Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One of Those Days

Place: DQ Grill & Chill
Lunch: Mushroom Grillburger, onion rings, chili, water

It's no longer "Dairy Queen", you know. DQ's current ownership (Warren Buffet) is insisting all franchisees convert to the Grill & Chill concept. This is stupid. "Brazier" was such a cool name.

Anyway, this is my first time in a Grill & Chill. The menu is standard DQ with fancier burger names and toppings. And fancier prices.

I order my food. I'm given a number on a red card which says to put it in the holder at your table. What holder? Oh...must be that circly thingie on top of the metal mini ad stand.

My food is up. I can see it sitting under the warmer light.

Still there.

Still there.

Employees standing around staring at it. Kind of like people around here when the light turns green. They don't know what to do. So they just sit there. The natives are all zombies. Very few of them even have souls.

Still there.

Counter Girl appears, grabs my food, and brings it out.

It's still hot and fresh tasting.

And terrible.

Really bad.


The onion rings have an aftertaste like fish.

The burger just sucks.

The chili is hideous.

Guess I'll get a cone to get the taste out of my mouth.

Counter Girl looks confused that I'm back. "One medium cone dipped in chocolate to go, please."

"It'll be over there (pointing) in a minute."

So I stand over there.

Still standing.

Still standing.

Still standing.

Refill my water.

Still standing.

Woman holding plain cone in hand..."You the one with the cone?"


"Chmmclt mmmrrph mlrrrff myt?"



"I can't hear you."

"The chocolate hasn't melted yet. Can I get you anything else?"

"What do you mean?"

"A Blizzard maybe?"

"Just give me the cone."

"A Blizzard?"

"Please just hand me the plain cone."

She does. "We'll give you a coupon for a small cone."

"That's quite alright."

She never once apologizes.

As I'm opening my car door, the soft serve above the cone rim slides off and plops on the pavement.

Imagine...I paid for this experience!

It's going to be one of those days.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Possible Wallet

Place: Bravo! Cucina Italiana
Lunch: Sicilian pizza, lobster bisque, water with lemon

I'm seated next to the big windows overlooking the lake, and it's snowing as I eat my lobster bisque.
It is a beautiful moment in time. Bravo has a really good lobster bisque. I've never quite understood why.

Jennifer found my exact wallet...on e-Bay.

I bought it immediately.

Jennifer is awesome.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Impossible Wallet

Place: McDonald's
Lunch: Quarter Pounder, Big Mac, large orange Hi-C

Ever notice that McDonald's only offers the Quarter Pounder with cheese on their menu anymore? The cheeseless version, which was my personal childhood favorite before my family hauled off and moved to a part of the world so isolated that even McDonald's didn't exist, hasn't shown up on the menu in years. But you can still order it. Just make sure you specify "without cheese".

Which I did today for the first time since I was probably nine. When I was nine, they came in a white foam clamshell with "Quarter Pounder" in an olive green outline. I kept a few containers to store stuff in. You could smell the burger in there for weeks after it was consumed.

Today's came in a Quarter Pounder with Cheese cardboard clamshell.

It was still good.

I might order that more often.

So I finally got a wallet. I settled on a bi-fold that zips shut and has a snappable change pocket inside. It holds less than half the crap of my Totes checkbook wallet. This sucks.

Checkbook wallets of ANY variety were hard to come by, let alone one with a zipper pocket. It just blows my mind that I couldn't find another wallet like mine. And don't think I didn't look. I even looked at women's checkbook clutches, all of which were much bigger and far too gaudy. I don't know why even women would carry something that looks as ridiculous as most of these did.

Let's review, shall we?

Wal-Mart: No.

Target: No.

K-Mart: No.

Walgreens: No.

Marshall's: No.

JCPenney: No.

Totes/Sunglass Hut: I DID find a location still open! I marched in, the girl said "Can I help you?" I said "I need one of these" and slammed it on the counter, Totes logo up. "Oh! We don't have anything like that!"

Macy's: No. But do you know what they DO sell in their men's accessories department? DVD players.

Sears: No.

Dillard's: No, but one came close. Not close enough to spend $40 on.

Sharper Image: No.

Brookstone: No, but one came close. Not close enough to spend $50 on. Almost...for $130.

Burger Time: No, but the burger was delicious!

Nordstrom Rack: No, but I'm coming back here when I need a new coat.

Another Target: No.

Another Wal-Mart: No.

A third Wal-Mart: No.

Burlington Coat Factory: No, and that was really disappointing because they DID carry a lot of Totes branded stuff.

Younkers: Younkers had no less than five different wallet displays throughout the men's department. I almost settled on a bi-fold there. Younkers ALSO carried a lot of Totes branded stuff. But not wallets.

Wilson's Leather: No.

American Tourister outlet: No.

Dollar General: No.

Big Lots: No.

Some random closeout store in the old Sam Goody location at Mall of America that made Big Lots look upscale: No.

A whole bunch of other shops at Mall of America: No.

Bloomingdales: HA HA HA HA! I'm not going in THERE.

K's Merchandise: No. They're going out of business. Not that it matters.

Pamida: The only thing Pamida had that even resembled a wallet was a pack of picture windows for a tri-fold.

ShopKo: No.

Gordman's: No.

Franklin Covey: No.

The gift shop at Terrible's: No.

Dollar Tree: No. But what the heck is a "gel pen"?

TJ Maxx: No. But that's where I gave up and bought the $12.99 Kenneth Cole bi-fold.

Maybe I'll learn how to sew and rehabilitate my old one.