Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mean Mr. Mustard

Yesterday, I decided that looking after a fractious 7-year-old girl and a spirited 21-month-old boy with Spontaneous Bowel Release Syndrome wasn't enough fun, so I took in the neighbor's relentlessly inquisitive 5-year-old girl for the day, too, just to liven things up. And since the best way to quell a gaggle of young-uns is to feed them greasy comestibles and foamy carbonated beverages, I led them on a lunchtime expedition to the local A&W burger joint.

While the girls were fighting over who would get which (identical) straw, and Sam was plumbing the far reaches of his nasal cavity with a ketchup-drenched french fry, I perused the copy on the side of the 100% recycled-fibre bag the burgers were soaking through. The self-congratulatory flummadiddle begins: 
A&W was founded on the principle of doing things right 50 years ago.
Rather an odd founding principle, don't you think, to commit to living up to the standards of generations long surpassed? What about doing things right today? Perhaps that explains why the chef couldn't honor my request for no mustard on Abby's burger (mustard makes it taste "soury," she says), and why A&W hires a manager/counterperson with the interpersonal skills of a Homeland Security bureaucrat. That's just the way things were done back then.