Friday, December 16, 2005
O Culvers Custard, How Do I Love Thee?
(And now for a non-book-related post :-)
Last night, because we felt we weren’t completely meeting our RDA of saturated and trans fats, J and I had dinner at our local Culver's Restaurant. In case you’re not familiar with Culvers (which is largely a Midwestern phenom), let me bring you up to speed. Culvers is famous for their custard. Which is delicious, if you like sweetened lard.* And who doesn’t? I certainly enjoy it! In addition to their sundaes (which you can order in chocolate or vanilla), they have an ever-changing Flavor of the Day to keep you guessing and coming back for more like sad, hopeful little pilgrims. Yesterday the flavor du jour was candy cane. And let me tell you. No matter the flavor, this custard is heroin for your tastebuds. Your tastebuds will rob a corner store, steal money from their own mothers, and sell themselves to the highest bidder to get at this custard. (I haven't had a Culver's "butter burger" since 1998. These all-beef patties are quite popular, but you may want to know the location of the nearest defibrillator when you finish.)
Anyway. I have certainly altered my shopping habits because of Culvers. (“We don’t need any Ben & Jerry’s because we can GO TO CULVERS!” And, “Gee, I’d like to purchase these delicious ice cream sandwiches, but tomorrow the Flavor of the Day is brownie thunder and we’ll be GOING TO CULVERS!” (Incidentally, if you’re listening, Culvers Flavor Namers, you may want to rethink “Brownie Thunder.”)
But I digress. As we ingested our delectable, deep-fried fast tracks to tight pants, I noticed the lovely paper placemat on our tray. And there, in a cute little sidebar, was this article: “Things to Think About on the Way to Culvers!” What followed was an informative bulleted list of possible conversation starters like, “Did you know that the waffle cone was invented by a man named Skip Higgins when he accidentally spilled some corndog batter on a waffle iron at the 1914 Clark County Fair in Iowa?” (It wasn’t, by the way. I just made that up.)
So this got me to thinking. What do I REALLY think about on my way to Culvers? Well, for starters, I think about what I will order. It’s usually a single scoop of the flavor of the day in a dish, because this is almost all my lower intestines can handle at one time. But sometimes I’ll want to really tie on the feedbag so I order a sundae that could sustain a family in Bangladesh for a week. This will make me feel guilty for the next few minutes. From there I may think about how many jumping jacks I’ll have to do in the parking lot after my turtle sundae so I won’t feel like sticking my head in the oven later. Or I might consider the effect my pumpkin spice shake will have on my ability to wear anything but a large bedsheet. Will my jeans form a hermetic seal around my legs and leave artistic rivet and stitching indentations along my thighs? Perhaps they will completely cut off blood supply to my lower limbs. Could this even lead to brain damage? And then there are real, logistical kinds of thoughts, like how long will I need to lie on the couch after this double scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough? People have DIED from taxing post-meal activity.
So to you clever Culvers placemat writers, I respectfully present these thoughts. They may not be good for sales, but you’d be keeping it real. And that’s the kind of thing I look for in a custard peddler.
*Just kidding Culvers Legal Team!