While on our trip to West Virginia I finally tried the new McDonald’s Angus Burger. I went with the bacon cheeseburger variety (43 grams of fat!), instead of the one with mushrooms, which many people suggested. Because, let’s see… crispy strips of bacon, or cooked fungus? Hmm… hard to decide.
But I didn’t really like it. I don’t know if there was some kind of kitchen mishap, or what, but the burger served to me was one of the saltiest things I’ve ever tasted. I think it was soaked in sea water, breaded in sodium, then boiled in brine. Blecch.
I’ve considered giving it another shot, because there’s a good chance I received a non-representative version. But I don’t see it happening. I’ve been allotted a limited number of lifetime burgers, I believe, and live less than ten miles from a Five Guys.
And what am I, a complete douche?
Speaking of WV, you know the old radio my mother gave me a couple weeks back? This one? Well, it has a rather sad back-story. Wanna hear it? I sure hope so, because I don’t have much else today.
You see, my grandfather on my mother’s side was married and divorced before he met my grandmother. He had two kids with his first wife, a boy and girl. They were born in the 1920s, when my grandfather was really young. He was, apparently, a playa. I’m unclear on it.
Anyway, the girl was supposedly very sweet and nice, and liked by everyone. My grandparents were always involved in her life, and my mother says she considered her an older sister. No half-sister, but the full-blown kind.
When this girl was nineteen or twenty she got a job at Union Carbide, one of the big chemical plants near our hometown. She reportedly worked in the basement of a building, doing clerical work.
One day there was a flood, and water spilled into the office. And while helping with the cleanup, she somehow contracted tuberculosis. I guess it was in the river water, nobody’s sure.
So, she was only about twenty years old, and assigned to live in a TB sanitarium(!). This one, in fact. And that’s where she remained, until her death at the age of 29.
Can you imagine? A 1940s tuberculosis hospital — for ten years? Shit. And I walk around complaining about every little thing. A few minutes ago I was bitching because the threading was askew on my Snapple lid… Boy, oh boy.
But she supposedly maintained a positive attitude throughout, and seemed to accept the situation. At least that’s the family story; I don’t have any way of knowing. I certainly wouldn’t think any less of her if she didn’t accept it. Would you?
She loved music, I’m told, and clung to her radio and records. And that part gets to me a little. Maybe we would’ve had a lot in common? Maybe we’re kindred spirits? The stories of her positive attitude seem to indicate otherwise, but our coping mechanisms certainly line-up.
So, I’m glad to have her radio. Of all the stuff my mother removed from my grandparents’ house, that was the one item I really, really wanted. Her name is written on the bottom in pencil, along with her room number: 319.
I got some of her records too — mostly Big Band stuff, and a couple of novelty songs, like “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” Yeah. Wonder if she would’ve enjoyed the Buzzcocks? I like to think so.
What do you think life was like in that so-called sanitarium? What was a normal day there? I bet it wasn’t anything like the Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove. Huh? I really wish she’d kept a diary, that would’ve been the real prize…
And how’s this for an uplifting end o’ week update? Fantastic, ain’t it? Let’s keep the good vibes flowing. Tell us about your saddest, or most interesting family tragedies, from a long time ago. Not recent stuff, that’s too personal, but stories you’ve heard about people you never actually met.
And I’m going to forego beer this weekend to give my organs a rest, and start watching Prison Break via Netflix. I’m planning to spend my Friday inside a college library, plotting and scheming and crying softly into a keyboard.
Wish me luck, and have a great weekend.
I’ll see you guys on the other side.
Now playing in the bunker.
1) Sports figure
3) Musical performer
1. ken griffey jr’s wife
2. alyssa milano. but she will be referred to as sam and i willintroduce her to “jonathan”
3. the chick from dressy bessy orrrrrrrrrrrrr the chick from rainer maria
OK i have been reading this all afternoon between phone calls and the arduous tasks that follow said phone calls……So i just answered my phone “SURFERS” instead of “Service” the normal greeting. LOL
Ok family lore has it that my great grandmother ,who was crazy as they come, hated sex and eventually found a Dr. to “sew her shut”
Her daughter, my Grandmother, was literally chased out of the state of Tennessee in the middle of the night to avoid the very public lynching of her husband :a local teacher who had been molesting boys in his class and was caught. My mother at age 13 had to organize the entire event because she was the only one who had the wits about her to concieve a plan. That is not the worst part…… he then came to Indiana and continued teaching, molesting boys, and eventually retired the principal of his school.
30 miles south says
My only memories of my GGM was that she was bed-ridden the whole time I knew her, when I was a kid. She never remembered any of us when we’d come to visit. Even her own kids, she wouldn’t know who they were. She had one live-in daughter who took care of her. That’s all I know about her, just a distant memory of a GGM I’d only met maybe five times.
