Saturday, November 20, 2010

Food Review: The KFC Double Down

When the Double Down was announced on April 1st, many people thought it was either a prank or the downfall of human civilization. Consisting of two battered and deep-fried chicken breasts embracing cheese, bacon, and "the colonel's secret sauce" (stop hitting on me colonel), it's like everything unhealthy stuffed together in one big gob.

So when I got a car this morning1, the first thing I did with my newfound freedom was get myself to the nearest KFC. There aren't any near where I live, so the greasy monstrosity had been taunting me from afar for weeks.

You are probably wondering: how is it? Did I cry tears of shame upon its completion? How many heart attacks have I had since?

First, let me describe the chicken-bunned "sandwich" in less sensationalist terms: it is two small, breaded chicken breasts, two slices of cheese, and one slice of bacon, together. That is all it is. That is all it tastes like. It will not make you feel sick unless you mentally ready your gag reflex because the media told you to. And it will not make you fat.

At 540 calories, here are some things that will get you fat as quick or quicker than a Double Down will2:

  • Two KFC original recipe chicken breasts with nothing on them (640 Kcal).
  • A grilled cheese sandwich (550 Kcal).
  • Calamari (720 Kcal).
  • Eight chicken wings. Without sauce (950 Kcal).
  • Nachos. No, scratch that: one quarter of a plate of nachos (2160 Kcal).
  • A venti eggnog latte from Starbucks (610 Kcal).
  • A salad (chicken, bacon bits, guacamole, feta, croutons, and honey citrus dressing) (550 Kcal).

So if you're at the bar, downing a plate of nachos over a few beers, gabbing about how terrible the Double Down is, realize that you just stuffed 4 or 5 Double Downs' worth of calories down your pie hole. If you have a latte in the morning and a salad for lunch, you would have been better off with two mystery-sauce-covered meatwhiches jammed in your face. You're doing it wrong.

"Oooh, but it has way more sodium than anything else," I hear you saying. But no. It doesn't. Look it up. Also, why am I hearing your voice in my head? Could this be love?

Anyway, fast food paranoia is as dumb as any other media-fueled conspiracy theory, and falls apart under scrutiny. See also: the McDonalds burger that never rots because of magic chemicals they put in it (spoiler alert: no they don't). The Double Down is meat and cheese. It tastes like meat and cheese. Nothing more, nothing less. Nom up.

1 That is correct; I got a car and a Double Down and chose to write about the chicken.

2 These numbers are from the web sites of Kelsey's, KFC, and Starbucks.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Cock of the Walk

There's this cock carved in the sidewalk near Queens and Wellington; nothing fancy, just a half oval with two circles. My sense of humour includes the not-so-sophisticated, so I giggle every time I walk past.

It takes me about 45 minutes to walk to work (factoring in a stop for coffee, because the coffee at work tastes like poisoned piss). Both ways, that's an hour and a half out of my day, every day, that I spend walking. A perk of the job I'm walking to is that they give me money for doing it. Should I use that income to buy a car and save the time it takes to walk?

No, because if I was driving, I wouldn't get to giggle at that cock.

Beyond the obvious health benefits, there is a subtle value in taking the time to walk wherever I go. When I started this job, I'd pass this angry-looking man every day. With his unpleasant scowl and determined stare, I wondered what the problem was. But every day, his scowl softens just a bit when he sees me, and that glint of recognition flashes in his eyes. Further down the road I encounter the pretty girl with the nice eyebrows. We've progressed to a corner-mouth half-smile when we pass.

We're building something in slow motion, 10 seconds at a time. Not relationships, but maybe something approaching acquaintanceships. Even if it never goes past near-imperceptible nods, that's enough to foster a sense of community. A feeling that we share the space we live in with unique people, rather than anonymous silhouettes behind windshields.

I'll still buy a car for when I need it (read: beer runs), but as long as my legs will carry me, I'll rely on them as my main form of transportation. It's worth taking the extra time to smell the roses, get to know the people, and laugh at the dicks.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stephen King Contest: WINNERS

The results of the contest are in. I wish everyone could be winners, I really do, because most of your entries were just awesome. But I've only got two books, so by random draw (see the spreadsheet here), the winners are...

Sean!, with the following stupid story:
In Castle Rock Maine a county fair has just happened. People laughed. People rode the rides. People ate fires, cotton candy, chill cheese dogs, deep fried mars bars. They ate and Ate and Ate.

Now the town suffers heavily.

Into this plugged up place comes a wanderer with no past, no present, no future.

He eases the way....his name is Lax. And for a price....he brings relief.


Simon McNeil!, with this one:

I was going to say "This guy gets driven insane by a giant finger poking out of the bathtub drain" but King already did that one....

