Monday, March 10, 2008

Check... Please!

We spend a lot of time around Wiglar Headquarters thinking... thinking and asking questions about what it would take to make the Wiglar a more "legitimate" publication. What would it take to turn this rag into a more valued part of the community while at the same time helping the local economy? What could we possibly do to give the Reglar Wiglar a little more class? And then it hits us: restaurant reviews! What if we gave a couple of our best writers five bucks and sent them out to review a few of the local eateries? Yeah, we spend a lot of time around here thinking... thinking and asking questions...


The one on Ashland, 1 block north of Diversey (by the Jewel)

I do not eat at McDonalds much for I realize that they are corporate hamburglars who exploit their workers and our environment, produce genetically manipulated food with little or no nutritional value, contribute to much of the litter on our street and do so in the name of the almighty dollar, etc. Having made this claim, let me also confess that sometimes, every once in awhile, more as a punishment than as a reward, I do lunch at the Arches and it is always, without exception, a pretty traumatic experience, physically and mentally, and it usually leaves me feeling quite depressed. This most recent outing was no exception.

Small children simply adore the greasy McDonalds experience and this particular establishment was certainly no exception. The joint was ripe with young children running helter skelter through the aisles, snot glistening from their little button noses. Some of these precious little darlings were mild-mannered, some maniacal, but all were freakish in their own special and unique way (like snowflakes). Truly a microcosm of society, I suppose, but this only added to my inability to enjoy that which is hard enough to enjoy in complete solitude, unfettered by the irksome squeaks and high pitched squeals of children, but I knew this going in so I can hardly feign surprise.

In attempting to order my food, I chose to stand in the line that I perceived to be the shortest, not because I believed it to be the fastest line but, as it was the shortest, it was the most appealing to me. it turned out that contrary to Murphy's Law and more in line with some sort of scientific equation loosely based on common sense, it was in fact the fastest line. Consequently, I burned a good many of my fellow patrons with my line judging ability which seemed to perturbed the previously peppy middle-aged cashier whose privilege it was to take my order. It bothered this man to such a degree that he did not thank me for my patronage and was further miffed by me request for ketchup packets, but I've already bored enough of my colleagues with the details of
that pointless story, so I'll skip it.

Of course my friends were cold by the time we (my fries and I) had traveled the short distance from the counter to my table. I had selected this spot due to its excellent view of both entrance (or exits if you're a pessimist--it's like that half empty glass of water scenario) to the restaurant (you never know when some misanthropic gun-toting freak is gonna step in a take a lifetime of grievances out on th innocent patrons of the karmic waste dump that is the fast food restaurant establishment). So anyway, these fries, long the pride of McDonald's and a bit of a bone of contention with other burger joints who lay claim to the tastier fry, were not only cooling at an alarming rate, they were also a far cry from the golden slices of Idaho perfection that you're likely to see in any one of McDonalds five hundred thousand TV commercials.

It should be mentioned that for my entree I selected a Super Value meal involving a Big Mac, a beverage of some size (probably medium), and the aforementioned disappointing fires. For those not familiar with fast food logic, there are three different grades of Super Value meals; medium or regular being the smallest f them. There's plenty of humor there but you can suss it out yourself, I really don't have the energy having used most of it to digest my Big Mac (the good news is that I was full for nine hours afterwards.)

In conclusion, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to take a crack at that secret Big Mac sauce. Ummm, let's see, probably some combination of mayo, pickles, and ketchup, sometimes called Russian dressing (though probably not in Russia) or Thousand Island dressing (in trailer parks outside of Russia).

Super Value is not empty promised, I will say that. For four dollars and twenty-five cents, not only was my stomach full, but I was also reminded of the unpleasantness of eating at such a restaurant as McDonalds. This memory jolt will keep me out of McDonalds and their ilk for a good while and therefore keep my body that much healthier possibly leading to a longer, more productive life. This dining experience also gave me the chance to reconnect with my fellow citizens in a public area, reminding me at well that I don't care much for my fellow citizens, I never have and i don't foresee a time that I ever will.

Check, please!--Julio Childs

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