Showing posts with label oddities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oddities. Show all posts

Friday, August 16, 2013

Decal 'stache

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Heavy Vending Machine: Cram It Up Your Arizona

Though I've already reviewed and long since shat out a "locally" produced fish sandwich, the colorful packaging and gargantuan size of this offering of compressed whitefish and gluten was too much to resist. The BIG AZ line of vending machine foods comes from our old friends at Pierre Foods. I don't know if the AZ is a reference to a large Arizona or supposed to be pronounced "AZZ," as in, "Damn, that girl got some BIG AZ titties! Ima smack 'em with my cod and squirt tartar sauce on 'em." Either way, your "AZ" will be quite large if you make so much as a semi-regular habit of eating these.

The BIG AZ's mammoth sesame seed-covered bun is dwarfed only by the unwieldy, elongated triangle of breaded Alaskan pollock draped in cheese. The shape and arrangement of the patty and cheese, perhaps by no coincidence, is reminiscient of a somberly folded American flag handed to the grieving family of a soldier, who was killed in action by being forced to eat one of these sandwiches by the enemy. Those sick fucking terrorist bastards!

The sandwich's microwave cooking instructions indicated it should be cooked from a thawed state for 2 minutes. If it's frozen, it should be thawed in a refrigerator overnight. So if you are picking these out of the deep freeze and can patiently await the gentle tug of babbling, non-violent diarrhea (this diarrhea is more about protest songs at Occupy Toilet than turning over cars and lighting them on fire), this is the vending machine fish sandwich for you.

Unlike myriad previous microwaved sandwiches, the bread on the BIG AZ didn't turn completely soggy after 2 minutes of irradiation. In fact, the bread was oddly chewy. It wasn't offputting, but not particularly appetizing either. The fish itself, was surprisingly bland, though it didn't suffer from the dry, gritty texture of the last fish sandwich I reviewed here. This one could have been improved by following the example of its predecessor and including a tartar sauce packet. It still would have been a shitty sandwich out of a vending machine, but it would have been enough of a distraction to stop my crying, even if just for a moment.

Product: BIG AZ fish and cheese sandwich
Price Paid: $2.25
Availability: Inside vending machines and dryer lint traps everywhere
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars (.5 given for the patriotic shape of the fish and Lee Greenwood single that played with each bite)
Harassment Factor: 19.7 on the Cain-Berlusconi scale

Thursday, April 28, 2011

U-turn fail

This poor guy found out the hard way that big rigs and muddy shoulders do not get along very well. We spotted this disaster on a frontage road along I-35 in Lakeville near the County Road 70 exit and decided to take a detour to document his shame -- I mean, the scene.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Heavy Drive-Through: elusive McRib was hidden in your lower GI this whole time

You know a "limited time only" fast food sandwich has acheived cult status when there are websites and fan groups devoted to following its availability around the country. And when McDonald's rolls out just such a sandwich nationwide for the first time in 16 years? Well, even the mainstream news media go apeshit like a cat with a turd and a lollipop stuck to the end of its tail.

The last time McDonald's had the McRib available nationwide was in 1994 as part of a tie-in to the god-awful live-action Flintstones movie. So why did they choose election day to pull the compressed pork patties out from behind the box of Boys Life magazines and The Cure LPs in the attic? I would have made more sense to tie it into a summer blockbuster like Iron Man 2. Up the red dye factor in the barbeque sauce, squirt some mustard stripes in there, and stick a glo-stick in the bun like a birthday candle -- Iron Sandwich! Or lace it with Ambien, wait for the customer to teeter on the brink of slumber, kick them in the neck, and yell, "INCEPTION, bitch!!!" You don't need a degree in marketing to print money.

I had a McRib or two during its brief stints of availability during my childhood, and at the time, I thought it ranked up there with the awesomeness of birthday cupcakes and Cheez Wiz (I was a kid with a limited range of eating experiences, so cut me a break). This made me all the more curious about how I would react to the McRib with a vast range of adult culinary bliss (meaning that I've eaten some awesome shit during my adulthood, not that I ate a fudge pecker or had tiramisu shoved up my ass during a threesome or something). So last week, I gave the McRib another go.

