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Jett Superior laid this on you on || August 13, 2009 || 12:10 pm

the devil has my babies.

So, for about thirteen years now I have been boycotting a certain large, ubiquitous ‘restaurant’ chain. I use the sarcastic little quotey punctuation around the word restaurant because their food is like, “KACHUNK! Have a hamburger. KACHUNK! Fries. KACHUNK. Shaaaaake, baby.” Thus, ‘restaurant’ is a mere loose approximation of what these folks actually are.

I started the boycott because late one night I was on the phone with my friend Johnny Everybody, who lives on the west coast and chanced to ask what I was eating during our weekly post-club telephonic drunkfest. “Johnny Everybody, I am eating a Pig Pac –my first Pig Pac ever, in fact– and it is gooood. I got it with cheese, and I don’t even like cheeseburgers!”

“Jett,” Johnny Everybody said (and I could hear his lip curling in that fetching way it has, no doubt about it), “That shit is disguuuuusting. How can you put that in your body?”

And, uncharacteristically, I was immediately stricken by his proselytization, the veil falling away from my eyes to reveal the heinousness that sat in the little cardboard box on my lap. Apparently it fell from my tongue as well, because “Blub-blubblub, pffft, cardboard, it tastes like elaborately disguised cardboard, this overprocessed, wrongly-colored prefab foodthing!” Johnny Everybody, who was one of the biggest partyheads I’ve ever known in my entire life, gave me a Road To Damascus Moment. Even, probably, as he was ingesting his twentieth tab of acid in as many hours.

In the following week, I was moved to investigate the nutritional value of the ‘restaurant’ chain’s menu and in so doing found information on some questionable business practices they engaged in and about which they apparently had no moral qualms. It was then that I decided, without a great deal of pomp and circumstance and overall drama, that I no longer wanted to be a part of their business model even if it was ‘only’ as a consumer. Even if I had only been an occasional patron of their establishment. Even if their fries were so fucking butter that the mere thought of never consuming them again incited feelings of great woe and maybe even slight panic. There are, after all, so few satisfying post-club foodstuffs available to your basic all-American girl, you know?

So life flowed on and over the years my children –safe in the confines of booster seat and seatbelts– often looked longingly out of the car’s backseat window at the ‘restaurant’ sign boasting that forty-eleven kanzanillion people had been served; it floated high above us like a taunting specter while my babies noted in their sad little hearts and projected with their quietly forlorn visages that we were not, in fact, part of the kanzanillions.

Oh sure, there were the brief, illicit runs for a Giggly Meal with Nanas and Memoms and Great-Grammas, but these were covered in the magical realm of Acceptable Grandparently Transgressions; you know that one….it’s where your parents tell your kids, “Now, babies, don’t tell your momma, but today you will be a triumphant member of the Tribe of Kanzanillions!

“Don’t tell your momma, don’t tell your momma,” the grandparent singsongs as they snake their errant way through the drivethrough line, “for she will harsh our french fry buzz and smash all of our good tiiiiiiimes!”

And I heard Sam and Scout’s lispy preschool whispers to one another about their sinful glee, but recalled the sanctity of the pact I had with my OWN Memaw, who allowed me to do things like climb trees in my best dress and eat a double-portion serving of her Magically Angelic Homemade Coconut Cake for breakfast. For breakfast!! It is in the throes of this memory that I turn a mostly blind eye to being played a fool by parents or in-laws (ohshutup, you do it too); and now each child has one more person with whom to have an intimately wonderful, inside-jokey experience. And also, they’re ‘getting one over on the man’ (where I=’the man’), which is a valuable lesson indeedy, because one has to learn how to safely and responsibly buck authority on occasion.

At least in my world.

Let me not forget to mention, too, that when in the care of my parents, their judgment about whatever issue is at hand regarding the children rests entirely with them and has nothing to do with me, really. If I disagree enough with said judgment, it is my responsibility to lay down the law or stop letting my kids hang out with my folks so that I don’t feel foolish and disrespected. This doesn’t often happen, because my people, obviously, have most of the same values that I do. And sure, I have boycotted this establishment for over twelve years now because they don’t subscribe to what I consider acceptable behavior, but not everyone sees this issue in the same light as I do. Ultimately, I am okay with that.

