The giant homo sapien conspiracy against me

I’m confused, I’ve finished my book (reading one, not writing one–that’ll be the day), and I’ve found I’m in no mood for P.J. O’Rourke. Meanwhile, my readers are egging me on.
It’s part of a plot. I can tell. It’s part of that huge homo sapien plot to take over the world. You gotta watch them homo sapiens.

I learned yesterday than I’m no good at plotting. I’m no good at conspiring. This surprised me. You see, at the age of 23, my next-door neighbors decided the whole world was a huge conspiracy–though they weren’t quite smart enough to figure out that it was the homo sapiens behind it, but you’ll find that out soon enough–and somehow, even at my very young age, I’d managed to rise to the very top of that conspiracy.

They didn’t get out very much. They also happened to believe that the X-Files was really a documentary. You see, constitutionally, the government is required to disseminate that information. So they dress it up like fiction. That way, they’ve fulfilled their constitutional duty in an underhanded way. But really smart people (like them) could see through the whole thing.

Well, I’m not sure if they actually ever said that, but I sure did get sick of listening to UFO conspiracy stories. I can’t remember if they ever went so far as to try to tell me the X-Files was real.

I came out of that experience feeling like I had connections and conniving ability, like I could conspire if I really wanted to.

So as a friend and I started to weave this vast conspiracy, this person asked me a question that let all the air out of my balloon: What if [the person we were conspiring against] already has plans?

Dang it. I didn’t bother finding that out. I just assumed this person had nothing better to do than to fall into my carefully laid trap, which I’d been carefully laying out… because… I… No, not because I didn’t have anything better to do. I had lots of better things to do. I just didn’t want to do them.

Why doesn’t anyone believe me?

You’re in on that homo sapien plot too, aren’t you? You gotta watch them homo sapiens. They’ll take over the world if we’re not careful.

But I just went off on one of my really long digressions. Or maybe it was two of them. So, Steve DeLassus takes offense at me using the word “litter” and implying the trademark “White Castle” in the same sentence. Obviously, Steve’s forgotten one important thing. I’m a transplant to St. Louis. I’m not a native. I’m native to Kansas City. And let me tell you something about Kansas City. White Castle went to Kansas City… and flopped. No grace about it. We’re talking a big, messy belly-flop right onto dry, hot pavement.

Evidently, in Kansas City people wondered the same thing I did the couple of times I’ve had occasion to eat a White Castle. I wondered whether the little cardboard box the thing came in would taste better than the smelly, greasy thing they tried to pass off to me as a hamburger. I know it would be easier on your digestive tract and on your arteries.

White Castles are obviously a creation of the homo sapiens. But not even their most carefully laid plot could save them from the discriminating palates of Kansas City. Good on them. The Kansas Citians, that is.

The St. Louisans aren’t doing such a good job of staving off the plot. White Castle isn’t even a St. Louis creation.

Which leads me, somehow, to Bruce Edwards’ question. Evidently, where he used to live there was a chain of White Castle clones. We had one of those, in Columbia, where I went to college. It opened up the first semester of my freshman year. They bought a tiny drive-thru, painted it pink, and hung out a big pink-and-green sign that read in neon-style letters: Grill ‘n Chill. Their specialties: cheap belly bombers and thick milkshakes. The student newspaper I was writing for at the time reviewed it. “Completely unoriginal,” the reviewer said. I never bothered to check it out. To me, it seemed like cloning a Yugo. Why bother? Not that I had much of a chance to check it out. Within a couple of months, the venture went belly-up, and the atrociously colored pink building stood there vacant for years, a painful reminder of the failed venture. Well, I guess it wasn’t so painful if you remembered your sunglasses. I used to have a neat pair of black wraparounds. I think one of my ex-girlfriends took them. She never did like them. I think she was a closet homo sapien. That would explain a lot about her. Like how she walked upright, breathed oxygen, communicated using spoken words… I never did try to sneak out with any of her genetic material–you know, a bit of hair, or some nail clippings–to test, but I’ll bet she was carbon-based too.

And there I’ve gone, and taken the question and made it all about me. What, do I look like the guy on a date?

I blame the homo sapiens. They keep distracting me. They’re all around me. They’re everywhere, you know.

Anyway, back to the question, which I hadn’t even finished writing out when I got so rudely sidetracked: Some of his coworkers offered him $100 plus the price of the (ahem) food if he could eat 100 belly bombers in a 24-hour period. Bruce asked how I’d respond to an offer like that.

