Hooters: New Jersey Style
It had been a busy week. A good chunk of it was taken up by a visit from my friend Y2Keith (this guy) who had come down from Queens for a three-day visit. We laughed, recorded at The Sex Dungeon (this place) and just had a grand ol’ time. We also ate. Boy how we ate. The first night we ended up getting Subway AND Taco Bell for dinner before coming home to Banji who was making home-made macaroni and cheese. The next night we got a veggie platter, pita and hummus (seriously) then topped it off with 4 boxes of more macaroni and cheese, THEN topped THAT off with soft pretzels dipped in 7-11 chili and cheese. Keith and I understand something about gluttony and excess that few other people understand – it’s an unspoken constant of our friendship – if you’re going to do it, do the fuck out of it… then fucking do it some more.
That being said, Keith left on Wednesday and my deepest bowels gave out a big, stinking sigh of relief. “Now I can go back to my regular food-intake level,” thought I, “what joy!” But my joy was premature. I had forgotten about The Good GADAMN.
Last month, during the Pizzeria Uno fiasco, Dreams had suggested that the next GADAMN eatery be a Hooters… but not just any Hooters… a Hooters in New Jersey. Of course we all concurred, I mean, how much weirder can you get without going to a Hooters in Utah where the girls are required to wear thick, woolen turtle-necks and unflattering Dickies work pants? The answer: not much weirder… or so we thought.
Niquisha seemed pretty excited to arrive. I, on the other hand, was gripped with extreme fear as soon as I exited the vehicle. I don’t know if it was the “All You Can Eat Wings on Tuesdays” banner nailed to the outside wall or the fear and anxiety of being a Hooters virgin, but something certainly felt amiss in Maple Shade.
I pushed through the fear and mustered the courage to enter the door directly underneath the orange, glowing sign that seemed to proclaim “you are morbidly overweight and entirely alone.” Upon entry we were told, by three different members of the wait staff to sit wherever we would like. We chose the table that was shaped like New Jersey, complete with the obligatory indication that YOU ARE HERE, in beautiful…
… as though we needed a reminder. Everyone started flipping through their menus. Milton wanted the Fried Chicken Cobb Salad with a side order of curly fries; Maahk, a cheese burger with a side of “naked” chicken wings; Niquisha, a grilled cheese with boneless buffalo wings. All appropriate choices. Good, healthy American choices, no less.
Dreams and I, on the other hand, never made it past the first page of the menu. “50?” he said to me. “Only 50?!” I replied. After some back and forth decided on fifty wings, pickle chips and tater tots, plus the obligatory order of celery and blue cheese with an extra cup of blue cheese. Oh. And beer. Pitchers of beer.
After we placed our order, we sat and observed our surroundings. We had noticed that, much to my disappointment, our waitress didn’t seem interested in us what-so-ever. There was another waitress running around, wrapping her blue business shirt wearing customers around her little finger. She even honed in on the beanie-wearing stoner Jersey kids sitting by the front door… what did we get? Nothin’! She didn’t even go after Dreams, the looker of the group!
Look at him! I mean COMMON! I wanted some serious awkward situations! I wanted to feel some honest-to-god shame for how I chose to spend my Thursday night… But if Hooters taught me anything, it was that I should be careful about what I wish for.
Would you look at that? I got my wish! That platter is made up of wings and “drums,” as their referred to in Hooters Land. I did the math on this one. If each living chicken has, at most, two wings and two legs and if the proportion of wings to legs in this picture are equivalent, then twelve and a half poor, little chickens were harmed in the making of this platter. I just hope Dreams’ human hand does justice to the size of what we had set out to consume, and if it doesn’t just let me drive the point home…
WHAM! Needless to say, we immediately regretted everything. We ordered enough food for 10 people, easily, but since there were only five of us. We were going to have to work overtime.
Very quickly, Dreams and I learned that these wings were about a 1/4 lb each. They were breaded, so the deep fat fryer was able to infuse the meat with grease, then seal it inside the breading making each bite, as Maahk put it, “like eating a Gusher filled with canola oil.” I maybe put down 13 before I had to stop and go stand outside. Dreams managed an extra two on top of what I had eaten. Together, we had realized that the hardest part of the feat was breaking through “The Wall,” which made swallowing the food almost completely impossible. We ate as much as we possibly could, before we started paying close attention to our gag reflexes and were forced to put the food down and stop.
The shit-kicker of it was that I was still hungry but the sight (and smell) of fried food was making my stomach turn. I decided that being hungry would be much better than throwing up all over the filthy toilet in the men’s bathroom, so I officially chose to bow out. We got everything that we didn’t eat on the table boxed. The box that held the wings was exponentially heavier than the three others that held the tots, fries and pickle chips. It made me wonder how the waitress wasn’t struggling in the slightest when she brought out the platter in the first place.
It was time to leave, and thank god for that. We paid the check and left. I almost threw up in the parking lot, but managed to keep it down. We all piled into the car and I, thankfully, was designated to be the navigator and was able to sit in the spacious front seat. Alas, this also meant that I had to sit with the food, the smell of which was overwhelming to my senses. I may have been done with Hooters, but Hooters made it clear that it was in no way finished with me. As i climbed into the passenger seat, I thought I heard a rip followed by the sharp sting of the night air. That’s right. I had split my pants.
