Saturday, January 6, 2007

Jason mourns the loss of a bit of America's Greatness

Okay, this is a non-movie post, but now that I have a blog, I can talk about whatever stupid crap I want to.

For example, In-n-Out burgers. Without a doubt, still the best fast food burger around, despite the fact that you can't get them with bacon (that's another story). Anyway, their basic menu is a burger, cheeseburger, or "double-double". The double-double is 2 patties, 2 pieces of cheese. However, if you order it they'll also make a triple-triple, 4x4, or say...a 20x20. Really, you could order an MxN with M patties and N pieces of cheese (if you've never tried a 0x10, it's disgusting). At least that was true until recently. About a month ago I was grabbing some dinner at the In-n-Out. I had been good, not pigging out a lot recently so I decided to treat myself to a 6x6. But when I ordered, they just laughed at me and said their new policy is not to serve anything larger than a 4x6. I was flabbergasted. When did they do this!? Okay, I ended up getting 2 4x4's, thereby confounding any plan they might have had of keeping me from overindulging. But that's not the point, and that's not what upset me. First I'm upset that they laughed at me. Normally I would just take that in stride but historically I've had the most amazingly polite service at the In-n-Out. I assumed that was trained into them extensively. So that surprised me. But the real reason this bugged me goes back to my first time eating a 20x20.

This was back when I was in college, in Pasadena, where I was first introduced to the In-n-Out burger. Our local In-n-Out was about a mile or two from campus, so you had to either find someone with a car (I didn't have one) or walk. Well, one night I was angry about something, and decided to sink that anger in a big pile of meat and cheese. So I walked to the In-n-Out, which was one of the old style ones that's just a drive up kiosk, no place to eat inside. But they had a walk-up window. So I walked up to the window and said, "Hi, may I have a 20x20, animal style, with both raw and grilled onions, but no tomatoes, please?" (animal style, by the way, includes extra spices, pixels, etc. It's delicious). The nice lady who took my order obviously knew what she was doing, and keyed it in perfectly without even having to ask me to repeat it (which is rare). But when she gave the order to the cook, he must have been new because he said, "A 20x20, I don't know if I can do that!" And without missing a beat, she turned around and said, "Hey! You can do anything!" Ever since then, whenever I go to the In-n-Out and order a ridiculously large burger, I'm reminded that this is America and "hey, you can do anything!" But not anymore! And that's what bugs me.

By the way, for those of you thinking that eating a 20x20 would be incredibly painful, it's nothing compared to 3 days later when you take the biggest, hardest crap of your life.
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