One More Avenue of Pleasure Closed

August 19, 2010 by cynick | Posted in haute-cuisine

In days gone by, I’d occasionally spend an evening down by the Hastings, MN riverfront, banging away on my laptop writing code and looking up whenever a train would come banging over the lift bridge.

Such outings were often capped with a trip to the M&H; gas station for some
Genuine Broasted Chicken.

Let me paint a picture.

This M&H; station, in addition to being a full-service convenience store with everything one could need, also has a counter where full blown chicken dinners can be purchased. Working at this counter must rank pretty high in the worst jobs in the world: hot, greasy, and smelly – and that’s only a depiction of the average customer (har, rar, rar!).

For several years, the chicken worker was a man whose name tag said “Mohammed”, but whose slovenly and corpulent appearance didn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a devout Islam adherent, except for his oily, bushy beard, which was covered by a hair net. He moved and spoke very slowly, lest the heat lamps start cooking him like a chicken. I always imagined that by day, he was a fixture in his mom’s basement, roach clip in one hand, video game controller in the other.

Recognizing that people don’t necessarily want a whole dinner – I mean, it’s a seriously industrial amount of food! – they also offer “snacks”. For $5 and a half, one can buy a “two breast snack, with potato wedges”, what a deal! Depending on the time of night, and condition of the wedges, the counter man might really fix you up with wedges in order to get rid of a old batch.

I bought one of these the other night. Seriously, there must have been a pound of starch in that box.

I went back down to the railroad tracks, eating potato wedges all along the way. I could already feel my blood pressure rising from all the sodium.

I took a bite of the chicken. It was at the same time delicious and sickening. You ever notice how every food item from a gas station – even down to the candy bars and the soda – tastes like it’s full of motor oil?

I finished one breast, and moved to the other, and.. ugh. I just couldn’t continue. I drank a bunch of water, but still, nothing. could. make. me. take. another. bite.

The box probably had 2/3 of the food left inside when I dumped it in a nearby trashcan. Maybe some raccoon will feast upon it, and have a heart attack.

For myself, I find that the smaller waisted pants that I recently slimmed down to no longer fit! And I feel like utter crap!

Another aspect of my former diet has now been banished forever, I think. Next time I’m in Hastings, I might have to step up to the level of Bar Food.