Split them wide open, I did. So this trip, in addition to costing an arm and a leg, also cost me the only pair of pants deemed acceptable enough to wear in public. You won this round, Hooters!
During the car ride, I managed to keep the nausea at bay by breathing through my mouth and getting plenty of fresh, freezing air into the car via the window I had opened wide. We had made it back to Philadelphia with a “little” piece of New Jersey in tow.
Taller than my toaster oven. Barely fit in the fridge. But enough about the food. I don’t want to remind myself that I have 10 lbs. of boxed grease downstairs. I kind of just want to haul my refrigerator outside and set it on fire in the street, effectively putting the whole experience behind me forever.
The movie we had chosen, in lieu of Milton joining us on this glorious outing, was a movie that previously had only been suggested in jest. The joke typically goes something like this.
Milton: “What do you want to do tonight?”
Curdo: “I don’t know, man. Wanna watch a movie?”
Milton: “Yeah, fuck it. What movie?”
Curdo: “What about CUBE2: HYPERCUBE?!”
Then we laugh and laugh and laugh… but tonight was the night. Tonight, we would finally watch…
It was more incredible than I could have ever imagined it to be. You see, in the first “Cube” a group of seemingly complete strangers wake up inside a cube. Duh. They find out that each cube connects to six other cubes, except the more they traverse the cubes, the more each cube kills off each character them until one final character is left, the character who is mentally handicapped… He crawls out through a duct in a cube and into some unknown white light just before the movie ends. It’s great. It’s just totally, totally awesome.
This one started out almost identically. A few strangers in a cube. They all meet up and are confrontational at first, but then begin to start to help each other through the cube, perpetually looking for an exit. They all at some point realize that everyone in the cube has something to do with a weapons manufacturer called IZON and think that there might be a connection between IZON and the cube. Pretty much the same old song and dance, my friends.
However, the plot and progression of this Cube movie differed from the original on a few key points:
- This cube did a piss poor job of trying to kill them. One room had some kind of false wall that fried a guy. One room has a hypercube-turned-hypersphere that chopped up the first Jerry into little pieces (more about the Jerrys in a minute). One room sped up time to a point where the two young “actors” in the “film” died while making sweet, sweet love in anti-gravity.
- This cube was chalk full of parallel dimensions, which didn’t do much of anything to the plot nor to the characters themselves, other than allowing the same character to “come back from the dead” when the writers felt it was convenient. We did see, however, in one parallel dimension, the knife-wielding character Simon (more about Simon in a minute) referring to the old-lady character, Mrs. Paley, as a “cunt” mere moments after stabbing her in the back, just before his head was removed by a crystalline structure that protruded from the walls of the cube he was in. That was a pretty cool alternate dimension.
- This cube had a partially German, extremely stabby, cannibalistic Private Eye character named Simon who, when he realized that the cube was full of parallel dimensions started stabbing and eating all of the Jerry’s that he could find… but he didn’t stop at Jerry’s. Oh no, no, no. He found another, completely random character in the cube named Rebecca (or “Idiot Face” as we all referred to her while watching the movie) who he also hunted, stabbed and ate as many times as he possibly could. Each time a Jerry would be eaten, he would take and wear the dead Jerry’s wrist watch as a trophy. Each time a Rebecca would be eaten, he would adorn his jacket with another one of her her clip-on IZON-employee laminates. So by the end of the movie, from where I sat, he had eaten a total of four Jerrys and six Rebeccas.
Now cannibalism has always been an “interesting” topic to me, at the risk of quoting George Carlin. Typically, I gauge all cannibalistic activity that I hear of against the most epic cannibal I’ve ever read about, Albert Fish. Albert Fish kidnapped, murdered and ate a 10 year old girl. He then wrote a letter to the mother of the child and delicately explained that it took him 10 days to eat her daughter. An average, healthy weight for a 10 year old girl is somewhere between 65 and 80 lbs. A full grown Jerry was, roughly, 250 lbs. while Idiot Face must have been close to 200 herself!
Based on Fish’s rate of consumption, a full grown man can eat about 5 – 7 lbs of human flesh a day. That would mean that it would have taken Simon approximately 30 to 40 days to consume a single Rebecca, and 35 to 50 days to eat a Jerry… meaning that, during Simon’s stay in the cube, he spent between 300 to 440 days eating human remains. That’s eating human flesh pretty much every day for a year, if not more! Fish also mentioned in his letter that his meat was cooked whereas Simon did not have the luxury of a campfire or conventional oven at his disposal. 300 to 440 days of eating raw, uncooked human flesh while you’re trapped in a cube of unknown origin. Fucking incredible.
This, of course, brings me to my conclusion. I think that they should make a Cube3: ULTRA MEGACUBE (which would technically be Cube4, since they already made a Cube Zero – precursor to the original Cube) where the story just focuses on Simon, living inside one part of the Cube, stabbing and eating anyone who dared enter his cube.
I’ll just leave you with that.