With appetites for new leadership thoroughly ravenous, we once again find ourselves at another election; the multi-billion-dollar quadrennial pop up restaurant from which we will all receive the same dish depending on the volume of the orders.
Yes, this screed will be metaphor heavy. For your enjoyment I suggest you accept this now.
We seem to reach this stalemate every time the restaurant opens its doors again. The menu is teeming with exciting and new dishes. We peruse the options, excitedly looking at dishes we might have never even thought possible at the restaurant. Ultimately, you can order whatever you want. However, like patients afflicted with advanced Alzheimer’s, we depressingly forget that in the end, you will only actually receive one of two choices the restaurant has listed; specifically, an offering from one of the two owners of the restaurant.
“Hey, that doesn’t seem right! Many other restaurants allow me to generally get mostly what I ordered in some way!” you cry. And you would be correct. But you’re not at that restaurant now, and you won’t be for a very long time. However, if you don’t order, the likelihood that you’ll be force fed the significantly worse dish increases.
Isn’t dining out fun?
The owners of the restaurant are constantly fighting about which direction the restaurant should go in, and even more upsettingly, the more aggressive, snide, underhanded, and bombastic owner almost always seems to get to pick the chefs, the cooks, the servers, and the bartenders, even if a large majority of the patrons don’t like the staff at all.
“Gosh. This restaurant is the worst!” you say. Yes. Yes, it is.
Could you imagine if this crude metaphor was actually how government was run? Why you’d hardly believe that you lived in a free, Democratic, fair, just, or even sane society at all would you? But I digress.
After many moons spent bickering between the tables about which of the dishes seems like the best option for everyone to eat, the patrons, with whom we place an egregious amount of value in propping of their illusion of choice have once again decided. The customer is always right, after all! Naturally they have proudly bypassed every nutritious, nuanced, carefully crafted, artisanal, and healthy option on the menu. Predictable as ever, the people love their fatty fast-casual dishes.
So, even though initially you ordered the microgreens and radish salad with locally sourced organic veggies topped with aged goat cheese and a pomegranate vinaigrette served adjacent to a perfectly seared grass and sake fed Wagyu strip steak topped with a warm pat of miso compound butter, you are handed a new menu.
Again, you’re still technically free to order whatever you wish, but you can only have what’s on the new menu in the end, which is much shorter now. Just two dishes. And for an added bit of fun, you may not even get that!
I present to you, ladies and gentlemen and every beautiful soul in between and beyond…
Your first choice: A three-day old Whopper value combo from the Burger King down the street. Or your second choice: A pint of bleach from under the sink in the basement.
“How? Why?” You say to yourself. “I don’t want either of those things!” You lament.
Yes. This truly is a fucking terrible restaurant isn’t it?
However, the three-day old Whopper combo isn’t starting to look so bad when you remember that your other option is being forced to drink a pint of bleach. Interestingly enough, there are many people in this restaurant that love bleach. They think it tastes like a vintage Château Lafite Rothschild, even though it is quite literally bleach. They attend large parties that one of the other owner throws reaffirming their love of bleach. They have parades for bleach.
Many of the people you’re dining with aren’t exactly thrilled about the Whopper combo either. But the stakes are too high now for that kind of thinking. After all, the Whopper is still food at least. There are still a few calories and vague hints of nutritional value in there. Besides, you’re going to get one or the other. Best to pick the Whopper in the hopes that next time you can convince the owners to drift more towards offering something like that salad you wanted the first time.
Because -not to be redundant – your other option is a pint of bleach.
Want to know another fun part about dining at Decision 2020? It doesn’t even matter what most of the restaurant wants. You can still get the pint of bleach instead of the Whopper you’re now desperately hoping arrives at your table when faced with the possibility of chugging bleach. You see, it ultimately depends on the sections in the seating chart that the host has coordinated with the two owners of the restaurant. Amazingly enough, hungry reader, if you can’t convince some of the patrons at table 27, 12, 17, 35, and 9 that they should order the Whopper combo, you might all still get the bleach. Yes, even if many more people ordered the Whopper.
You might be thinking, “Why do I have to convince someone not to order bleach? Shouldn’t they just know not to order bleach?”
Yes. Yes, they should. However, people don’t like being told what to order. Some may order the bleach out of spite, or even worse: the last time this restaurant popped up, most people didn’t even order anything off the menu at all, and that’s how we got stuck with the bleach in the first place. Except for the fact that the bleach got less orders last time and still got served to everyone. Don’t forget about that tricky seating chart!
So, remember to make a plan to order, since one of the owners is going to do whatever they can to ensure you get the bleach. After all, if they don’t own the restaurant anymore, they could go to jail for how poorly they’ve run the restaurant, but since they’re an owner, they can’t be prosecuted. That owner will try and throw out large amounts of your orders and see to it that it never reaches the kitchen. Hell, that owner is actually trying to convince some of the patrons to hurt you if you don’t order bleach. Meanwhile, they don’t even care that that owner has all of his money tied up in bleach and other various cleaning products. That owner also thinks take out should be illegal, even if, thanks to a pandemic, dining in a packed restaurant could literally kill you, and that’s not even to speak of the bleach!
So, remain vigilant, and remember: the most powerful tool you have against fighting an owner trying to force feed you bleach is peacefully requesting that you get a three-day old Whopper value combo from down the street. At least that’s what the previous owners say, anyway.