GOOD DAMN THING, because as of last week not one, BUT TWO* of the Superior children are serving the kanzanillions in pursuit of possessing things like cars (Scout) and newer cell phones (Sam). After that come things like time at the Jiu-Jitsu gym (which Maxim and I have taken to mockingly calling The Jiu-Jitney Jungle Gym) and a laptop for Sam and further proof of her fashionista prowess for Scout. Oh. My. Jesus. To be young and without mortgage!

So I have not given the kids any crap about being in the employ of my Arched Nemesis (haha, get it?) because despite holding tightly to what standards I do possess, I feel strongly about NOT fobbing them off on others in an aggressive or ugly manner. And –in the interest of full disclosure here– also I like the fact that they will pay for their own school lunches.

I guess that this is all my fault, because when they were tiny I used to pray over my kids daily, and I taught them to pray too: I never hesitated to tell them about the power of fervent and ardent faith and boldly-yet-humbly requesting something while brandishing a pure sort of hopefulness. Never in a million years would I have guessed that the little monkeys would spend their prayers on unlimited access to fried apple pies and bacon double cheesburgers.

*upon hearing of Scout’s having been hired, I turned to Mathias at the dinner table and said, “That’s four-fifths of this family that are employed; when are you gonna stop being deadweight?”

“But I’m only tennnnn,” he replied.
“Stop making excuses, son, excuses really irk me,” said Maxim.
Mathias blinked. Blink-blink. Blink.
“I think you guys are scaring him,” Sam said between mouthfuls of salad.
“SHUT UP SAM, THIS CONVERSATION IS AWESOME AND I WANT TO SEE WHERE IT GOES.” That was Scout.
…and here is where I remind you that the baby is petted ninety-eight percent of the time by God and everybody and we have to build character in him somehow.

9 worked it out »

  1. Delmer 8.13.2009

    Arched Nemesis..HA! I don’t eat at clownburger unless I absolutely have to. King, Jack & In&Out are my fast food trinity…that’s when I have to resort to fast food. The grandparents are completely in charge when they have my Son, which s why when he visits them he usually taps them to the order of 6 or 7 popsicles! I still can’t believe how old your kids are, before long they’ll have moved out and you’ll be traveling in your Airstaream,,,

     
  2. cIII 8.13.2009

    McNasty’s is a shitty place to eat. Good place to work though. Why, I recall, as a young boy, having “The Great Pickle Derby” while wrangling the grill. Another slinger of PoopyPucks and I would grab a pickle and throw them at the back of the Bulkhead, and they would eeeeeaaaaassseee down, ever so slowly, until…..PLOP! Off they fell.

    And every so often, a rarity really, a customer would see some rouge Pickle fall into the “waiting area”. Mouth agape.

    The Assistant Manager also sold us weed. That was swell.

    Good times.

    Shitty food.

     
  3. Jettomatika 8.13.2009

    Yes, but….how was the weed?

     
  4. Seaweed 8.15.2009

    This was hysterical. I haven’t been to one or to their competitor, or the Colonel’s place or anything similar in about 15 years. Except to stop in and use the restrooms while travelling.

     
  5. redclay 8.16.2009
     
  6. The Stiletto Mom 8.18.2009

    Well, you are impressive. I fell prey to the golden arches pretty quickly. I can only take so much crying over a happy meal. Honestly though, I just cannot even think about the back story on the burger or the nuggets…ugh.

     
  7. Jettomatika 8.18.2009

    Don’t be so quick to brag on me; I’m sure my retail transgressions are many. If they weren’t (in this country, anyway) I’d just about have to wear a loin cloth and spear fish to be completely without Priveleged White Guilt and its evil twin, Blame-Free Existence.

     
  8. Suzanne 8.22.2009

    I must confess…. McFries are my absolute weakness. It’s a sickness, I know.

     

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