Well, I’m thinking that in exchange for three meals at Smokestack BBQ in Kansas City and $100, I might be willing to think about the sight and smell and taste of 100 belly bombers. But one would have to seriously raise the stakes for me to eat 100 of the wretched things over the course of a day. I get sick to my stomach if I take my vitamins too early in the day.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with homo sapiens. Which surprises you, I’m sure. I know it surprises me.

So, no, I’d tell my friends they could spend all weekend getting acquainted with their toilets if they wanted, but I sure wouldn’t be joining them.

Steve then made the smooth (as a gravel road) transition to the subject of Pepsi and toilets. About a year ago, Steve got one of those annoying forwards that clog up everyone’s inbox (if that’s not a homo sapien plot, I don’t know what is) that was something like 25 things you didn’t want to know about cola. It talked about how you could dissolve a nail in a can of Coca-Cola inside of a week, and other weird stuff. Well, I had a two-liter of Pepsi in my fridge. I’d had company over, and whoever it was only drank one or two glasses, leaving me with most of a two-liter that I had no intention of drinking, because when I want caffeine, I generally want coffee. One of the claims of the message was that a can of cola would do a very nice job of cleaning your toilet.

Now, knowing that if I read it on the Internet it must be true, I took the advice to heart. My toilet was badly discolored because I’m a bachelor and out to impress no one–or I figure if I’m going to impress someone, it won’t be with my toilet. Now, it’s never been as bad as that “worst toilet in Scotland” scene in Trainspotting, but I thought I had a pretty formidible test for that quantity of Pepsi. So I poured it in one morning before I left for work.

I came home about nine hours later. I stirred the contents of the bowl around with my toilet brush, but couldn’t get a good look at the interior. I guess it was a little cleaner. But I decided to let it sit a while longer.

Finally, around 8 p.m., I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had two choices: abandon the experiment, or use the sink. I’m not that much of a bachelor. (I’ve managed to fight off some of that homo sapien influence that so pervades our society these days.) So I flushed the toilet. And you know how they talk sometimes about “ring around the toilet?” I definitely had one of those. But the dirty part was the top of the bowl.

So forget about those fancy-dancy, high-fallutin’ blue things you hang in your toilet. Once every couple of months, buy yourself one of those 59-cent two-liter bottles of generic cola. Take it home, dump it in the bowl before you go to work, and let it sit. It’s cheaper than those blue things and it’s a whole lot easier than scrubbing. Does a better job too. And it’s better for the environment too, since there’s no poisonous bleach involved. Moby would be so proud of me.

I’m sure those homo sapiens don’t want you to know that.

20 thoughts on “The giant homo sapien conspiracy against me

  • April 26, 2002 at 2:51 am
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    Uh, oh, looks like Dave has been into Gatermann’s crack supply again… And Whities are steam-broiled, not fried. I keep telling my arteries that that sogginess of the buns is just condensed, clean water vapor. They don’t believe me.

  • April 26, 2002 at 11:04 am
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    Dear Sir,

    Your experiment with cola-as-a-cleaning-agent was, well, revealing about your restraint (how did you avoid using the sink?)
    Now, about the "better for the environment" part, I would not be so sure. You see, the "cleaning agent" in cola soft drinks happens to be ortophosphoric acid. And, as everybody tells us these days, dumping phosphates in the environment is not the best thing to do… But perhaps better than the chlorine in bleach, I am sure.
    By the way, yours is one of the first Daynoters I read every day. Your journal is one of the best I have seen. Keep up the good work!

  • April 26, 2002 at 11:24 am
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    Hey everyone:

    Dave, you are correct that Krystal is a "knock-off" of White Castle. You will probably have the luxury of seeing one when you go to Belle Glade!!

    They are successful though since thye have been aorud since 1932 (what is that, about 9 years less than White Castle?) and in a totally different area of the country.

    I think you will all get a kick out of this from the Krystal web site, see

    http://www.krystalco.com/we/heritage.asp

    for the entire write up:

    "Krystal Restaurants… have become more than sparkling-clean eateries where friendly employees serve up fresh, delicious food. Krystal has become a cultural icon, and an experience that virtually every man, woman, and child in the Southeast has shared.

    …a Krystal memory:

    taking a date out for a sack full of Krystals;

    …a friend eating 15 Krystals in a single sitting to break a high school record.

