The Secret of the Golden Arches

After Mass yesterday, I asked Bill what he wanted to do for breakfast. He was in a hurry because he had to complete some legal work so that he could drop it off at his client’s house early in the afternoon.  “How about McDonald’s? he asked. My heart sunk, just a bit. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a McDonald’s hater, at least for breakfast. I admit to enjoying a Sausage McMuffin with Egg on occasion. But at my last physical, my doctor had suggested I try to cut down on sodium. It seems my blood pressure, while still not horrible, is threatening to jump to much higher levels. In fact, sometimes it sticks it’s tongue out at me and takes a practice jump. Given the fact that Italian sausage factored high in my diet the past few days, I thought I should give my body a break.

“Why don’t we go through the drive-through to save some time, and then you can have your Sausage McMuffin and I can fix myself a scrambled egg at home?” I suggested.

So, we — seemingly along with most of southeast Denver — got into the McDonald’s drive-through debaucle, er, line. It’s not pretty, my friends. It’s the two-lanes-that-then-must-turn-into-one-lane-to-pay that causes the problem. It brings out the worst in humankind, I’m afraid. In the time we spent in line, we could have eaten breakfast at the Brown Palace. Live and learn.

But it made me think of something I recently read: According to a survey conducted by Food and Wine magazine, America’s favorite fast food restaurant is Chick-fil-A. The chicken restaurant ranked number one overall in fast food loyalty. While most of the people I know like Chick-fil-A, I call B-to-the-S that it beats McDonald’s as the overall favorite. I had lots of time while waiting in line to consider this matter.

Food and Wine, in fact, points out that there is a flaw in their own system, though they don’t know what it is. You see, while McDonald’s runs near to last in the overall favorite category — and dead last in the burger category — it runs first in sales. First.

Back when I worked hard for my money, I interacted with senior aides to members of Congress. One aide in particular told me to never trust political polling results. “People answer poll questions the way they think they’re supposed to answer them,” he told me. “And then they vote their conscience in the polling booth.”

My friends, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened with this poll. I mean, who would want to tell Food and Wine magazine that McDonald’s is your fast food of choice? It’s much cooler to tell them that in those RARE instances when you eat a fast food burger instead of a kale and quinoa salad, you choose In-N-Out. Seventy-three percent of those polled chose In-N-Out in the burger loyalty category. In real life, who’s going to go to In-N-Out when your kid in the back seat is screaming for a Happy Meal?

As an aside, I have never understood the In-N-Out phenomenon. To me, it’s an ordinary burger with less than ordinary fries. Haters, don’t hate. I would choose Five Guys (which came in second in burger loyalty) any day.

I didn’t go out and get my doctorate degree in Research and Analysis last night, but something’s fishy with this survey. And speaking of fishy, if there had been a “fish” loyalty category, I would have selected Culver’s in a heartbeat. Their fish sandwich ROCKS.

Here is a link to the article from Food and Wine.

This post linked to Grand Social.

Thursday Thoughts

Erin go Bragh
I am preparing corned beef and cabbage this evening rather than tomorrow for several reasons. The first is that I’m not Irish, so I can make my corned beef whenever I darn well please; second, it works better for some of the people who will be seated at my table; third, St. Patrick’s Day is on Friday when Catholics abstain from meat, so Jen and I elected to make the meal on Thursday. Of course, the Phoenix archdiocese announced last Sunday that the no-meat restriction was being lifted for St. Patrick’s Day. I find that funny, but I won’t argue because we don’t have to try to fight the Catholic masses in our effort to find good fish-and-chips, at least for one Friday in Lent.

Fish Fry

Culvers fish-and-chips

And just what do I mean by that last statement? Culver’s offers really, really good fried fish in the form of sandwiches and fish-and-chips. They proclaim – via television commercials – to fly the cod in fresh and bread it themselves right in the store. I have no reason to doubt that Culver employees’ mornings are spent breading fish. All I will tell you is that I believe that every single Catholic in the East Valley over the age of 55 was at our nearby Culver’s last Friday evening. Bill and I arrived early — around 4:30 — and the line to order was out the door. I sent Bill on a futile search for a table while I stood in line. He came back about the time I was getting ready to order and proclaimed not a table to be had. So I ordered our food to go, sad that it would only be marginally warm by time we rolled into our garage, but what’s a Catholic to do? As we were waiting for our food, a table right near where I was standing opened up, and I shot myself like a cannonball into the seat. (The 98-year-old woman that I knocked out of the way got up from the floor almost entirely by herself.) I told Bill that because our order was to-go, he would need to wait for our number to be called. Now here’s where my proclivity for exaggeration is coming to bite me, because you won’t believe what I’m telling you. Bill waited a full 30 minutes to get our order. While he waited up front, senior citizens continued to troll around the store like sharks looking for dinner. The most wonderful thing about this story is that once Bill came to our table with the food (which was piping hot!), he wasn’t a bit crabby. He had spent the entire time chatting it up with another NASCAR fan, and they discussed the upcoming race. My husband has a patient temperament in many ways.

