Later I went to the Plaza to check on the books at the Goodwill store (none of sufficient interest were on the shelves) and to purchase a fresh bottle of dish washing liquid at the 99 cent store. I don't know if this event was reported on the evening news or not as I have no television, but I suspect that the lame-stream media ignored it once again. Subsequent to the acquisition of the detergent I made an impulsive decision to proceed another three hundred feet east and purchase a hamburger at Wendy's. This was a bold decision, as it meant that I would have to cross a large section of sun-baked parking lot that has no shade trees whatsoever! Even I was impressed by my bravery.
Now it may come as a surprise to some, but I have never been to a Wendy's before. In my misspent youth I sometimes bought hamburgers as McDonald's, and even in recent decades I have occasionally indulged in things vended by Burger King, but never have I devoured anything from Wendy's. This is at least partly due to the fact that for over thirty two years I rarely left the town of Paradise, and Wendy's never sought to open a location in that particular backwater. I heard rumors of a branch farther up the ridge in Magalia, but never checked it out, as that would have involved going uphill, and Paradise was about as high as I wanted to get. I am committed to decline, not ascent!
Anyway, I chose to buy a barbecue cheeseburger, which I brought home to eat because eating in fast food places freaks me out. I grew up with greasy spoon diners, and the godawful cleanth of Wendy's was most disturbing. Had I remained there to eat I'd have been worried that I was being covered in a fine mist of deadly antiseptics spewed forth by by hidden atomizers the entire time. So I took my bag of goods back across the parking lot, with no fear that that the hamburger would grow cold during the ten minute walk on so sultry a day, and when I got home opened one of the 24 ounce cans of beer I bought recently. Okay, the real reason I didn't eat it at Wendy's was because they don't have beer there, and my experience has been that beer (or some other form of alcoholic beverage) is essential for getting that stuff down.
So I'm sure everyone is anxiously awaiting my conclusions about Wendy's barbecue cheeseburger. I conclude that, for fast food, it wasn't half bad, which means it was slightly better than half good. The pickle was a bit weird, and there was something crunchy in it that I was unable to identify, but other than that, well, I didn't die from eating it, so thumbs up I guess. I'd probably eat one again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to fetch it. The fries were decent.
Still, I have to compare Wendy's barbecue cheeseburger unfavorably with the same dish as it was once prepared by a downtown Los Angeles coffee shop called, according to the city directory I just looked it up in, Nebb's, which I long ago frequented. I mean really long ago, like the 1960s. It was then located on the block of west 5th Street between Broadway and Hill Street, very close to a small bookshop and magazine stand I also frequented. I'll have to write something about Nebb's some day, and about the bookshop. In fact I did write about Nebb's then, in the paper journals that were recently incinerated, but I don't recall what I said about it. Probably, among other things, that the hamburgers were really good. If I didn't, I was remiss. But I just noticed that Ive lost track of time again and Friday has given way to Saturday, and May to June, so for now all I'll say is that Wendy's burgers will never compare, not even in Dave Thomas's most extravagant dreams.
My most extravagant dreams are best kept to myself, I think.