    The Krystal brand – and the great food, service, value, and setting for which it stands – has taken a prominent place in the Southeast’s cultural landscape…

    …Chairman and CEO Phil Sanford sums it up best when he says, "You don’t go to McDonald’s to buy a McDonald, or to Burger King to buy a Burger King. Only at Krystal do you actually buy a Krystal…

    …when our customers think of us, they think immediately of our product: fresh, hot, small, square…"

    WOW!! I just LOVE the line:

    "…taking a date out for a sack full of Krystals…"

    Can’t y’all just envision such a wonderful date. You drive on over to your date house and BLOW THE HORN. She comes runnin’ out and you TELL her the great evening you have planned. Topped off to a "T" with a midnight stop at Kystal for that "…experience that virtually every man, woman, and child in the Southeast has shared."

    Man, a date like would now be one of my worst nightmares. Of course, when I was in high school I probably would have not thought so poorly of it (I never blew the horm though, always going to the door). My date restuarant (I almost do not want to admit) in high school was no epitome of fine food seeing that is was PIZZA HUT! Ugh… I can’t stand their pizza anymore – greasy and not very authentic to how pizza should really be.

  • April 26, 2002 at 11:29 am
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    Hi Steve:

    Maybe we should get Gatermann in on this and raise a fund to take Dave up on his (almost) offer and get him to eat those 100 White Castles in exhange for some $ and three BBQ meals…

    – Bruce

  • April 26, 2002 at 12:25 pm
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    Oh, my. I haven’t laughed that hard in weeks.

    If anyone’s going to get Dave to really eat those 100 "rats-with-hats" (the local nickname for them – didja ever notice how there AREN’T EVER any rats within two miles of a White Castle? Coincidence, hmmm?), I’d recommend getting him a bottle or two of the cheap cola, as well… He’s gonna need a good cleaning – as is the toilet.

  • April 26, 2002 at 12:41 pm
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    Bruce, I don’t know if Dave (or anyone, really) would survive 100 belly bombers. He has a discriminatory – that’s the word you were searching for when you said "discriminating", Dave – palate. See, Kansas Citians have a very particular formula for how they like their food prepared. Of course, by that formula, the McRib from Mickey D’s (when offered) is a delicacy. So if Dave wants Smokecrack BBQ, no problem. I’ll take a local favorite, Charlotte’s Rib. And I won’t need The Club on my steering wheel and locknuts on my hubcaps to eat there.

    Pizza Hut’s deep dish pizza is so greasy because they literally cook it in a quarter cup of oil. It’s basically deep fried, except that cold oil soaks into the dough before it has a chance to bubble. I remember several times when my friends and I would have a deep dish pizza delivered, and it was half-cooked, doughy, and greasy; I guess they expected it to finish cooking in the delivery bag. And if you think Whities will do you bad…

    Anyway, I think 100 belly bombers is probably half of Dave’s body weight, so the odds are heavily against. We also might be held responsible for Dave’s sick time and his going offline for a couple of days. Wait, he *does* have a laptop…

  • April 26, 2002 at 3:57 pm
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    Dave,

    In my other life as a local fastfood restaurant manager, there was a time when White Castle hamburgers were rightly ranked #1 in St. Louis for meat content. Yes, it was true. In the early 80s, KFC (spelled out) had the top number of stores worldwide, McDonald’s meat was mixed with beefalo, and Jack-in-the-Box used kangaroo meat. A double steak burger at Steak-n-Shake was (as still is) larger than a Quarter-Pounder, even though it’s looks are deceiving.
    Lately, I’ve been telling my family about my expectations of the new White Castle being built across the street from my workplace. Maybe I’ll start a new routine with a sack once a week. Maybe it should be on Friday’s. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now regarding conspiracies, why did the Lone-Gunman nerdy team get killed off this last Sunday? Maybe they represent three of something or someone dying that has happened somewhere around the world lately and we are suppose to decipher that. The truth is out there…somewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a great weekend!

  • April 27, 2002 at 1:39 am
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    I got plenty of crack to go around Steve…

    As for White Castle, this is one where I unfortunatly have to agree with Dave’s "discriminating" palate. Those things are terrible. Just eating one can cause major internal issues. Though, I’m sure if we drenched them in BBQ suace, he’d eat a 100, and we could all get a good laugh as we rolled him back out to his car.