Customer Serviceless
I’m not anti-Walmart; I’m really not. Their prices are lower than other supermarkets and that alone makes me go there once in a while for one thing or another. Yesterday Bill needed some kind of gardening item, and since I needed a few things for tonight’s meal, I decided I might as well pick them up while he did his shopping. One of the things I needed was horseradish, and I find that to be one of the items I have trouble finding in stores, particularly the kind that needs to be refrigerated. So, there was a young man stocking shelves, and I politely asked him where I could find horseradish. He gave me such a blank stare — and for so long — that I wondered if I had inadvertently spoken in German.  That seemed unlikely, however, since I don’t speak German. He sent me on a wild goose chase because he, of course, not only didn’t know where the horseradish was, but didn’t have the slightest idea WHAT it was. Good thing I didn’t ask him for braunschweiger.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
And my last comment about not speaking German reminds me of something that happened when Bill and I were on our big European Adventure back in 2008. We were in Germany having lunch, and I needed to use a bathroom. I had taken four years of high school German, but I can’t say I ever really learned the language. Nevertheless, I decided to try speaking German to the food server. “Wo is das badezimmer?” I asked the startled woman. She looked at me with puzzlement, so I repeated my question. Finally, she said to me in PERFECT ENGLISH, “Are you looking for the toilette? It’s right back there.” Now then, a few weeks ago, Bill and Bec and I went to a German restaurant here in Mesa, and while waiting for a table, we sat at the bar. Seated next to me was a very nice woman who was from Germany but lives now in AZ. We got to talking, and I related my story to her. She laughed, and explained that what I had actually asked the woman was, “Where is a place to take a bath?” Ah ha. That explains the German waitress’s puzzlement.


Thursday Thoughts

Jensen7 (2)

Austin and Lilly

Catch My Show in Poughkeepsie
We miss our grandkids a bunch. Oh, we miss our kids too, but what can I say? There is something about our grandkids. Quite frankly, I’m using my siblings’ grandkids as filler because, well, they’re all here. Tuesday night I babysat Austin and Lilly while Mark and Maggie went on a work-related dinner thingy. I decided that there is nothing cuter than 2-year-olds. They can understand everything you say to them. They can communicate with you, either through rudimentary language or, in Lilly’s case, something a bit more vocal. As I watch Lilly, I can hardly wait to get home to see how my own little almost-2-year-old Cole is doing. (He will be 2 in May.) For reasons likely related only to



being 2, Lilly thinks I am hilarious. The other night, I used a jack-in-the-box to delight her. I cranked the handle and when the clown (or in this case, the sock monkey) popped out, I threw it up in the air and screamed. You can see how absolutely hilarious this is, can’t you? Well, maybe not, but Lilly certainly did. All 78 times that she had me do it. She belly-laughed each and every time, as Austin looked on in amazement. Apparently, when you’re 5, you aren’t quite as easily amused.

I Suppose You Also Still Leave Voice Messages
Speaking of grandkids, last Friday – the day we were at the baseball game – when I looked at my iPad upon arriving back home, I saw that I had not one, not two, not three, but a total of four missed Facetime calls from 5-year-old Mylee. It was dinnertime, and when I tried her back, no one answered. So, the next morning, which was Saturday, I Facetimed her once again. This time she answered. “Nana,” she said with great exasperation in her voice, “I tried Facetiming you yesterday and you didn’t answer.” I said, “I know, I saw that you called, but we were at a baseball game and didn’t get home until later.” During the course of our conversation, Mylee complained three or four more times that she had tried to Facetime me the day before. Finally, I said to her, “Mylee, listen to me. I don’t have an iPhone. I have an android phone and it doesn’t have Facetime. So I can only get my Facetime calls on my iPad. Since we were at the baseball game, I didn’t have my iPad and therefore didn’t get your call until we got home.” Stunned silence. “You don’t have an iPhone?” she said incredulously. My status fell in Mylee’s eyes that day. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that I let her play with Play Doh at my house and allow her to eat only the cream filling from Oreos, I’m not sure I could rebound.

What Are You Doing Next Friday?
As does nearly any place you go nowadays, Bill’s maxillofacial surgeon (in real-life terms, that’s the guy who yanked out two of Bill’s teeth a couple of weeks ago, inserted an implant, sent him home still reeling from anesthesia, and sent him flowers) asked him to fill out a survey. As incentive to do so, he was promised two free movie tickets. He did fill out the survey and received the two free tickets yesterday in the mail. Flowers and a movie? It sounds more like dating than dentistry!

Finding Nemo
Finding DoraThe other night while watching The Voice, I must have seen one commercial three or four times. The ad was for the fish sandwich being served by Culvers. According to the ad, the fish is flown in unbattered, and each restaurant batters the fish and fries it right at the restaurant. The commercial then showed a close-up of the sandwich, which was flaky and delicious-looking. The tartar sauce was thick and the lettuce looked crisp. By the third commercial, I was determined to try that sandwich. So yesterday we did just that. Bill was a bit perplexed that I would want a fish sandwich on a Wednesday, but once we got to Culvers, he ended up ordering the same thing. He’d seen the same commercials. Well, I will tell you the truth. While no fast food sandwich looks the same as they do in the advertisements, this sandwich was quite good. It was hot and tasted fresh. And the restaurant was packed so we weren’t the only ones who saw the ad. There was a line nearly out the door – all old people (which is how Bill and I describe anyone between the ages of 62 and 73 who aren’t us). Advertising works.

Who the Hell is Dora?
kaiya mylee hatsBear with me. One more grandkids story, this time starring Mylee AND Kaiya. Once again, we were talking on Facetime. I believe it might have been the same conversation where Mylee learned the bitter truth about my telephone. Anyway, I said to them, “Hey! Guess what movie is coming out in June?” They eagerly asked what movie it was. “Finding Dora, I said. They both looked totally and entirely puzzled. “Finding Dora?” they said. “What are you talking about?” I explained that it was a sequel to Finding Nemo. “Oh,” they said in unison. “You mean Finding DORY, not DORA.”

Work with me here, Girls.