Hopefully our Grandkids won’t have stories to tell about us! Jeff, the last few surf reports have been sending everyone down memory lane! It only gets worse as you get older! I’m 50 now and I really cherish my childhood and all the great memories, good or bad. You guys are great! Love all your comments! Thanks Jeff for all your work for us!
30 miles south says
Because of your comments, I will not even think about trying the Anguish Burger at McD’s. You know they keep coming out with new menu items, just to stay “fresh & exciting” and to keep people coming back, wanting to try the newest thing. Wonder what the McD’s labratory / kitchen is working on now, to spring on us as their next new menu item?
Jeff, you should really give Jack-in-a-Box a chance! They got a great menu selection, great food and if they were still killing people with e-coli, they would have been shut down long ago! It’s SAFE, I promise!
the burger story reminded me about this site(http://foodirl.com/) that i saw the other day….looks like a ripoff of the wvsr story for sure and not nearly as humorous.
Legend has it that my mum’s relatives were kicked out of Ireland for being Drunken Thieves. I think of it as our Shane MacGowan Factor.
My GGM (Dad’s side) was shunned by many locals when she was younger, as she refused to wear dresses. She and my GGF owned a large farm, and she found it (insert expletive after expletive) stupid to ‘flit about in a (expletive, expletive) dress when denim was sensible’. She wore blue jeans, boots, and flannel, chewed tobacco and swore like a sailor. She and my GGF were married for 70 years. She had dementia when she was in her late 90s, and would grab us by the arm and tell us to “Never trust a [insert random expletives] INDIAN.”
My GGM was full-blooded Mi’qmaq.
@AngryWhiteGuy – not only does Chrissie Hynde still look the same, her voice hasn’t changed a bit. Saw her in concert several times, last was 2008, and she still sounds like she did on the first album.
Family tragedies – mainly the run of the mill type, but some creepy coincidences: about 20 years ago a friend worked at Montgomery Wards with a woman, call her Kim. One day Kim told my friend “I see the devil in my ex-husband’s eyes.” Not long after, the husband murdered Kim at her apartment, along with Kim’s woman friend and the woman’s child. The ex-husband left his own four-year-old child, who was there, untouched.
Also about 20 years ago my sister was dating a man named Pat. He was divorced with two teenage girls. I saw them once at my sister’s house. My sister hadn’t been dating him two long when a man knocked on the apartment door of where Pat’s girls lived with their mother. Only the oldest girl was there, having just gotten home from school. The guy killed and mutilated her. A year or so later a couple who had lived in this area and read about the crime and since moved to Florida read about a similar crime. They notified the police in this area, and the guy was caught. He was a serial murderer. There was a book written about the case.
Here’s tragedy for you, and all true — My grandmother’s (dad’s side) sister – mother of six, had a home that was heated by kerosene – the details escape me but kerosene is a big player in the story. Anyway, one winter day she went to the big tank outside to get some kerosene for the little tank inside tank and managed to light herself on fire – yes, she died. Ugh, what a way to go. But wait! There’s more!
So, the next fall/winter there was a bad flu epidemic (this would be 1935 or so, by the way) and since my great-uncle was now a single father of six, my grandmother went to take care of the children, all of whom came down with the flu. Sadly, four of the six children and my grandmother died from the flu – my father was three at the time.
The good news (if this is possible) was that dad was number 9 of 10 children, and my aunts were old enough at that time to raise the youngest. In the end, it resulted in an incredibly close family, one I’m proud to be a part of. Dad and most of his siblings have passed away over the past few years but I always think I was part of a special family because of how they all raised each other. I could (and have) sit and listen to the stories from their youth for hours and hours.
Sappy, maybe, but it’s my family’s story and in an odd way I kind of like it.
Just stay away from the Jack sauce at Jack-in-the-box. There’s a hyped up little guy there named Pedro who is making it as fast as he can.
My great-aunt was married three times. Her first husband was Italian, and was believed to have some connection to the mob. They moved out to Nebraska to hide out n such. One day, she came home to find her husband dressed in a fancy suit, propped up in a fence corner, cigar in his mouth, shot in the head. They ruled it a suicide, despite the fact that he was shot in the back of the head execution style, and he didn’t smoke.
Her second husband was working in the fields and climbed up on the haying equipment to repair something. He slipped, fell, and was impaled on the hay fork. He managed to pull himself off, crawled a mile to his truck, and made it halfway home before he passed out. He died three days later.
Hubby #3 had a massive heart attack and landed face down in his mashed potatoes. He either died from his heart or the taters lodged in his sinuses.