  • April 27, 2002 at 11:42 am
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    The only good time for a White Castle is extremely late at night, particularly with a large group of people. Back in the day, when being obnoxious in public was a source of pride, my friends and I used to have pickle races. Fling a pickle or two against the wall and see which one slid down the fastest. Of course, this could only be done when the ever present cops went into the restrooms…

    And as far as Steve convincing his arteries… My grandfather claimed that the secret to his longivity was a bagful of Slyders once a week. That and peanut butter. It’s amazing he lived to see 92, all things considered. But that’s way too young in Dave’s mind, who plans on living to 126– or is it 127?

  • April 27, 2002 at 2:43 pm
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    Krystal may look like the White Castle burgers, but they are far better. Sorry, I had one in Chicago and thought they sucked, then again the first Krystal is about a block from where I work & my mom has worked for them in the home office for half of my life.

    They gathered the inital ldea from WC, but they don’t have the round holes in the meat and it’s hard to describe it, but it tastes more juicy and a little more melt-in-your-mouth quality.
    It’s all personal preference, I happen to like Krystals, Memphis BBQ, and Texas Chilli.

  • April 27, 2002 at 2:46 pm
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    The "take a date out for Krystals" part is really a part of growing up around here, honestly. When your (now) wife has a craving for Krystals after a date, you just go and enjoy. It’s like an afterhours place like Waffle House.

  • April 27, 2002 at 4:59 pm
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    Krystals are better than White Castles…

    Actually, I agree. Probably has something to do with me being exposed to them first, way before I heard of white Castle. Also, they are not quite as mushy AND they have that ALL IMPORTANT ingredient as part of the standard Krystal and that is mustard. Treasonous talk, I’m sure, to White Castle lovers. Not having those holes does give you (I think) more meat, too.

    Waffle House (Waffle Steak for those in Indiana, where a state trademark preempted Waffle House’s Federal trademark in that state) I have to say I never developed a fondness for, although I have eaten at them several times…

    Are you ready for this: My wife and I actually resorted to eating at Waffle House for our Thanksgiving dinner one year!! It’s along story but I’ll provide a summary if anyone is interested. We ended up eating there and did, in fact, have much to be thankful for.

  • April 27, 2002 at 5:22 pm
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    Krystals are better than White Castles…

    Actually, I agree. Probably has something to do with me being exposed to them first, way before I heard of white Castle. Also, they are not quite as mushy AND they have that ALL IMPORTANT ingredient as part of the standard Krystal and that is mustard. Treasonous talk, I’m sure, to White Castle lovers. Not having those holes does give you (I think) more meat, too.

    Waffle House (Waffle Steak for those in Indiana, where a state trademark preempted Waffle House’s Federal trademark in that state) I have to say I never developed a fondness for, although I have eaten at them several times…

    Are you ready for this: My wife and I actually resorted to eating at Waffle House for our Thanksgiving dinner one year!! It’s along story but I’ll provide a summary if anyone is interested. We ended up eating there and did, in fact, have much to be thankful for.

  • April 28, 2002 at 2:51 am
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    Krystals better? Don’t know, never had one. Some of it may be growing up on a particular brand. I will say that I desire microwaved frozen Whities less than leather covered in roofing tar. I’m sure Krystals would at least beat that.

    Bruce, I don’t consider mustard to be treasonous at all. In fact, all of my sliders get a package each of stone ground mustard and ketchup. I was surprised, at one Whities-enhanced gathering that also involved beer (like that never happens), that some so-called Whities "experts" ate them *plain*. Amateurs…

  • April 28, 2002 at 3:44 am
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    I would think that mustard and Ketchup would be required in large quantities to make a "whities" ever remotly edible. Of course, I do like the "fish"wiches they have at the castle, I can eat a ton of those with tartar sauce if I go there with someone who must have a "bellybomber".

  • April 28, 2002 at 4:47 pm
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    We don’t have either establishment in Texas.

    I ate at a Krystals once when I lived in Tennessee. Once was enough for me… ๐Ÿ˜›

  • October 24, 2002 at 1:59 pm
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    Hey Steve,
    I agree with you about Charlotte’s Rib. He’d be happier eating there than driving way back to KC for BBQ. I can’t get there much anymore because I’m in the “boonies” of Central Mo. But, next time I’m in the neighborhood……

  • May 15, 2003 at 9:06 pm
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    i hsve no comment!!! HAHAHA!!

  • August 14, 2003 at 5:44 pm
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    comment:DAVE, I read the comments on fellow HOMO SAPIENS, in st LOIS . funny and entertaining! I’LL visit again soon

    I invite you to visit my site, you won’t be sorry, well Idon’t think that you will be? let me know. *Pi

  • January 1, 2004 at 8:33 pm
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    Beautiful!

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