As I'm sure I've mentioned on here a few times, Kathy's & my plan post-Oregon is to eventually wind up in North Carolina. I am still feeling pretty swell about being right here in Portland, but there are occasions when my mind/heart swell for when I am permanently in the South and can enjoy certain things. Like all the unhealthy fast food.
Alright, so I've read Fast Food Nation, I've seen Super Size Me, I am concerned about how the low cost and also low nutritional value of fast food targets low-income minority groups, compounding their troubles. But I've learned that, while I like being educated, I also don't think I could ever be a purist about certain things. For instance, earlier this year I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, who I absolutely adore and usually agree with full heartedly and enthusiastically, but at the end of this book while I had learned a lot, I also realized that I could never not eat bananas. (Bananas were a no go in her strictly-locally-produced diet.) This was just a small point in her book, but one I really couldn't get over. Bananas are effing delicious! I know I am costing the environment tons of oil in transport from Latin America, but...they are effing delicious! In a similar way, you can't have a good road trip without a fast food stop, and sometimes nothing goes better with a late night and an empty belly than greasy fries.
Something about Southern fast food in particular really takes the prize for me. Perhaps because southern food in general always takes the prize for me, and so I get excited about even the homogenized fast food versions of it. I had lunch today at a Popeye's on MLK by the library bookstore where I volunteer on Tuesdays, where I have stopped a few times before. I am always by myself and always in a bit of a rush but something about that fried chicken po'boy and those red beans and rice makes me feel so darn happy. Of course, Popeye's belongs in Portland, Oregon as much as it belongs in Boston, Massachusetts, and although I'm not complaining, I also have respect for those glorious businesses which I rightfully can't get in the very-not-southern Pacific Northwest: the infamous Chik-Fil-A, who is so southern they are closed on Sundays. I even feel a little soft spot in my heart for places like Bojangles or Checkers and I've never eaten in them. Let's be honest, I am even a fan of McDonald's Southern style chicken sandwich, and that is a pretty wimpy imitation of Southern cuisine. And everybody's gotta love those neon yellow blocks that light up Southern highways, the good ol' Waffle House.
Some day. Some day, I will leave the sustainable, local, nutritional world of Burgerville, and head toward the land of endless fried chicken, lard laden biscuits, and iced tea made with ten pounds of sugar. Some day.