Unwanted and Unwarranted Fast Food Opinions

2017 September 29
by mockers

This one’s from longtime Mockable friend and contributor, Gino.  It was inspired by this seminal piece of internet diamondry by our hero Jeff Kay. Thanks Gino!

As part of my endless mission to punish myself daily, I spend a lot of time driving along the New York State Thruway. My job is 70 miles from where I live, so in a given week I might spend somewhere between 8 and 10 hours driving in a straight line while contemplating awkward moments I had in eighth grade, the name of that one woman who flirted with me at the gym four years ago or what roadside cuisine is least likely to create a Jackson Pollack painting in my trousers.

When it comes to the food offered at the fine establishments operated by the state of New York, the pickings are rather slim. Short of the oddball Tim Horton’s, you’re left with a heaping pile of mediocrity fit for a frazzled father, his impatient wife and their three constantly wheezing children. With that in mind, I humbly offer an unwanted and unwarranted opinion ranking the best and worst food stops along the I-90 corridor. Bon appetit!

Arby’s – The thing I love about Arby’s is that it’s always good and no matter where I go I’m never surprised by the price. If there’s one thing I know about this roast beef slinging shitshow, it’s that I’m guaranteed to walk out of the restaurant minus a $20 and covered in Horsey sauce. I don’t care if it’s made out of ass meat and oatmeal, they never mail it in.

 

Burger King – Burger King is like that friend your mom had you hang out with in high school so you wouldn’t end up in the back of a cop car for spray painting angsty teen nonsense on the side of a bridge. It’s safe, consistent and, albeit a little bland, not bad at all for what you’re actually getting. With that said, don’t trust the eggs unless you have a fetish for eating rubber bands.

Dunkin’ Donuts – Around these parts, Dunkin’ is a bit of a regional delicacy. A poor man’s Starbucks, this chain is known for glomming onto whatever is cool and pushing it to the verge of unbearable. If Dunkin’ Donuts was a musical act, it would be Pitbull. If Dunkin’ was a person, I imagine they would walk into a crowded bar and push everyone out of the way just so it can order a gin and tonic with extra cucumber juice.

McDonald’s – What can I say about McDonald’s that can’t also be said about a dominatrix? The second your foot hits that white tiled dungeon of depravity, there’s a McDouble in your mouth like a meaty ball gag and a whip made of fries smacking your ass. The only thing left to do at that point is grin and bear it until you actually have to pay up, which inevitably leaves my wallet as empty as my lard-filled soul.

Roy Rogers – If you had asked me when I was eight years old what I thought of Roy Rogers’, I would have extolled the virtue of their moist, flavorful chicken. And those biscuits! Tap-dancing Christ, those biscuits were like flaky pillows! Now? I’d rather eat my own farts than touch anything coming out of this culinary dumpster fire. In the same way some athletes retire long after their peak, ol’ Roy should have shut this place down when they had KFC on the ropes.

Starbucks – Nope. If I’m paying $7 dollars for coffee, I’d rather just burn it at home and save myself the attitude.

Sbarro – Sbarro is the lowest common denominator of Thruway food. You like pizza? Yeah, me too. But that’s not what you’re getting here. I imagine before taking over a Sbarro franchise, every manager must spend a week in the wilderness learning how to craft their signature pies using nothing but things they’ve found on the ground. After several harrowing days left alone with their thoughts, a tired and weary manager stumbles out of the woods with a pizza made out of moistened tree bark, squirrel blood, and shredded styrofoam. That pizza, much like their other wares, is proudly displayed like a curated museum piece for all to admire but never purchase. It’s a shame, really.

So, there you have it! You don’t need to take my advice (no one ever does), but consider it some valuable insight from a man who’s 50 pounds overweight and spends countless hours during the week shuffling along I-90. And until next time… Happy Eating!

If you want to get in on the action, I guess send it to me at metten0(_at_)gmail. I have no idea what the mockable.org email even is anymore, much less how to open it and read stuff. See you guys soon…and comment for chissake willya?

Gino’s Naked…and Afraid of Nothing!!

2017 July 20
by mockers

This one’s from longtime Mockable friend and contributor, Gino. It’s super good…so good it almost motivated me to get off my ass and write something myself…almost. Thanks Gino!

I’ll admit it: I love watching shitty television shows about people left alone to “survive” in the jungle. There’s something fascinating about watching two naked preppers get their asses eaten by mosquitoes and yell at each other while spooning under the shade of a grass hut that really trips my trigger. Is it because these people have trained day and night for years just for the chance to starve in the Amazon for three weeks? Maybe it’s because the story arc of every episode is the same? But, really, it’s probably the fact that when I’m watching these shows I think to myself that I can do it, too.

Mind you, I’m not in peak physical shape. I can’t do a pull-up, I avoid most other exercise like a $2 Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet, and haven’t willingly eaten a salad since Obama’s first term. But that doesn’t stop me from pulling out the “coulda gone pro” classics like, “She isn’t even trying out there!” and “He couldn’t make fire with gasoline and a match.” It’s just so easy to say things when I’m watching someone nervously flail a sharpened stick at a snake that, frankly, is not having any of their shit today. But I digress…

It’s the art of these shows that keeps me coming back every week (and while I’m working from home with my ass planted squarely in the center of the couch to watch reruns in between articles). Every episode starts the same way. Two trucks roll through the dusty/wet/rocky terrain, each one carrying a fully clothed and cocky survivalist. The survivors, a man and a woman, spout off a little bullshittery about how they killed a boar once with nothing but a shoelace and half a stick of Big Red, and then they start ripping off their clothes. After some awkward but necessary time to acclimate to each other’s junk, they saunter off through the vines to kick nature’s ass.

From that point on all hell breaks loose, and next thing you know you’re watching two naked people crying in the dark while trying to eat sticks. The complete turnaround with these people after two days is something you couldn’t make up, even if you wanted to. And every single time I think to myself, “Pssssssssh, I ate a Skittle off the floor at work once and it was totally fine!” But lo and behold, having a steel stomach doesn’t appear to be a hot commodity in the swamp, especially when a good portion of the day seems to be devoted to either crapping behind a bush or laying down on a big, flat rock.
I really shouldn’t poke too much fun at them, though. They’re living the dream and getting to see the world in all its untouched glory. Meanwhile, I had a full-blown panic attack at Target once because they moved the deodorant to the other end of the aisle.

In reality, I know what side my bread is buttered on and it sure as hell isn’t the side that thinks a grub is worth eating without some tempura batter and a Fry Daddy. But for one hour a week (and four to six hours on Thursdays depending on Discovery’s programming schedule), I’m right there with them strangling the life out of a snake with my bare hands. That’s good enough for me.

 

If you want to get in on the action, I guess send it to me at metten0(_at_)gmail. I have no idea what the mockable.org email even is anymore, much less how to open it and read stuff. See you guys soon…and comment for chissake willya?