East v. West: Fast Food Fight!
by Michele Christopher
Wow. It's been a long day. Some of us have had to do some things to do that might effect other peoples lives forever, some of us might have just made someone smile, some of us might have just watched "Little House" and some of us might have just slept. But, one thing we all have in common is food. Somedays, we just don't want to bother cooking. Some of us might not ever cook at all. But, the common thread is fast food. I know that being on the different sides of the coast we do both have very different types of, well, cheap crap food, but when I am calling someone from some joint from the west coast and she has no clue what the hell I am talking about I have to wonder. You mean you don't have these over in New York? No. Do you have these? No.
See, she has the luck on this one that her fast food joint is pretty much well known. Everyone knows where her place is at. Christ, the Beastie Boys practically lived there. What did I have? I had three to choose from. But since this might turn into a West Coast v East Coast thing, I am sticking to what I eat almost daily. I know you West Coast people will yell at me for not reviewing In-n-Out or Der Weinerschnitzel, but I have to go with my food. Feel free to throw your own reviews of these places in. And really, tell us what else we are missing from other parts of the country. What do you have where you live? We remember places that are long gone, but our memory, read turtle's, is kinda shot. So what locales are around you?
These are ours.
Del Taco - T
Everyone in California knows this place. If you live in Southern California, there probably is one next door to you. If you live in Anaheim, you might wanna go into your kitchen and make sure they aren't burning the beans as they pass food out your driveway.
These places are infested all over Southern California. They took hold in Anaheim and just moved on. Cheap food. Real cheap food. This is the place that Michele asks me in a stunned silence "You paid $1.13 for how many tacos?" Yes, my friend. You have reached heaven. Cheap taco heaven. Or hell if you have an ulcer.
We used to eat this when we got sick of the late night parties at the local Pizza Hut. See this is the way it worked. The manager of the Pizza Hut was a raging alcoholic. He would let about ten of us in everynight to drink off the keg and let us try our hand at making pizza. The grease, the dough ball, the heat....sounds like a gay sex porn, but it's not. Unless the porn is named "Greasy, Shitty, Pizza Made By Idiots", but I don't think that would sell that well. Well, maybe in Japan. They buy anything in Japan. Don't ask me why "Schoolgirl Panty Vending Machines" are so big. Don't ask me. I'm just mad I didn't get in on the ground floor on that one. Cash cow, baby. Cash cow.turtle cam! turtle cam!*
Where was I at?
Oh yeah. Del Taco.
While we were getting sick of free Budwieser and free Pizza Hut, a new place was being built across the street. Well, opening up really. A new Del Taco! Like pimples on an ass, they just kept expanding. Typical minimum wage workers who just hated their jobs. You could see it in their eyes. Del Taco employees really don't give a fuck, and really, can you blame them? It's Del Taco. It's 24 hours. Jesus. What did they want from these kids?
One night while I was packed on crappy "Turtle Made Pizza," I filled up a 32 ouncer of beer and grabbed a large pizza. I kicked open the door and wandered out into the early morning air. Friends shouted at me to be careful. I ignored them. This was the peace treaty. Like the pilgrims and the Indians, I walked over with my peace pipe. In this case it was a beer and a large pepperoni, but you get the point. Pizza was shared, beer was passed.
An alliance had been formed.
From that day forth, we all passed food back and forth to each other. Always late night. Always clandestine. The great "Underground Fast Food Alliance" had been formed. Keep them drunk and eating pizzas, we keep getting soft tacos. This was working. We were having fun. They started taking breaks over with us watching movies like "Re-Animator" slamming back beer and watching their watches. Fuck 'no smoking" laws. Pizza Hut was supposed to be closed hours ago. The manager was passed out by the pizza oven and we just kept going.
Till one day, the route was intercepted.
