Fast Food, Fast Beer

It’s 3:30pm on a crisp, Sunday afternoon and you’re driving home. The highway was your friend hours ago but the good times have passed. Tired and hungry, all you desire is to sit at home on your couch with a cold beer watching football.

Like an emperor, you could walk around in your free-flowing robe as you snack on chips that were handcrafted just for you. And, as you deservedly gorge, you are entertained by the glorious nothing of gladiators doing battle in far off lands. Life is, or would be, great if you were home.

Looking at the clock as seconds mill about, your far off daydreams are only making you angry. DAMN IT! If not for being volunteered by your boss to conduct post-conference interviews, you would have been home by now. More importantly, you would be watching the fourth quarter. Instead, you hear bits and pieces of the game as the radio continues to mock you. Your breaking point is fast approaching, as is a McDonalds in 1.3 miles.

Knowing you deserve a break, and a healthy one by fast-food standards, you make the executive decision to stop. Time begins to slow down as you car speeds up. Your trip, now segmented with at least one reward, has just improved tremendously. Sure it will delay your return home but you care not. No beer or football but at least you get food.

As the exit approaches, a billboard down the highway catches your eye. The billboard looks terribly familiar yet completely different. The board is for Burger King, a back-ups’ back-up if you ever had one, but this is different. As if you were in a Haruki Murakami novel, the billboard promises Miller High Life and multiple football viewing screens to go with your normal, fast-food experience. Rubbing your eyes as you miss the exit, you continue to drive.

As you speed up, desperate to make it to the next exit where an oasis of a Burger King awaits, you continue to ask yourself if this is real? You know what the billboard said but as you drive farther from McDonalds, you get annoyed by your stupidity as your hunger pangs relentlessly pummel your stomach. Angry, hopeful and quite confused, you finally arrive at your new destination.

Looking like any Burger King you’ve ever seen, you slowly enter and your world is blown. To your left is a playpen full of screaming kids and tired mothers but to your right, your glorious right, you see grown men eating burgers, drinking Miller Lite and watching the game. You have never felt so happy, or so American….

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