Okay, I have never gone as far as I did in this week’s Dustinland comic in real life, but I have done something similar, more than once. You know, you drop your earbud, it falls on the filthy floor, you know there’s germs and grossness all over it, but you have an hour-long commute ahead of you and nothing to read, so you suck it up and hope for the best. Men’s bathroom would be pushing it to a level of complete pukiness, but I have definitely done it on the subway, which is pretty bad. Oh well, I’m still standing.
Yup, as I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, as a parent, you have to carry a lot of stuff. What I didn’t mention was that you have no time to do any other sort of physical activity but that, unless you’re one of those people who can somehow can fit it into some super early morning routine. So that body you see at the end, that’s about what you get. Your arms stay strong from constant lifting. Your lower back gets a good workout too, although perhaps too good, and it may all backfire and start hurting. And your shoulders might hurt too. And your joints. And all of you. It’s called getting old. Thankfully I am a super skinny little twerp so the dad gut hasn’t hit me yet. But man, any non-arm muscle I put on in the years leading up to baby time has vanished. Good times.
This week’s Dustinland comic was inspired by a famous George Carlin routine. Of course mine isn’t anywhere nearly as well-conceived (he’s George Carlin) or as lengthy (it takes longer to draw things than to say them), it still was damn fun to write. It was actually pretty tricky to draw though. I didn’t want the art to take away from the words, but I had to make it interesting, otherwise it would just turn into some weird sort of poem blog post—well, basically it would have turned into a bad McSweeney’s entry.
As for the title, Carlin’s is called Modern Man. Manifold means:
marked by diversity or variety
c: comprehending or uniting various features
d: rightfully so-called for many reasons
I think that works.
Like I said in this week’s Dustinland comic, I used to eat fast food all the time, but then I stopped because I realized it’s not good to eat chemically treated monkey meat. And oddly enough, on those rare moments when I give it little tastte just for kicks, it just doesn’t taste good anymore either. That’s the real surprise to me. I thought I would still enjoy it, but instead of a dirty little treat, it just tastes like dirty little meat (except for Popeye’s, which is greasier than an oil slick but still delicious).
In theory I miss it though. Here’s a little run down of where I used to stand:
McDOnald’s had the best fries. I think I’d give it to Burger King for the burgers. Wendy’s had a sweet dollar meal—chicken nuggers, caesar salad (with bacon bits), fries, slushy. Taco Bell and White Castle were nasty. Roy Rogers and KFC were pretty good but like I said, Popeye’s rules for fried chicken. I once ate at some place called Krystal Burger in New Orleans and it was probably my fast food low point—I have never taken a foodie photo of a dish that looked amazing, but here I did take a photo of food solely because of how disgusting it looked. I went to Arby’s once or twice and it was okay. Boston Market had some good sides. Sandwich places like Subway don’t count, although oddly enough I feel bad that Blimpie seems to have lost the battle. I definitely missed out on all the Cali chains, although I did have In-N-Out Burger twice and both times it was solid.
Moving a little away from “true” fast food, Denny’s was perfect for drunken piles of late night breakfast food. IHOP was fun for giant fluffy family breakfast pancakes and a nice choice of syrup flavors. Friendly’s had good ice cream. I guess if I’m going down this route, I might as well say that Pizzaria Uno’s was some cheesy, oily goodness. T.G.I .Friday’s always kind of sucked but I liked their appetizers. Outback Steakhouse has got to be the most expensive chain I’ve ever been to—I’ll admit, the Bloomin Onion was enjoyable. Cheesecake Factory should be banned for serving portions a horse couldn’t finish.
Oh yeah, I forgot all the pizza chains. I was a Domino’s fan—it wasn’t really pizza, but it was good. Papa John’s was gross. Pizza Hut was pretty crappy, although those mini pizzas were good drunk food. I never had Little Casears but I always liked their ads. Sbarro was the worst—like eating a napkin with cheese and sauce on it.
Man, once you start listing these things you realize just how many chains their are in the U.S. It’s pretty ridiculous—I’m sure I didn’t even crack the surface. But let me just close by saying this: If you are a tourist visiting New York City, do not eat at chain restaurants. This is your chance to not do that, so resist the call of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. if you can.