The boss at Del Taco came in while no one was there. No one in Del Taco. Waited. They came back reeking like beer. Our trade route was smashed. The Del Taco Trail was gone. They were all fired. They wandered out and knocked on the locked door of Pizza Hut. I opened it. They walked in smiling!
And they had soft tacos!
They were the heros that night. They sacrificed all to give us food. The soft tacos.They paid the ultimate price. For these tacos.
Now I just buy these fuckers for 39 cents.
Or three for a dollar on Tuesday nights.
Maybe on Saturdays too.
I chill at White Castle 'cause it's the best
Down with Mike D. and it ain't no hassle
Yea, we’re at the place that’s named in no less than five Beastie Boys songs. White Castle. The Castle. Home of the slider. I need food. White Castle isn’t really food. But it will do in a pinch. We stumble in, I swear about 40 of us roll out of this Honda Civic like clowns on crack, and we’re full of noise and arrogance and vodka. Heads turn. I know, this is White Castle at 3am, whoever is in there is probably just as drunk as us, but still. We’re loud. And we have funny hair and our clothes are a mess. Is that boy’s hair...blue? Spiked? Is that girl wearing a shirt that says “fuck off and die?” No, not me. My shirt was just plain black and stained with toothpaste. Yea, toothpaste. How do you think we got Danny’s hair to stand up like that? Oh, Danny. Shit. What are you doing, Danny? Christ. He’s over in the corner. Puking. Inside White Castle. The manager comes over. We’re gone. We’re gone before we can even inhale the grease. Denied the Castle.
Because being bad news is what we're all about
Well, we’d been thrown out of worse places. No, wait. We hadn’t. That’s about the bottom of the barrel there. And really, we were just saving ourselves the agony of having to deal with a hangover in addition to the White Castle affect the next morning. Oh you know what I’m talking about. When you are eating 35 cent burgers that slide right down your throat, you are not gonna get away easy. When you wake the next morning and the residue of 10 belly bombers is sitting in your stomach, floating there in a sea of vodka and beer, things are gonna happen. Bad things. It burns. I think those things are made out of the breath of Satan because they burn like hell when they come back out. You mix these bombs with alcohol and come the next morning you will be either leaning over the toilet or sitting on it. And you spend the whole time in the bathroom asking yourself, why. Why do I do this? Am I a masochist?
And I can always make them smile
No, just drunk. For some reason, White Castle always sounded good when it was 3am and the tail end of a tequila bender. Cheap, greasy burger type food? Hell yea! And then you’d hear me in a conversation one day saying how White Castle is such crap and I don’t know how sane people can eat it, and I’d never willingly go there, but then you’d come over my house and scattered all over my bedroom, tacked to the walls, sitting on the dresser, under the bed, in my sock drawer, were white, cardboard squares with numbers on them. I think the numbers were green.
What you might not understand is, I had to do it. It was a ritual, part of growing up here. You got drunk, got stoned, went to White Castle. It’s what we did. Why? I don’t know. Maybe when you’re fresh out of your teens and the world is yours and your life is stretched out before you like a neverending story and you feel all kinds of invincible, eating squares of greasy meat at three in the morning with a belly full of tequila shots seems like a cool thing to do. The bright sign outside the place beckons you. The smell of the fries cooking. The onions. The way you can shove two in your mouth at a time and still have room for the shake straw. The way the burgers slide down your throat and settle in your stomach and it feels so good at first, like you just had the last fucking supper and your body is a temple made up of onions and processed meat by-product. Tomorrow morning, we bless the toilet with our body of White Castle. Amen.
Thank the lords that phase lasted only as long as my tequila phase did. Neither one was very good for me. Together? Still not half as bad as three tacos for a dollar. That's gotta hurt coming back out.
We got determination - bass and highs
*remember the other day when turtle said everytime he went off topic he would link to the turtle cam? and he might be naked? eating chili dogs? playing with legos? yea, he went off topic there. so you get the turtle cam treat. looks like some kind of watersport going on there.... -m