A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Heart Attack Grill

heart attack grillBecause I live in Springfield, Massachusetts, I have to confine my restaurant dining to places like the Red Rose Pizzeria, Café Lebanon, or Mom and Rico's. Not that there's anything wrong with pizza, falafel, or Mama Daniele's cooking. But if I lived near Tempe, Arizona, I could visit the Heart Attack Grill. Now that's a restaurant!

The Heart Attack Grill ("Taste...Worth Dying for!") features meat, meat, and more meat, in the form of Single, Double, Triple, and Quadruple Bypass Burgers. Served with Flatliner Fries--"Deep Fried in Pure Lard!" Cigarettes, beer and soda are also on the menu. And that's it.

The cooks dress in scrubs and the waitresses in (skimpy) nurse's uniforms. If you order the Triple or Quadruple Bypass, you can be escorted to your car afterward in a wheelchair. Can you say "gimmick"? That's not stopping the Arizona State Board of Nursing from threatening legal action against the Heart Attack Grill. That is, unless they can prove that the persons using the title "Nurse" in the Grill's advertisements or in their business establishment meet the statutory requirements of A.R.S.§ 32-1636.

The Heart Attack Grill, of course, is loving all this free publicity. A section of their website (http://www.heartattackgrill.com/not_real_nurses.htm) is devoted to photos of fetish-costumed females with captions like "This is not a real firefighter," "This is not a real F.B.I. agent," and "This is not a real nun." A disclaimer patiently explains that the use of the word "Nurse" is only intended as a parody.

I support the right of the Heart Attack Grill to be as tasteless as it likes, and I'm not sure that a waitress calling herself a "nurse" is any different from her playing one on TV. (And why is noone complaining about the guy in the scrubs?) Their glorification of disease and patently unhealthy living does leave me cold, however. If it were all a parody of gluttony, it'd actually be funny. Unfortunately, the way they're doing it, it's just plain gluttony. Shades of Idiocracy.



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