At 1 pm, the McDonald's down the street from where I work was still teeming with lunch hour madness. As I smoothly maneuvered my door-dinged whip into the drive-through line, I immediately spotted the McRib on the outdoor menu. Even from two car-lengths back, I could see the perfectly photographed sandwich with edges of glistening, barbeque-slathered pork peeking out provocatively from between a fluffy, golden bun. I knew it was all lies, but I was here on a mission, so I soldiered on.

Once it was my turn at the order box, I rattled off my order, a McRib value meal with a Diet Coke (I realize the irony of ordering diet cola with a fast food meal, but I actually don't care for the sugary counterpart). The box squawked back, "Would you like to add another McRib for only a dollar more?" Considering the McRib's footprint is about the size of my entire hand, fingers and all, there was very little temptation for me to accept this offer, so I politely declined.

Five minutes later, I was seated at my desk ready to chow down. Upon opening the McRib box, I was surprised at how plump the bun looked. It was actually quite close to the photo on the drive-through menu. But I'm sure they pump the dough full of tetrafluoroethane and Mr. Bubble while its rising in order to maximize the fluff factor. Under the top bun, I found that in addition to the sauce, the sandwich was covered with onions and a few pickles. I didn't recall that part from my youthful encounters with the McRib, but it was a welcome surprise (or at least as much of a surprise as I could tolerate when it comes to eating meat of questionable origin).

I took the first bite and was overwhelmed with well, blandness. The sauce was certainly identifiable as barbeque, given its smokey flavor and mild tang, but I doubt you could get anyone south of Des Moines to call it that. The onions added a much-needed kick to the equation, but short of overpowering the palate with an entire uncut, unpeeled onion, there really wasn't anything that was going to keep this flavor train on the track. And the pickles (I personally think a good pickle on a sandwich, cold or hot, is highly underrated) were barely detectable, since they were sliced rice paper thin with a hot samarai sword. Meanwhile, the slab of pork itself was rubbery, and the manner in which it gave way to the teeth is best equated to mashing up chunky wet cat food with a fork.

So was consuming 450 calories and 24 grams of fat worth it? In this form, the answer is certainly no. And perhaps it isn't a bad thing, but this fast food meal wasn't particularly cheap, either. I nicked my credit card for $7.91 with the value meal consisting of the sandwich, medium fries, and a medium soft drink. I could go to a local deli chain and get a fresh, albeit cold, sandwich the size of my forearm and a drink for that much.

Patriotic wet wipe not included.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Old animations

Yes, for the first time in the history of this blog, I've gone more than 2 months without posting. I can't promise it won't happen again, but I do have some posts in the hopper, at least one of which I hope to finish this week.

Enjoy these animations I created about a decade ago when I owned and Reload if you miss one before the animation ends.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Heavy Vending Machine: Not So Diggity

If fools rush in, then I essentially take it a step further by rushing in, dropping my pants, closing my eyes, and waving my privates toward anything that sounds remotely animal-like or metallic. Or in this case, anything that smells of marginally food-grade beef or beef-like substitute. Such was the case when I purchased a Hot Diggity Italian Beef Charbroil from our break room vending machine. The Hot Diggity line (yes, it is a product line) is grown in a dampened plastic Igloo brand cooler behind a radiator by Pierre Foods, whose logo is a surprised chef who lost an eye in a spattering hot grease incident.

Given past reviews of microwave sandwiches here, it almost goes without saying that a mere 45 seconds of radiation caused the curiously phallic bread to turn into a porous vinyl seat cover purchased out of a JC Whitney catalog. I could have just as well wrapped the greasy compressed meat slab in an imitation ShamWow. It probably would have tasted better and absorbed far less of my precious internal liquids (trust me, they're precious). The meat itself was typical of microwaved sandwiches of convenience -- solid enough to pass for seared animal flesh, but with a level of cohesion similar to moist pencil shavings, allowing it to be easily chewed by mandible or slate clapboard.

