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We drove home for Christmas in 2006 The five of us had just driven, we drove, the same distance two of us had flown, we drove for thirty hours, and we flew for four hours, over the same route from Washington, D.C. to Denver. Five of us drove together across along the 40th parallel on Interstate Highway 70, for 30 hours, to cover the same territory it took us to fly three and a half hours last week., and the same it took the wagon trains of the 11800 nineteen weeks to cover…. In The Waffle House at one end of the gastronomic tube of our journey from D.C. to Denver, to the McDonald’s in Colby, Kansas that formed its cloacae smorgasbord of fast food, a feast of fast, maybe it should be called, like a pride of crows, a famine of fast food factories, or an infestation of fast food outlets, or a travesty of convenience restaurants, it is not a great sign for American gustatory pride, gourmandic industry, that such is the state of American food on the outskirts of each and every city of our country, that the choices devolving to Burger King, McDonalds Waffle House, I Hop, Cracker Barrel, Kentucky Fired Chicken, Taco Bell, Taco John, and Subway, with a Quizno’s or two popping up its …mmmm, Tasty red an green signs here and there. The highway 70, and, I am sure, the highways 1-95 that crosshatch and interline our country provide a faster way to get from place to place, straight lines through a curved time and space, but also provide homogeneity a way to proliferate. There is scant difference between east and west north and south when it comes to the urban landscapes of its entryway, the ribbon of commerce that forms the tongue and tail of our urban beasts from Manchester to Miramar, is the same, from International Falls to Ipswich to Indianapolis to Indian River to Ithaca to I don’t know where else, it is always the same, a mish mush of independently owned and corporately designed eating experiences that leave one full and unfulfilled, and that have hefted up Americans to grotesque sizes throughout the country. The Middle West the middle waist the wasteland the Midwest the breadbaskert of America is a doughboy, it is a wonder bread nightmare it is the essence of the

2 Big Mac and The Whopper and the Double Cheese. It is frankly disgusting to look at us, America. We are soft and fat and flabby and flaccid and obese and orotund and rotund and our shirts cannot be tucked in anymore and the ripples at our midsections cannot be hidden from plain view, and we are sick and disgusting, the most of us who wallow in the world of fast food and chain eateries, as bland and uninspired as a Wal-Mart, and as bloated as a Walton. We have not bothered to fight the war against the bulge, and we have lost it. The avenues which lead to and from our cities are crowded with bad design and bad food and bad atherosclerosis and arterial sclerosis and diabetes and diarrhea and constipation and gout and goiter and gastric bypass and gastrointestinal disease and duodenal ulcer, as well as plain old indigestion, an well it should be, since we have allowed ourselves to ingest this year (An average American’s diet” 11 pounds or maybe 51 of white sugar, pounds of c0opongealed pork and beef fat, butter and coffee and diet coke and pounds of lard and Tran fatty acid and polyunsaturated and saturated fats, and all that goes with it, all the is stuffed inside our polyester and blended Chinese clothing and our mass digested lives. And little is the alternative, for the landscape is full of the same ReMax and Century 21 and agents selling the same little plots of land to the same old companies that have designed our lives, the corporate builders and the thieves that populate our boardrooms and our managerial elite, those who scratch each other’s backs to rob corporation of million of dollars in bonus4es for themselves the elite who have worked so hard this year…merging and acquiring other people’s stuff for bonuses that have reached 100 million dollar in a single year….Company wealth at the top is doing just fine, thank you. But Burger King is not making us rich, and it is not making its shareholders much money, and the burger wars, when half the menus are going for a dollar, are a little frightening even and especially when the dollar is worth so little in the

3 world’s economy and the cost of our war in Iraq is $3 billion of them every two weeks…and this is the season to be jolly Saturday, December 23, 2006 12/23/2006 7:45:01 AM