Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Krystal Cabinet

Our hosts stuffed us with fine dining all through the trip. I'm not complaining, but it was more fine dining than I usually do in a year. I ate, with one exception -- a jerk pork chop at Criolla's in Grayton Beach, Florida -- as much seafood as I could. The Gulf was never far away, after all. So at one time or another I managed to have Apalachicola Bay oysters, shrimp, grouper, amazing fish tacos and soft-shell crab. I also had tremendous cheese grits in Mexico Beach (not precisely fine dining, but who cares), tupelo honey on warm bread (an obvious gift from God) and a number of beers I'd never tried before.

By the time I had a layover at the Atlanta airport on the trip home, I had a strong urge for downmarket food, and was able to satisfy the urge completely at a Krystal, right there in the airport. Mere steps away from my gate, in fact. (Krystal is similar to White Castle and its small hamburgers, for those who don't know it. Krystal predominates in the South, White Castle in the North.)

Which reminded me of a parody I wrote years and years ago. Twenty-five years ago to be exact, for the student magazine Versus. I also turned it in as a "paper" in my Poets of the Romantic Period class, and I think I got a good grade for it. I dug it up just now, and here it is:

The Hunger caught me in my car
As I was driving merrily
I saw the Krystal on the left
Industrial burgers; they set you free

This Fast Food is form'd of Grease
And Bun & Soybean; smelling bad (.)
The taste -- the taste -- or price?
McDonal's wish'd they had

Another time I waited the hour;;;
Another time I saw the floor tile'd
Another shake (!) & fries (!) I ordered
And another taste bud I defile'd, %.

! Another man like myself
Pump'd ketchup, lovely catsup, near
I wait'd be (ยข) hind his ass
Ptomaine the only fear

I strove to chew my burgers up
To satisfy my endless gut (+ +)
But knock'd to the ground my sup,,
And like a Weeping Babe became

A weeping Babe in the aisle
With no more cash for food
The food spilt upon the tile
I fill'd with woes the kitchen stench.


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