WEED FOR FOOD! (Goodbye, Wendy's)

When I was 18, I pretty much had the world figured out. Well, not the “world” per se, but I did have “how to get free food from Wendy’s” figured out.

Plentiful were the nights were I would cruise home from whatever party I was at -- riding dirty in my baby blue ‘93 Le Baron, stinking like Mickey’s Malt Liquor and that flavor of smoke which only comes from running through a pack of Newport Ices -- and do a quick stop by the neighborhood Wendy’s. A pair of Jr Bacon Cheeseburgers and some Chicken Nuggets always polished the night off right.

One night, I got home and realized that they had screwed up my order. I probably got a Jr Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe instead of a normal one, I was pretty messed up at the time and I really can’t remember exactly what it was that they got wrong. Anyway...

In my drunken, confused state I skipped what was my normal inebriated bedtime routine of playing NBA Live 96 on my Sega (I had a custom made team of the guys from my high school squad. We were unbeatable) and passing out in my recliner; flaccid penis in one hand, Sega controller in the other. Instead, I picked up the phone and called Wendy’s, explaining that they had "given me the wrong order or something.” When they asked why I couldn’t just come back and pick up the right order, all I could really come up with was “That’s not going to work... I’m pretty fucked up right now.”

In order to remedy the situation, they said that the next time I went up there, my meal would be on the house. They took down my name and put it in “the red book” in order for them to have proof that I was in fact in need of compensation (compensation being Chicken Nuggets, perhaps for the first time in history) and not just some random jerkass that was demanding free food.

The next time I made my intoxicated pilgrimage to that specific Wendy’s, I mentioned that I would not be paying for my meal, as my name was in “the red book.” The asked no questions, not even “what is your name” and gave the food over to me without a problem. “Odd,” I thought, “you’d think they’d at least ask me for my name. Perhaps this is on the honor system? Too bad for them I lost my honor three years ago in a snow mobile accident.”

And I began to abuse “the red book” system again and again, getting free food out of it for at least three nights a week for almost a year. Amazingly, and I have no idea how, I went from weighing 160 lbs to 190 lbs in those months. Must be the genes.

This whole thing only springs back into my mind now because while I was perusing the cyber-papers this morning, I noticed that my ol’ neighborhood Wendy’s has shut their doors for good, having gone bankrupt (perhaps others knew of this “red book," too?) (And yes, I realize I’m from such a ridiculously self centered small town that “Area Wendy’s Closes” is labeled as “News.” Just keeping up with our slogan: “Peoria, IL: Weirdest Town Ever”)

I never went back to that Wendy’s after the summer of 1999, and I would like to say it was because I had gained an ounce of dignity and I didn’t want to show my face at the restaurant where I officially laid my claim as a low level con man, but that’s not the case.

The real reason is that in May of 1999, some friends and I were on our way home from a party and were all starving. We quickly surveyed the situation and realized we were all sans funds of monetary concern. What we did have, however, was a plastic bag which used to be filled with some sort of dried plant that I guess kids in the 60’s used to smoke (I’ll have to remember to ask my parents what that’s called again) but now only held the seeds and sticks of said plant (“weed?” Is that right?)

Figuring that the type of people who work at a fast food joint at 2 in the morning probably smoke this “weed,” we proceeded to Wendy’s in order to feed our booze filled bellies and fulfill our hunger.

We pulled up to the drive thru and stated our rather massive order. When they told us how much our order would cost, I replied “No, were going to try to barter this one out.”

From the speaker shot back a rather defensive “Excuse me?”

“I believe we’ll be paying for this with a little twenty-twen-twen,” I replied.

After a few awkward seconds of silence the speaker spoke again. “What?” it asked.

“WE WANT TO TRADE YOU WEED FOR FOOD!” My buddy Damon shouted from the back seat of the Baron. “WEED FOR FOOD!”

“Please pull ahead,” the man working the mic said without a seconds pause.

As we pulled up, a dude started hanging out of the drive thru window, motioning for us to pull into one of the parking spots. We complied. A different guy came out and said with a chuckle “ya’ll boys want to trade weed for food?”

“Yes. Yes we do.”

“How much ya got?”

“About a tenth,” one of my buddies said, holding up a bag which may have weighed a tenth of an ounce, but it was purely sticks and seeds.

“Alright… we’re gettin’ ready to close up shop anyways, so why don’t I just give ya’ll everything we got sitting under the heat lamps?”

“You got yourself a deal.”

A few minutes later, he came out with a cornucopia of greasy burgers, chicken nuggets, and frenched fries. We handed him the bag of pot stuff and were off. With food, minus weed, and happy.

And that is why I never went back to that particular Wendy’s. Because I didn’t want to get beat up for trading a bag of pot sticks and seeds for a bunch of old, soggy fast food items. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that exchange had no clear winners, only losers. But it had been done.

So with that, I bid you adieu, Wendy’s at 3129 N. University St. in Peoria, Il. With your eye for details, keen business savvy, and sharp bartering employees, I have no idea how you could have been run out of business. But you shall be missed.

(And yes, I just wrote a 1,000 word tribute to the Wendy’s in my old neighborhood. The fact that I ever get laid is mind boggling.)

[have a great weekend, kids. don’t abuse the red book. unless it’s jason marquis. then please, abuse away. and I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.]

I feel your pain, my friend. I feel your pain.


I don't know how to hypertext. fuck off.

It's an epidemic. Hide your fostees and square hamburger patties, gentlemen. Much like Bill Pullman in Independence Day, we shall not go gently into the night! (or was that Bill Paxton?)
Mozzy, your giant link broke the internet.
At least we probably won't ever have to see Marquis start in a Cards uni again.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

"I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize the state of Missouri."