Denny’s

I eat fast food and live to tell about it.

It was Mike’s idea. He felt like eating something different.

“We’ll go to Denny’s and order just a bunch of appetizers.”

I also felt like something different and agreed.

While Denny’s might not seem like something different to you, it is to us. We’ve only been in the Wickenburg Denny’s once since it opened 5+ years ago. And I can’t recall ever being in a Denny’s anywhere else.

And to be fair, Denny’s really isn’t fast food. It’s the kind of food you’d have at home if you did all your shopping in Costco’s freezer section. You know — everything prepared and ready to cook. It’s not as if it’s already cooked and waiting for you under a heat lamp.

When Mike saw the menu, the first thing he said was, “Okay, so this was a bad idea.”

Trouble is, Denny’s appetizers are the same things you can get from the supermarket freezer section. The kind of stuff you’d buy when people you didn’t like very much anyway were coming for a party and you knew they were very easy to impress. Mozzarella cheese sticks. Onion rings. Tiny hamburgers — like White Castle’s. Buffalo wings. Ho hum.

To us, that’s different. We don’t normally eat that kind of junk.

But was “different” an excuse to lower our standards?

We didn’t have much choice. We were there and sitting down with iced teas in front of us. The waitress had already tried to take our order once. We were committed.

We abandoned the appetizer idea. I chose country fried “steak.” He chose chicken fried chicken, which is basically country fried steak made with chicken breasts instead of beef.

I made the fatal error of not reading the description of my meal. Imagine a hamburger made with beef and filler. Now imagine it squished down so it’s thinner and wider than a regular burger. Now coat it in breadcrumbs — a lot of them — and throw it in a deep fryer. When it’s done — which it probably was before it went into the fryer — put it on a plate with instant mashed potatoes, and a white gravy made with cornstarch.

I ate it. I was hungry. And I think I wanted to teach myself a lesson.

Mike’s said chicken “breast,” but when I tasted it, I was pretty sure it had some filler in there, too.

We didn’t have dessert. And that was probably a very good thing.

The lesson I learned came in the middle of the night when I woke up feeling sick. Sick enough to get out of bed and take some Rolaids. And then put on Seabands (a pair of pressure point wristbands that fight nausea). For a while, I thought I was going to puke. But the Seabands kicked in and I fell back to sleep.

The next time he says he wants something different, he can bring it home from Phoenix with him.

What do you think?