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5:59 a.m. - 2006-07-19


We, as a nation, are living in fear.

Sure ... we all live in fear of terrorists. We're supposed to. They're hairy and scary and sometimes they wear turbans and only Allah knows what they keep up in those things.

We're terrified of riding on planes now. Not because of terrorists ... but because of thousands of poisonous snakes being unleashed while in the air and having them somehow manage to slither up our legs undetected and biting our privates. You think a stewardess is going to help you yank a rattlesnakes out of your pants?? Sorry, pal ... they distribute pillows and miniscule bottles of liquor ... it doesn't say "Stewardess/Snake Wrangler" on the application.

And while these are both just causes for Americans to panic ... they are not the number one fear on Americans' minds.


That's right ... I said "nay". Deal with it.

Nay ... the biggest fear facing Americans today is ... somebody spitting in our food.

We are raised to fear the food server at our nation's restaurants. Because they have the Power Of The Loogy.

We are terrified of sending a steak back that's undercooked at Outback Steakhouse because when you do that ... it will get bathed in the cook's saliva while his comrades stand by, cheering him on quietly, yet effectively.

They say that every time you hear a glass break, another returned meal has received its special sauce from the 400-lb. Samoan fry cook.

Why ... I remember as a wee lad, traveling to McDonalds with my family and receiving a hamburger that had thumb tacks embedded throughout the "beef" patty.

Thumbtacks, I'm telling you!

And as I went to complain to my mother, she covered my mouth with her hand and said through gritted teeth "Eat your thumbtackburger, boy! You don't want the pimply faced boy to spit on it, do ya?"

Well ... no.

But it probably would have beat the internal bleeding I dealt with for ... oh ... six weeks or so.

I say all of this because yesterday I went to Krystal for a quick lunch while out running errands.

Because the drive thru lane was nearly empty, I swerved in there, honking wildly at an elderly woman who had the nerve to cross the parking lot in front of me with her walker.

I don't care if it IS 102 degrees out, Granny!! Bobby needs his KRYSTALS!!!

So anyway, I order my four Krystal combo and putt-putt up to the window.

There, a brilliant young man wearing Elvis shades and an officially licensed Crips bandanna repeats my order to me.

"You wanted chili and a corn dog?" he asks.

Why yes! Yes! That's exactly what I wanted! Chili on a 102 degree day!! Yum yum, Einstein! How'd you figure that one out, Sherlock??

"No," I said. "I ordered the four Krystal combo with a Diet Coke."

"I thought you said chili and a corn dog," he replies.

Now I can see where he'd make the mistake.

"Chili and a corn dog" sounds an awful lot like "Four Krystal Combo with a Diet Coke" when your hearing is almost gone from riding around town in a beat-up Chevy with a car stereo pumping out 150 decibels of bass-heavy rap for the last ten years.

"Nope," I confirmed. "Four Krystal Combo with a Diet Coke."

He stared me down through his gawdy shades.

Then he walked away from the drive-thru window.

And that's when I gulped.

He was going to go hock a thick one all over my four Krystals and possibly the fries as well.

I panicked.

While I wanted those four Krystals so bad I would have ran over an old lady for them ... I didn't want to choke down gobs o' saliva just to taste their sweet oniony goodness.

I pulled away from the drive thru window and went to Arby's.

They don't spit on your food at Arby's.

I know this for a fact.

I saw it on Snopes.

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