Friday, January 27, 2012

Heartbreak at CiCi's Pizza

A middle-aged man pulls into a strip mall parking lot. With family in tow, he sidles up to the door of his local CiCi's Pizza Buffet. A sign is taped to the door. It reads, "Closed Permanently".

"WHAT THE?!?!?!?" exclaims the man. His day is ruined. Crestfallen, he and his young family pile back into their minivan to leave for some other place offering food-stuffs, but all know it just won't be the same.

That is a scene that played out on the stage called life this past fall on the western edge of the Twin Cities on a bright, sunny afternoon. My friends and I witnessed the whole thing, and laughed because we are bad people.

When we saw the sign on the door on our way to Fat Nat's, we thought nothing of it. Honestly, CiCi's Pizza is like Popeye's Chicken to me. I see commercials for it all the time but have never seen one of their restaurants, so a small part of me always thought the commercials was some sort of elaborate practical joke. When I've seen the commercials for CiCi's, I've never been bummed out that we don't have one. As a general rule, buffet-style pizza is mediocre, so a restaurant full of it doesn't get me too excited.

Then that poor guy walked up. It is impossible to convey in writing how disappointed he was. Usually the words "what" and "the" are nondescript unless paired with other, descriptive nouns, verbs and/or adjectives. However, this guy's outburst painted a heartbreaking picture.

I've never met this man. Maybe he was just really hungry and knew his kids were going to be a nightmare if they had to drive somewhere else. To me though, it sounded like a guy who was already on the edge. Maybe life hadn't gone as planned to that point. Maybe he had a crater-sized hole in his being that could only be filled by pizza slathered in macaroni and cheese. Maybe he was hanging on by a thread.

I can only hope there was another CiCi's in the area. Again, until that point I was incredulous that they existed at all, so I honestly have no idea. If not, I hope he and his family found fast food peace on that fateful afternoon.

Much like Schindler's List and Indiana Jones, drama such as this just can't be made up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hot Dog Thoughts

I like mustard (particularly brown and dijon) but if you don't shake the bottle first, mustard juice is one of the grossest things in the world.

Hunt's ketchup is better than Heinz. Yeah, I said it.

Relish is impossible to evenly distribute out of a squeeze bottle. There is always a bottleneck at the bottle's neck, then once you squeeze hard enough, there is an avalanche of the green stuff. I love relish, but not half a bottle of it on one dog.

Bun length should be the only length...except for footlong.

Sesame seed buns are clearly the best but I'm generally too cheap to buy them.

If I have my plate in my lap, at least one of the hot dogs is going to roll over onto its top when I shift my weight, leaving a pile of toppings in its wake. Dunking your dog in a mass of ketchup, mustard and relish just isn't the same as having them resting comfortably on top of the dog.

Two hot dogs are never quite enough, but three are almost always too many.

As a general rule, I prefer french fries to potato chips, but there's something about the crispy saltiness of chips that complements the dogs just perfectly. They go together like lamb and tuna fish.

A lot of people like to make a big deal about all of the gross stuff that goes into a hot dog. I honestly don't care. I'm sure I'm eating terrible things all the time. Hardly any food is truly "clean", yet I've never once had food poisoning. Bring it, food. I'm not hiding; you know where to find me.

BBQing dogs is far and away the best way to have them (as all other meat) and when I grill them, burning the shit out of them is the only way to go. Think a burnt marshmallow, just meatier.

I never knew how opinionated I am about hot dogs until just now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not Finding Bigfoot

I'm not quite sure what wonderful potion is in the water at the offices of Animal Planet, but I want it running through my pipes. First, "Whale Wars" came into my life. Now, I have discovered "Finding Bigfoot".

From the people who brought you a show about incompetent morons trying to save whales, we now bring you a show about incompetent morons traipsing through the woods in a new location every week, looking for a mythical creature, howling at the top of their lungs, and hitting trees with baseball bats!

The show is about the Bigfoot Research Organization, a group who searches in vain trying to prove that Sasquatches exist. My favorite character is Bobo, a lumbering oaf who has one of the most amazing voices ever (Seriously, a million times better than that homeless announcer guy) but probably could never be a professional announcer because I'm not entirely convinced he can read. Another character is the actual biologist who is probably a lesbian and is definitely the most respectable member of the cast. She is so questioning at all times, I actually think she doesn't even really believe in Bigfoot and just goes along for the ride because it is a really easy paycheck.

The funniest part of the show is when they say things like, "We know Bigfoots turn grey as they age, just like humans," or "A Sasquatch knocks on trees to communicate with each other." How can they possibly know this?!? They almost certainly don't exist. Honestly, if these things are real, why don't we have any corpses anywhere, or an accidental hunting shooting, or one in a zoo somewhere? It is impossible to me that these enormous creatures could hide this well. Even if they do exist, we have never had one in captivity in order to study them, learn how they age and communicate, etc. Passing these things off as fact to people like me is humorous. Doing it to people who believe almost seems cruel. It will make other believers try this nonsense themselves, and waste their times too. The other hilarious thing is they maim the word Sasquatch and turn in into verbs, like, "These woods are very Squatchy!"

I must say though, other than the biologist, I truly do believe that these people believe what they are saying and in the Bigfoot. I just don't know why. I've seen virtually every episode of "MonsterQuest". These mythical creatures are just that; myths. I understand that it is cool to believe in these things, but this world is an incredible place with thousands of amazing creatures already. We don't need to invent any more.

Plus, who am I to laugh at them? They are doing something they love, have a TV show, I'm sure are compensated well, and I'm me. BFRO 1, Tom 0. Besides, I love (laughing at) this show, so I hope they don't stop hunting anytime soon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the greatest sexual icon of all time. She was stunningly gorgeous and was an at least capable performer. Her photospreads are so iconic they are constantly being emulated by the celebrities of today. She lived a glamorous but tragically short life. She is unquestionably an icon.

But why in the hell is she an idol?

One of my least favorite things about Facebook is sifting through all of the meaningless quotes from her on various profiles and status updates. Sure, all of the girl power quips from her seem all well and good until you consider the source was a strumpet who ran around on her husbands, had affairs with other actors and hooked up with both Kennedy brothers. This is someone to look up to? If someone likes her quotes, fine, but if she actually wants to be like her then I want to head in the other direction...unless she looks like Marilyn. I try to be a man of character but hey, I'm human.

Admittedly I am biased on this subject. There is nothing I loathe or disrespect than infidelity. Wanna date someone? Great! Wanna marry them? Congrats! But if you want to be with them, just be with them. Otherwise, don't. Cheaters are the most selfish people out there because they want to have their cake and have sex with other cake too.

I realize that relationships in Hollywood are generally a sham between two fake people anyway and running around is rampant. I just don't get why she is on this pedestal. I love looking at her but I would never want to be with someone like her.

Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are much less talented and nowhere near as good looking, but they are vilified for their actions and...Wait, some girls want to be like them too?!?! OK, maybe Marilyn Monroe isn't so bad after all.