Tonight, I go out for a late dinner. I have a craving for Boston Market chicken and fixins, so I drive to the nearest store, which is about 6 miles from me. I get there at 9:25, 35 minutes before closing.
“Hello,” says the cheery young woman. “We’re out of chicken.” “No worries,” I say.
I think I’ll hit The Hat, a block or two away, for an amazing pastrami dip sandwich. There are two huge, welcoming “OPEN” signs in the windows. I stand in line for about four or five minutes. When the last guy in front of me steps aside and I get to the register to order, I see a small hand-scribbled sign: “CASH ONLY.” The terminal is down… and I have exactly two $1 bills. I suppose there’s probably an ATM nearby, but…
Whatevs, there’s a McDonald’s right over there. I drive across Atlantic Boulevard… but the lobby is closed, and the drive-thru line is wrapped around three sides of the building. By now it’s almost 10pm, and most places are closing up.
No problem. I’ll just go over to IHOP – about a block the other way. They’re open 24/7.
I pull up to the front and… they’re dark. With my headlights, I can barely read a sign on the door that says “We will be closing at 8:30 for maintenance.”
Now I’m within 100 feet of Boston Market again, and their non-chicken items are still pretty darned good, so I hit the gas and head back.
I park, walk up to the door, pull the handle – and it’s locked.
They’re now closed.
I’ve pretty much exhausted the restaurant choices in the area, and I’ve lost all interest in this Quixotic quest… so I drive back home.
I pull the last edible thing from my fridge – a frozen Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie – and nuke it.
It gets burned around the edges.
It is at this point that I am horrified to realize that I may very well be Anthony Bourdain’s alternate-universe evil twin.
Nobody did it like you, Tony. RIP.
Tomorrow: grocery shopping.