The sauce on this mess confused me greatly. Both the flavor and texture of patty and faintly orange sauce reminded me of a cheeseless elementary school pizza burger. I checked the wrapper, and sure enough, the second ingredient listed was pizza sauce, clarified as consisting of primarily tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and tomato juice (really, I think just listing "tomatoes" or "tomato stuff" would have given us the idea, guys). I'm not really sure how pizza sauce makes this an Italian beef charbroil. For truth in advertising, I would consider calling this the Hot Diggity Elongated Cheeseless Pizza Burger Mark IV (the last part just makes it sound kick ass). In the future, please leave so-called Italian beef to expert chefs, food stands, and Jersey Shore cast members.

Product: Hot Diggity Italian Beef Charbroil
Price Paid: $1.25 + eternal damnation
Splashback Factor: Trail of tears
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (for fond pizza burger memories of yore)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Heavy Vending Machine: Buddy's Grilled Ham & Cheese on Texas Toast

Today's selection presents an inauspicious achievement. This is the first selection that was so disgusting that I couldn't finish eating it. Now this is quite an accomplishment for any food. While I appreciate and crave carefully prepared, high quality food served in restaurants and my own home, I don't consider myself to be a food snob. I enjoy a good Subway sandwich or a shitty Lean Cuisine as much (or as little) as the next guy. Hell, let's be honest -- if it tastes at least 14% better than a lumpy, tapeworm-filled bowl of Lindsay Lohan's room temperature diarrhea, I'll probably finish it.

Buddy's Grilled Ham & Cheese on Texas Toast is produced by Buddy's Kitchen, Inc, a Burnsville-based company whose limply syntaxed motto is "We manufacture custom frozen and fresh food for a variety of customers!" Not discerning customers, mind you, a variety of customers. Similarly, I've eaten a variety of items in my lifetime, including an untold number of spiders and engorged deer ticks that crawled into my mouth as I slept (variety is colorful, turgid, and filled with acrid juices). Additionally, Buddy's website crows, "Whatever business our customers are in, we find they demand the same things: Outstanding quality, Flawless performance, Competitive price, Clean and safe opperations[sic]." That is a lot to live up to, but fortunately they follow that with "At Buddy's we strive to make our customers happy on all three of these dimensions at the same time." So as long as they're happy "on" three of the four items listed, that's a victory. By gum, that sounds alright by me.

As for Buddy's sandwich, the recommended cooking time was 45 seconds, but a coworker was using our break room's full-sized microwave to nuke what appeared to be a Tupperware container full of moist fish food, so I was forced to heat my food in the smaller unit, whose wattage is somewhere between that of an emergency weather radio and an Easy Bake Oven. I added a whopping 5 seconds, for a total of 50. Immediately upon grabbing the still-wrapped sandwich (left that way per the cooking instructions), I could tell that it had fallen victim to the same issue with microwave sandwiches that we've seen here nearly every time -- structurally furtive and possibly temporally displaced, immoral bread. And yes, you are welcome to use these words in ways completely outside of their dictionary definitions, as well.

Opening up the uncircumsized sandwich hood, I found richly colored, passable looking ham (as in "acceptable" or "I will pass this to my table neighbor without partaking," depending on your viewpoint) slathered in light yellow American cheese that appeared to be in the form of a somewhat viscous lactic robot ejaculate. The first bite, unfortunately, confirmed my observation of radiation-compromised bread. One would expect Texas toast to be crunchy, buttery, and moist, but this bread was obscenely sponge-like. Without exaggeration, it felt like I was chewing on a foam "#1" finger emblazoned with the logo of your favorite sports team, which I hear is the Minot State University Beavers wrestling team. Initially, the texture of the bread was so offputting and distracting, that I had utterly no sense of what the sandwich tasted like. Finally, I could take no more, peeled apart the bread, and took a big bite of the ham swimming in 5W-Velveeta. Oh GOD! The meat, perhaps tainted by the "real cheese" touted on the product label, tasted as though it had been resting comfortably behind the dishwasher next to the bagel twisty tie that fell behind the counter last Halloween. I actually had to spit the partially chewed ham into a paper towel and throw the remaining mess into the trash.

Now, all snark aside, I really don't like ragging unmercifully on a small, seemingly successful local company, particularly one that by all appearances is committed to using locally raised and produced food products whenever possible. Or rather, I don't like to do that based on a single product. So, I will keep an eye out for more Buddy's products and report my findings to you, the uneducated Google searcher who landed on this page by mistake while searching for butt fingering porn.