So instead:

A couple driving in rural Maine come across a town with a terrible secret.

All the people there are really actually moose in disguise and they transform outsiders into lush marshy grasses.

By the end the man has been transformed into a stand of horsetail and the woman looses her left hand which transforms partly into pond weed before she escapes the evil moose.

Then she crashes her car into an ordinary deer because she wasn't paying attention.

Congrats! Both of you get a perfectly okay copy of Full Dark, No Stars. However, only one person can get the slightly less bent copy. Chosen on literary merit, the winner of the non-shitty copy of the book is...

Envelope please...



It's Sean. He must read this blog a lot, because he obviously knows that I can't resist stories about poop.

I will try to contact the winners later (I'm running late for work you guys), but if you happen to read this before I do, please email me (alkfjdsa at phronk dot com) with your deets. By deets I mean address.

Thanks to everyone who entered and linked to this. And thanks Simon and Schuster for the free shit. You two are the best.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

CONTEST: Win Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars by Being Stupid

I've spent a lot of time with Stephen King's books. My respect for him is deeper than fandom. It feels more like having gone on a long road trip with someone, and even though you piss each other off a lot, you're so glad you spent the time together. 

I was delighted, then, when Simon and Schuster offered to send me some copies of King's upcoming book, Full Dark, No Stars (or at least I was delighted after I actually got the books, confirming that it wasn't just a scam to get my address and send me poisonous dust. Sometimes I'm paranoid about people mailing me poisonous dust). Full Dark, No Stars is a collection of novellas, kinda like Different Seasons. I have read the first paragraph of the first story, and can confirm that it is very good up to that point.

I got three copies, and I'm still reading Under the Dome so I won't have time to read one copy right away, let alone three. Therefore, I will give away the other two copies to you, Constant Blog Readers.

The book doesn't come out until November 9th, so you can enter this contest before it is even in stores (you won't actually get the book before it's in stores, but you can smugly say you saw a picture of your book [see above] before it was). Here is how to enter:

1. Promise to read my blog every day forever. And like it.
2. Leave a comment1 here with your idea for a Stephen King story if Stephen King was really stupid.

  • A meteor crashes into a small town in Maine, and it turns all boys into girls and all girls into turtle creatures.
  • An isolated writer discovers that his computer is evil. He struggles to finish his novel while his computer constantly tells him he sucks and tries to electrocute him. While he sleeps, the computer orders a package off of eBay. It contains poisonous dust.

Two winners will be chosen at random in one week (November 11th). But make your entry good, because hey, look at that picture above. See how one copy is kinda bent at the bottom? The random entry that is better / more hilarious / sexier will get the non-shitty copy.

Good luck! Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested.

P.S. Simon & Schuster also has their own contest to win a bunch of King books, so go enter that too. Click on this:

P.P.S. Shipping costs are brought to you by some company that makes fabric blinds. Seriously, I'm paid $30 for that link. I really don't care if you go and buy fabric blinds or not.

1 Or tweet it to me, or email if you're shy, or whatever. It'll be posted publicly if it's good, though. For all entries, please make sure there is a way I can contact you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


November is also:
So I gotta write a novel, become a doctor, grow a moustache (poking those hairs up is hard work), and come to grips with being alone forever. Probably because I don't have time for other people.

All this on top of a full time job. Did I tell you I got a full time job, blog? Because yeah, I'm totally working for The Man now. But it's not exactly selling my soul; I just rent it out between the hours of 9 and 5. 

Plus I help make London awesome (HEY COME TO THE LONDON SHORT FILM SHOWCASE ON SATURDAY), and I even have a smidge of a social life sometimes. 

It's a lot on my plate. Luckily I'm always hungry.

But hey, blog, let me temper this rambling horn-tooting by telling you an uncomfortable truth about myself: I am profoundly lazy. The only reason I do anything is so I can enjoy doing nothing. When your mind has been active all day, there is nothing better than sitting down to watch terrible television that makes your mind not only inactive, but dumber (#snookie). Or just kinda zoning out; finding yourself staring at a closed fridge door for 5 minutes, maybe because you thought you were hungry, or maybe just because your mind shut off when you happened to be in the kitchen.

I like having done almost as much as I like doing. I need that down time. Which means, and this is what I've been trying to tell you, blog, is that if I'm going to get all these ___vember activities done, something else has to give if I'm to have that perfect work/laziness balance. If you are my friend and I don't see you all month, at least you know why. If you stop by because you didn't read this, and you figure someone's gotta collect the body, then you see that my computer desk is just a valley among mountains of unwashed coffee cups and empty pizza boxes, then, well, I'm sorry for the smell.

I'll be gone all November. Give a kiss to my mutha.