The weather back here in Hood River has been chilly as of late, and we’ve even got a coat of snow that’s managed to hang around for a few days. Thus warmed internally by the cold fire of gin, I find within myself a desire to reflect on the events of the last couple weeks.
It all started way back in December of last year, a few scant days before Christmas, when we charged through the biggest snowfall the Gorge has seen so far this season in order to get my sorry self to the Portland airport. It was there, after removing my shoes and belt and going through the world’s strictest of strict security, that I was treated to the worst breakfast ever visited upon mankind.
My first mistake was choosing Wendy’s as my poison of choice that morning. Wendy’s, yes, which is known across the globe for its culinary prowess in preparing fine breakfasts. I’ll be the first to admit that from the beginning of this, I was simply asking for trouble.
I went with Wendy’s finest, a sausage biscuit with egg and cheese. I made it a combo so I could get a bag of Li’l Tater Grease Soak-ums, and some coffee that you can’t drink at first because it’s so piping hot, and you can’t drink later because it tastes so dreadful.
But the namesake of this combo, yikes. My sausage biscuit with egg and cheese was such an abomination that it may have turned me off from the whole “sausage biscuit with egg and cheese as a palatable breakfast choice” thing for the rest of my life. It was bad, I tell you. The sausage was cold and the biscuit was burned, and it was like trying to eat a tire sandwiched between two coal seams. Despite a ravenous hunger I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it.
I tried to cut my losses by focusing instead on the hash brown things, which I managed to finish even though they had already soaked their paper bag translucent with grease. I also put considerable effort into downing my cup of magma, which didn’t do a whole hell of a lot besides burn the inside of my mouth and leave behind stringy bits of flesh that would plague me for the rest of the day.
In all honesty, however, I took a strange comfort in the fact that my sausage biscuit was burned and horrible. I guess it’s nice to know that somewhere in the preparation of this breakfast there is still enough human intervention to allow for such an error. I had always believed that the entire process of fulfilling my fast food order was one of automation, of conveyor belts deep-frying my fries and chixxen nuggets, and heartless robots thawing my quasi-meat product with their eye lasers.
No. That my breakfast at Wendy’s could be so abhorrent, that it could deviate so far from the consistent mediocrity that we expect, nay, demand from such establishments, is proof that at least one disenchanted fast food employee must have been involved in its lax preparation. This error reveals the manner by which the meal must have been created, and it proves that humans still have enough influence over the process to fuck it all up.
What’s also notable is that my breakfast had to be prepared with only the tools and ingredients that could make it through security, which these days excludes such high-risk items as butter knives and water. Ultimately, I should consider myself lucky that the meal came out as well as it did.
I only wish I could say the same for the rest of my trip to Minneapolis.