Fast Food Burgers on the Endangered Species List

Yesterday we pulled into a burger joint drive-through. We were in kind of a hurry. “Good,” I told my son. “There’s only one car in line ahead of us.” It was before fast food rush hour, so we expected to sail right through and be on our way.

We pulled up behind the first car, and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, the guy in front of us got to place his order through the speaker box, and pulled forward. We got up to the speaker, and waited. And waited. And waited. The drive-through kid finally got on the speaker box and took our order – no explanation or apology. But the guy in front had not received his order, so we waited. And waited. And waited.

Cars were piling up behind us, half way around the block. After fifteen minutes, several drivers behind us gave up, pulled out of line and drove away. Five minutes later, we got to pull up to the window. “This is not my idea of fast food,” I complained to the window kid. “Do you know we waited 20 minutes?”

“I’m the only one here,” was his defense (meaning it was just him and the cook in the kitchen). Still, he was clearly operating in slow motion – it appeared to be a “slow-down” strike.

I wish this was just a one-time anomaly, but sadly, it isn’t. This same drama has been playing out for months in our neck of the woods, at every fast food drive-through. And don’t even think about eating inside, because almost none of the restaurants with drive-throughs still provide inside dining.

This seems to be a permanent and unwelcome change in the restaurant business model. We may never again be able to enjoy little things like fast, courteous service, napkins and condiments cheerfully provided, free self-served soft drink and coffee refills, and indoor seating.

Why?

China Virus • After nearly two years of hysteria by the government, the media, the schools, and the rest of the “establishment”, customers are still willing to trade comfort, fun, and value for a false sense of security. Many businesses use the China Virus as an excuse for everything they don’t want to do. The fast food guys sell as many burgers as they did before the pandemic (maybe more), but without the cost of cleaning tables and restrooms and providing free condiments and refills. Plus they can significantly reduce staffing.

Like the government mandates, their China Virus “safety” practices are hilariously unscientific. My favorite local Chinese food joint, for instance, changed from full-service to carry-out only, keeping ten feet of separation between the customers and the cashier. Rather than take cash or credit card from your hand, she pushes a “tray” across a long table for you to drop your payment. When she retrieves your money, she places your order in the tray and pushes it back to you. The tray, like the door, the table, the pen, and most of the restaurant, has not been cleaned once in the two years it has been in use! Not to mention the cash and cards that are home to billions of bacteria.

Endless Unemployment and Stimulus Checks • Businesses, especially those in lower-paid service industries like fast food, find it impossible to get and keep employees at any rate of pay. Every single fast food restaurant around here has a “help wanted” sign, and the going rate at the more successful ones is $16 per hour – that’s $33k per year, plus benefits, not exactly an after-school gig. Many former restaurant employees are using the same China Virus excuse to stay home and receive government funds. Our current administration promises more of the same on a massive scale, in a naked attempt to buy votes from laborers, entice illegal immigrants, and cause an economic crisis that ostensibly only their brand of fundamental societal change can solve.

Sneak preview: expect shortages and big prices for Biden-gas this summer as the gas truck driver shortage hits. They went on unemployment when the China Virus tanked the economy, and they ain’t coming back any time soon. Biden’s abandonment of pipeline construction and energy production won’t help either, long-term.

I’m going to save my gas, stay home and barbecue my own burgers. Without major pushback, we won’t stop the slow freight-train of woke fundamental change.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

No song today, I just had to give you this clip from the classic movie “Good Burger”.

No Soup for You!

Everybody loves the Seinfeld shows featuring the “Soup Nazi”, the merciless restauranteur who arbitrarily decided who would get to buy his soup, and who wouldn’t. If you haven’t seen it, or need a refresher laugh, here’s a snip:

Every day life in America feels more like a Seinfeld episode. Like the wimpy Seinfeld character George Costanza, most of us cringe in fear of being “cancelled” by a Mask Nazi or a Race Nazi or a Gay Nazi or some other enforcer of nonsensical left-wing political correctness. And like Elaine, those of us who rebel get slapped down – “No soup for you!”

My son and I were at the Charlotte airport waiting for a flight yesterday. The woman sitting next to me noticed that when I talked to my totally blind son I pulled my mask down, temporarily, so he could hear me better. As the tension mounted, I knew that she was a “Mask Nazi” looking for a victim to publicly shame.

Finally she couldn’t hold back. “Excuse me!” she huffed through her own elegant bejeweled mask. “Are you vaccinated?”

I was ready. I was SOOOOO ready. I couldn’t contain for one more minute the year and a half of “pissed off” I had been holding in. And I let her have it. “How dare you?” I said, revving up. “To assume that I would intentionally put you, or anybody else at risk. I am totally offended and insulted!”

Wide-eyed, she lurched back in her seat. Nobody had ever pushed back publicly against her Nazi tactics before, and she didn’t know what to do.

“Doesn’t your mask work?” I continued. “If your mask doesn’t work, what makes you think mine does?”

“Are you with the Mask Police? If you are, I want to see your badge!” She started to sputter an apology as nearby passengers watched the drama unfold. “I’m sure you’re okay,” she mumbled.

“Well, I’m certainly not afraid of you!” I fired back.

I was just getting warmed up. “I am so sick of this unscientific crap!” I wailed. “Why is it okay to cram people together like sardines on airplanes but we can’t sit next to each other at a church or a ball game?” She had no answer for that.

I wanted so badly to ask if she washed her hands the last time she went to the bathroom. I had to trust her, because there was no evidence that she had! But that’s a little too personal for a public forum.