Product: Buddy's Grilled Ham & Cheese on Texas Toast
Price Paid: $1.60
Apt Adjective: Spongiform
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
Calories: 330 (220 as eaten, 0 recommended)

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Heavy Vending Machine: "Steakation" makes me wish I'd left town

Today's vending machine selection comes to you courtesy of a momentary bout of dyslexia. While Great Steak's Angus Cheeseburger Twins may sound disgusting enough on their own, my misreading of "Anus Cheeseburger Twins" made me think I was in for a hell of a lot more of a chore. This is the sort of fat end of the bat I'm willing to take up my ass for you, the discerning vending machine food consumer. Fortunately, this ended up being the skinny end of the bat, or possibly even just a large novelty-sized pencil from an amusement park.

Clearly these twins are fraternal.

Great Steak, which I was not familiar with prior to eating these burgers and desperately seeking out a responsible party for litigation, is apparently also known as The Great Steak & Potato. TGSP is chain of presumably shitty fast food restaurants available in fine food courts as close as the Mall of America, Southdale, and Rosedale Center. Their specialties are Philly cheesesteaks and strained cummerbunds.

Unlike previous sandwich and hot wiener contenders reviewed here, the cheeseburgers' bread survived a 45 second microwave radiation assault surprisingly well. I suspect Great Steak achieved this astounding feat by using a denser bread and leaving it to stale in a pile of sawdust behind a shop bench for 2 score and a fortnight. Moisture from the soulless meat and cheese-like substances inside of the sandwiches reinvigorated the bread, bringing it to a nearly food-grade quality. Add hot processed cheese and piping hot meat the texture and flavor of wet cat food compressed into a slim hockey puck, and you've got a recipe for a burger even a dog wouldn't sniff. In fact, as I write this, it really concerns me that the anus twins are still bouncing around in my stomach. Why are you still in there?!? Come out of there! But not too quickly or liquidly. I am NOT getting that mess on my leather seats again.

Product: Great Steak Angus Cheeseburger Twins
Price Paid: $2.50
Risk Factor: N
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
Wine Pairings: Drained radiator water, fortified Hi-C, and boxless juice

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Heavy Vending Machine: white fish, can't dump

Unlike last week, which offered the overtly horrid chili dog twins, this week's vending machine selection was relatively bland (or more accurately, the more disgusting options were picked off by now-deceased coworkers). With few options, I settled for a seemingly innocuous fish filet sandwich that was prepared and packaged by the vending machine company itself, C&S Vending of Faribault, MN.

Interestingly, C&S Vending's website indicates that it also provides catering services:

"Need variety? C&S Vending has over 20 different menus to choose from. Our catering clients come to us time and time again because of our consistent service, wide variety and most importantly, delicious, professionally presented food."

Catered menu options include microwaved hamburgers with mandatory boiling hot ketchup, expired Mallomars, and brown lettuce salad. All items are "professionally presented" by staff wearing kick-ass tuxedo t-shirts and jaunty hair nets. Free open-air toilets are provided at the end of the serving line (as well as the start and middle of the serving line).

Before continuing, I must disclose that I have eaten this fish sandwich on multiple occasions. Conceptually, this may actually be more disgusting than eating the horse plop-covered hot dogs, because that means I ate this product pushing against the full weight of prior experience. Not only did I ignore instinct and common sense the first time, I made the same decision again -- multiple times, mind you -- as though there was a reasonable expectation that the outcome would deviate from a well-established pattern of fluttering cheeks and skidmarked porcelain. This is not unlike picking the same path again and again in a Choose Your Own Adventure book and becoming irate when you learn that the author has not yet broken into your home to personally alter your copy so that you do not die in the cave.

As with the hot dogs, the fish sandwich's bun suffered greatly during its mere 45 seconds in the microwave, turning into a mushy mass of structurally inconsiderate pre-moistened towelette leakage. Any finger contact with the sandwich resulted in the bread immediately compressing and vacuum packing itself to the filet, allowing the molten Kraft American single sitting atop the filet to singe off  my fingerprints. And though the sandwich does come with a packet of Heinz tartar sauce, even a thick application didn't protect me from my inevitable calling as a gloveless sneak thief.

