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This is our spin on the journalistic style of The Onion, one of our favorite publications.
Bennigan's, Houlihan's and T.G.I. Friday's Virtually Interchangeable, Area Vegan Declares
"Can you, like, tell me one substantial difference between Bennigan's, Houlihan's, and T.G.I. Friday's?" area vegan Marla Rose asked her stumped-for-an-answer husband John Beske as they drove through suburban Davenport, Iowa Sunday.
"I just don't get it...Why don't they all merge and change their name to T.G.I. Bennihan's? No one would know the difference," Ms. Rose continued to her husband, who showed his amusement by chuckling and nodding his head.
In addition to the "homogeneous" structural design of the restaurants, the husband and wife who do not share a last name agreed that, from advertisements they had observed, the enterprises also predominately feature menu items that are devoid of serious nutritional value, if not overtly bad for you. Then again, they concurred, most people "don't know crap" about how to feed themselves.
Ms. Rose noted that at restaurants such as these, meal options designated as "healthy choices" are usually broiled chicken or "some other equally disgusting thing."
"I have no idea how the salmonella-laden corpse of a tortured, factory-farm raised bird could ever be considered healthy'," she said to her non-objecting spouse, making quotation marks with her middle and index fingers around the word "healthy".
Mr. Beske gave fuel to the rant-in-progress by adding, "Even if we wanted to eat there, which we totally don't, we really couldn't. Anything resembling a vegetable is not only deep fried, but it's deep fried in a batter that I'm sure has eggs or whatever in it." Marla crinkled her nose in a universally-understood display of displeasure while acknowledging that what her partner said was "so true" and that the triumverate was "absolutely clueless."
Driving through parts of Illinois and Iowa over the weekend, Marla and John also reported sighting numerous "obscene, union-busting" Walmart stores and a "sickening" number of their oft-discussed object of scorn, McDonald's.
Deborah "Deb" Unferth, a friend of Ms. Rose's since high school, said, "Yeah, they rant about McDonald's all the time. I have, like, no clue about why they were shocked to see all those McDonald's on the road, but first thing Monday morning, Marla calls me and starts going on and on about how evil McDonald's is, how it's everywhere. It's like, yeah, I know, but chill out."
Also on the trip, which was taken in order to participate in a protest against genetically engineered food, Mr. Beske remarked that they were probably the only people to ever pass through the region with a giant puppet replica of an ear of biotech corn that emits its own pesticide strapped to their roof rack.
"Yeah, we must look pretty strange," he said, laughing. "For one, we're lugging this huge Bt corn everywhere we go. For another, I've got long hair and I'm probably dressed a little strange," referring to his "Butterflies, Not Frankenfoods" organic cotton tee shirt. "People must totally trip when they see us." He noted that it was a good thing that his wife no longer has a nose ring.
After discussing the Bennigan's-Houlihan's-T.G.I. Friday topic for thirteen minutes, which broke the ice after their disagreement as to who was responsible for leaving the toiletries bag in the cabin they stayed at the previous night, they looked out the window until their eyes' lit upon the Feedlot Café, which both parties pointed out in unison. Mr. Beske rhetorically asked why anyone would ever eat there, and Marla sarcastically wondered if patrons ate their meals in "giant troughs."
After returning home late Sunday night and unpacking the vegan, organic order they'd just received from the co-op, Mr. Beske and Ms. Rose agreed that it was good to be home and "eating normal food once again instead of trial mix and warm oranges all the time."
Ms. Unferth, Marla's longtime friend reported that, "Marla was so excited about the new Mint Morrocan Magic organic green tea that she ordered, I thought she was going to seriously hemorrhage."
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