Saturday, July 30, 2005

If Robert Atkins Were Alive, I'd Tell Him to Kiss My Bread Eatin' Ass.

Hmm. The image of my ass getting the best of a balogna sandwich aside...

Walked into McDonald's this a.m. to pick up an egg-and-cheese biscuit and some hash browns for my beloved. Only egg and cheese, as she is a practicing vegetarian, and has been for years. The reaction to this order, just like the reaction to her lunchtime order of a Cheeseburger Happy Meal sans meat : stunned silence, followed by a shaky request for managerial assistance. The first three dozen times this happened, I blew it off, pretty much. After all, as long as I get milady's food to her the way she asked for it, everybody's happy.

But the experience of this morning, after several similar experiences in this and other restaurants, fast-food or sit-down (like TGIF or Bennigans or O'Charley's) or otherwise, was just the last straw for me. I'm getting this off my chest and my digestive tract: Fuck you Atkins diet. Fuck you with a breadstick straight from the pasta drenched Olive Garden.

The dietary needs of vegetarians like my wife? Sheer lunacy, if the quizzical mugs on waitstaffs everywhere are to be believed. How dare someone walk into Mickey D's without giving proper respect to dead animals and their tasty flesh? I'd have probably gotten more respect if I'd asked if they were still selling the McAsbestos Quarter Pounder. God knows any cashier or waiter in any franchise restaurant could give you a running count of the carbohydrates in your order at any given time, but express your adherence to, not a fad diet, but an actual lifestyle choice that's been around for freaking centuries*, and you get blank stares and judgmental exasperation from the person taking your order.

To be fair, I should mention that I'm a meat-lover, and that I have no problem with the Atkins diet or anyone on it. I myself lost a ton of weight on it, and I know it works (though I do have reservations about the long-term healthiness of it, bolstered by some people I know who've lost part or all of their gall bladder in part because of it.) I understand that a lot of people are on it and are reaping great benefit. What I don't understand and don't like is the relative immediacy with which the food biz has bent over to accomodate and pitch their outlets as "Atkins friendly".

*Feel free to look this up and tell me vegetarianism has only been around since the roaring 20's. I really don't know.


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