In comparison to a fresh McDonald's Filet-o-Fish, the C&S rendition's filet was slightly mushier with a grittier feel to the breading and was only slightly less flavorful. If compared to a Filet-o-Fish that had been sitting under a heat lamp over the lunch hour, there probably wouldn't be much difference between the two, ignoring the collapsed bun (not to be confused with a prolapsed rectum, which may or may not result from eating this poorly on the regular).

Product: C&S Vending Fish Filet Sandwich
Price Paid: $2.25
Symptoms: Shortness of breath, taste of copper, bursts of hail, levee damage
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Bathroom Forecast: Partly shitty with a chance of temporary paralysis

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Heavy Vending Machine: Ball Park brand Twin Chili Cheese Dogs

This is the first in what I foresee as an intermittent series of posts in which I purposely subject myself to the most vile vending machine food imaginable. If I see it and throw up in my mouth at the thought of eating it, then I'm chowing it down like a starving cat gnawing on its elderly owner's fly-covered corpse. Note that the key word is "intermittent" because I can't eat like this every day and still expect to maintain a healthy weight, blood pressure, and shit viscosity/velocity level.

Somewhere between the top and side of the package, the 's' in "Twin Chili Cheese Dogs" is mysteriously lost, perhaps stolen by a desperate, untalented Victorian busker. Incidentally, the expiration date of 6/24 means I snatched this pair of beauties from the cusp of unfreshness.

In addition to this distinctive vending machine offering, Ball Park is probably best known for its line of hot dogs found in supermarkets and hobo jacket pockets. Ball Park is owned by Sara Lee, so I feel confident that a company whose primary trade is in frozen pies and coffee cakes served as a means to insult unexpected guests will handle these lip and asshole grindings properly so as not to infect me with listeria or mad raccoon disease.

The cooking instructions on the package indicate that the tray of wieners (my word, not theirs -- hee hee!) should be removed from the plastic outer sleeve and microwaved on high for 90 seconds. I was dubious, as if you've ever nuked a couple of cold franks on high for 60 seconds, you'd know that they char and split open like a delicate meaty, nitrate-filled flower awaiting pollination by the elusive turkey bee. But these suckers must be infused with Borox and vermiculite, because damned if they didn't look exactly the same after 90 seconds of radiation treatment. Other than the once-coagulated chili melting into glistening globs of cheesy Alpo dog sick, of course.

Because these twin dogs were packed so tightly into the tray, it took some considerable effort to get the first one out without completely destroying it. Ball Park should have injected the same heat-resistant chemical soup from the franks into the buns, because they collapsed into wet, soggy clumps with the slightest touch. As I slid the whole mess into my mouth and took my first bite, I imagined the experience was probably not unlike fellating a sickly foal whose wobbly sibling had managed to shit on its pale member. As for taste, there was very little to speak of. The wiener itself was bland, and I couldn't tell where the chili ended and the cheese began. It was a piping hot, sloppy, unsatisfying pile of disappointment and shame.

Product: Ball Park Double Play (Twin Chili Cheese Dogs)
Price Paid: $3.00
Calories: It is probably more accurate to measure this in years subtracted from life expectancy -- 6
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Bathroom Delay: Accident on the shoulder. Gawker slowdown. Allow 40 extra minutes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

With or without poo

Proper placement of truncation in your RSS feed can make all the difference.

Friday, October 30, 2009

No-talent ass clown

I don't know the full story behind this god-awful, frightening painting of a child-eating clown, but Melissa's friend Tim found it in a church. This is all of the information I have. Did he buy it? Did he steal it in the middle of the night? Did he walk in and punch the priest squay-ah in the shoemaker, sending uneaten eucharist sailing into the air like startled sparrows?

"I seeeee you, little Peter!"

Which leads me to the handwritten message on the back. Apparently this was given to someone named Peter Miller (or possibly Peter Tlliller, Peter llTiller, Peter πliller, or Peter lπiller) for his birthday on October 1, 1965 by the Donohues.

"Happy Birthday, Peter. This clown is going to crawl out of the frame tonight and rape you in the ear with an unmuted bugle. Love, the Donohues."