She weakly offered a peaceful exit to the confrontation. “Well I hope this is all over soon.”

“So do I,” I responded, and apologized for blowing up. “President Biden has promised he would eradicate the China Virus by the fourth of July.”

The Mask Nazi looked startled. Maybe she doesn’t fully trust the president she voted for!

Tom Balek, Rockin’ on the Right Side

The clothesline of cold eyes
Is washing away the face before
Now tell me what’s wrong you see everyone’s gone
You gotta do your best to decorate this dying’ day

Soup – Blind Melon

Toxic Mask-ulinity

Everybody is wearing a mask these days. Except me.

photo by Sky News


I am done with masks. I hate them. They steam up my glasses, I feel like I’m choking on stale air, nobody can hear what I’m saying, and they don’t stay where they belong anyway so I’m always poking, pushing, and tugging at my mask.

I don’t even know why everybody is wearing masks when so many medical experts and studies say masks don’t work against coronavirus.

“The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles
(< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective dose is smaller than one aerosol particle.”

— Denis G. Rancourt, PhD


The only benefit, according to psychotherapist Amy Morin, is that wearing a mask may be good for mental health because it gives the wearer “the illusion of being in control.” Of course, it’s only an illusion. Because the damned things don’t actually work.

The key word from Morin’s study is control. That’s what mask-wearing is all about. The Center for Disease Control (there’s that word again) reported in May that masks don’t work.


Some government officials (can you say Governor Cooper?) want to control our behavior, throttle our economy, and influence our election. And they have found all it takes is a mask, some totally arbitrary rules with winners and losers, and a little public shaming.

This week a small Ohio woman was assaulted and tasered by a very large policeman for not wearing a mask as she watched her son’s football game. Nobody other than family was anywhere near her, so obviously the arrest was not about safety, it was about control.

The other day I saw a young woman sitting alone on a bus bench with nobody within blocks of her, wearing a mask. It was just sad.

It seems to me that many people wear masks to avoid political incorrectness rather than a dread disease.

I’m done with it. Those who are afraid of a “pandemic” disease that has been over-hyped, misreported, and weaponized by officials for political gain should just relinquish control of their lives to the government and stay home.

Yesterday at the grocery store I walked past the “mask required” sign at the door and grabbed a cart. I glanced around the store to see if any other rebels were going mask-less like me and saw only one. As our carts passed we fist-bumped and exchanged smiles, to the horror of a group of terrified millennial women nearby.

Call it “Toxic Mask-ulinity”.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
Trying to keep up the smile that hides a tear
But as the sun goes down, I get that empty feeling again
How I wish to God that you were here

Baby Come Back – Player

Can Anything Good Come From This Man-Made Crisis?

Ten years from now, what will Wikipedia say about the Coronavirus Crisis of 2020, when many of the most successful nations and their citizens will have been reduced, at least for a while, to second- or third-world status?

What will our grandchildren think of us, knowing that we chose to destroy our own companies, industries, family savings, careers – not to mention burying the kids in debt – in exchange for the possibility that a few already-medically-compromised senior citizens might extend their lives by another year or so? Will there be a chart comparing the lives actually saved from the virus to the lives destroyed by the imposition of martial law?

Probably not, because facts and numbers don’t matter any more. There was a time when issues were won by the person (or group or nation) who possessed the facts, or made the best case from a logical, numbers-based examination including historical honesty, instead of feelings and “nice-ness”. Now, group-think and political correctness rule. We no longer have to analyze facts, because the winner is always the one who gets the most “likes” from his friends.

Is there anything good that can come from this? My hope is that after this self-forced error has run its course, we will have learned a few things.

Maybe we will learn to be independent thinkers again, not so quick to trust the “experts”, the career politicians and the news media. We might even question the motives of decision-makers when they don’t seem to make common sense.

Maybe we will understand that in its current form our government reacts to any threat by throwing our money at it in a childish panic. After all, the only thing a government official can do is spend our money – unlike the private sector, which can actually create things of value and solve problems. Maybe we will be moved to change our government structure to prevent these harmful knee-jerk mistakes. Maybe we will be more pro-active and prepared for threats.

Certainly some marginal businesses and industries will perish. Certainly other new business opportunities will appear. Certainly some unscrupulous, powerful people will get richer (somebody please check out George Soros’ net worth before and after the man-made “crisis” of 2020). The businesses that survive will be leaner, stronger, and quicker than they were before.

We might finally realize that our education system is a shambles. Through the lock-down we proved that we can home-school our children, and they actually come out of school smarter than when they went in. We also showed that on-line learning is a more efficient model than exotic campuses full of imperious, overpaid, Marxist instructors.

And it’s possible, just possible, that the “one world” agenda of open borders and happy, smiling faces moving unfettered and unvetted across the globe will be proved inferior to smaller, self-governed and self-contained nations who defend their values and identity. And that there are considerations other than short-term profit in foreign trade and immigration decisions. We might learn to trust, but verify, the intentions of other nations.

One thing is already clear. The world is made up of “blamers” and “solvers”. God grant us the strength and smarts to choose wisely so we never have to go through this again.

Tom Balek- Rockin’ on the Right Side

Seems this world has got you down
Your feelin’ bad vibrations frown
Well, open your eyes girl, look at me
I’m gonna show you how it ought to be

We’re gonna’ have a good thing
Such a good thing baby

Good Thing – Paul Revere and the Raiders